I teach and run workshops whenever I can, especially when the acting work is short and funds are running low. They are (usually) fun to do and a good place to keep my acting skills sharp and most importantly I get to work with young people.
Now go ahead and beat me with a stick for spouting a load of whimsy but I love working with children, it's all that energy, imagination, openness and power. On Tuesday I was running a workshop at the Villiers High School
trying to convince Year 7 kids (12-13) to read more books. Now this school is in Southall, in West London, a part of the capital I had yet to visit. Well it certainly is interesting out there, it is virtually mono-cultural, in the sense that the majority of the population are from India or Nations nearby in the sub-continent.
Now I live in London, in Camberwell to be precise which is mainly a African/Afro-Caribbean area but there is mix of students and a Chinese community as well as Greek Cypriots and I enjoy living in such an ethnically diverse area but Southall isn't diverse, it's just...well...Indian.
I spoke to one of the teachers and he explained that they regularly get visitors in from other parts of the world to broaden the cultural horizons of the students, which I think is an ace idea that a lot of predominantly white schools could do with taking on board. However, the day I was in the school they had 'got in' 15 or so beautiful teenage Norwegian girls who study at a college in Oslo and he had misplaced 2 of them somewhere in the school.
Needless to say I helped him un-earth the darlings and had the delightfully, disconcerting presence of elfin, Scandinavian females watching my class.
The workshops went really well, the kids had fun and came up with some cracking stories including 'Bus Hell' and 'The Flying Coat' which hopefully they'll be writing up.
As I left the school I noticed a few of the Norwegian ladies slipping off with a couple of the lads from the school, no doubt off for a bit of broadening of their cultural horizons.