Opinion

Teaching in Toulouse … in French

Written by Ben Verhoeven January 6, 2019 0 comment

The last month of 2018 brought ano­ther new expe­rien­ce for me. I was invi­ted to teach a week­end work­shop of the Were­wol­ves show for­mat to TIC, a French impro­vi­sa­ti­on group in Catus, near Tou­lou­se. Alt­hough my invita­ti­on came from their Dut­ch secre­ta­ry Koos, I was to teach the work­shop in French. Tea­ching “Les loups-garous” was my first time tea­ching in French and des­pi­te some small trans­la­ti­on issues (not even mista­kes, becau­se who knew that “cham­bre” in French is only the bedroom and not any room, which turns out to be “piè­ce”) went way smoot­her than I expec­ted. I was sur­pri­sed to find it easier to teach in French than to per­form in French, which I did do befo­re, but loo­king back it makes sen­se. When I teach, I have pre­pa­red the work­shop and know more or less what I’m doing. I also have to rely less on under­stan­ding my sce­ne part­ners (the French speak noto­rious­ly fast) becau­se I can ask for cla­ri­fi­ca­ti­on if neces­sa­ry.

Becau­se I was fly­ing to Tou­lou­se any­way, Koos and I had rea­ched out to seve­r­al other improv groups in Tou­lou­se to see if I could work with any of them in the days after the work­shop with TIC. This all wor­ked out neat­ly so that I was tea­ching a group from La Bul­le Car­rée on Mon­day after­noon my work­shop “Gar­der les appa­ren­ces” (Kee­ping up appe­a­ran­ces) and a group from Mel­ting Pot on Tues­day eve­ning my work­shop “Pathos & Pas­si­on”. Thank you so much, Eric and Remy for orga­ni­s­ing this.

An exhau­sted group from Mel­ting Pot after diving into emo­ti­ons during the Pathos & Pas­si­on work­shop.

Not only pro­fes­si­o­nal­ly was this a very inspi­ring trip, but also on a per­so­nal level. During the week­end, I stay­ed with Koos and his wife Tin­e­ke in their love­ly coun­try­si­de hou­se. Such a warm wel­co­me and pleasant stay, and what a com­fort to be able to speak some Dut­ch after a full day of spea­king French. They took me out for din­ner to eat some duck from the regi­on in the local res­tau­rant, which was deli­cious des­pi­te being slightly bur­ned.

Koos, Tin­e­ke and I. Thank you so much for hos­ting me.

Also the next few days were a plea­su­re to stay with Eric and his fami­ly. I knew Eric from the Lyon Improv Fest whe­re we met ear­lier this year. It was a plea­su­re to see you again, meet your fami­ly, and par­ti­ci­pa­te in your son’s bir­th­day cele­bra­ti­ons. Joy­eux anni­ver­sai­re, Neil!

Fan­ny, Neil, Eric and I.