If life is what happens to our plans, then dance is what happens to our steps.
ideas sometimes when you wait they come to you.

Preparation for starting with BAPP

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Witnessing yourself and your assumptions about yourself - a starting point for each Module

Here is a post I have added to a bit but I originally wrote from 2013 that I think is useful as we start the new term now.  Thoughts sparked by Module One, first task. Module Twos and Module Threes please read this because these are not thoughts in terms of tips for passing Module One, they are ideas about the layers you can find in the work. Don’t think of a module ending and that’s it. The ideas introduced in each module have something to offer whatever stage you are at. Ideas are introduced in a modules as tools ways of looking at things. These are tools we are hoping you will use on-goingly; throughout this course and into your work arena and beyond your time at Middlesex!!

So I am looking at some ideas introduced in Module One, but this should be relevant to everyone on the course. 
The CV
We ask you to use your CV as a starting point for posting / thinking about introducing yourself and what your experiences.  Module One handbook suggests.

You should take your current professional CV and rewrite as a profile improving on its quality and Upload this as your blog profile.’ 

This is not about selling you!! it is to get you thinking about you. Why are we asking you to do this:? because we want you to start to see your Self in different contexts. To see yourself beyond how you were positioned in your prior learning environment and start to see yourself in terms of the different parts of YOUR life. Part of doing this is to start thinking about what you ‘have done’ which is what a CV narrates. See my previous blog posts on this. 

Positioning of Self
(October 10th 2010)

(Re-thinking this might be really useful for people starting Module Two to give your self a ‘what have I just done moment’ and to contextualise any feedback you have just got from the work you just handed in (your assessed work from last term)). 

So here is what is happening for me. I feel really uncomfortable that you could feel encouraged  to just post your ‘audition’ CV. I don’t like the details such as dress size, you  SHOULD NOT post your street address as most CVs have at the top. I think it is kind-a icky to have some of those details which are about costume fittings or ‘look’ (like brown eyes etc…) on your blog which is open access to anyone who finds it. But then you are not being asked to do this directly because how relevant is that kind of CV to this context. Ask yourself what is relevant for this study. I want to encourage you to think about the message and appropriateness of the CV you post in the context of an open-access, learning blog.

Hopefully you will look at it and develop something new for this context. The ‘about me’ part of the Blog sort of serves as a CV area too. You could post about the process you took and use the actually CV you develop as your ‘About me’ content. The point is to question what it will be like for people coming across your blog. What experience will they have of you, since the blog might be the only experience they have of you. It is not just what you want to say because you know much more of the story behind the intentions you have as you make your blog. It is also about stepping ‘outside’ yourself to imagine how you are experienced. THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF ETHICS. 

A chunk of Ethics is introduced in Module Two so module Twos and Threes what do you think of the above in terms of how you are approaching ethics? this about how you affect the people that come across you or your inquiry.

Although formally introduced in Module Two it is sooooooo important to note that everything we do, every decision we make has something to say within the realm of ethics. Because experience is transactional there is inter-play you are experienced as something… ethics is about looking at how you or what you create or do are experienced. 

In this case you can ask yourself questions about why you chose the photo you chose to represent you on your blog. Does it actually look like you? Is it what you were told was a good headshot? Did you choose it because you like to think of yourself that way? What does it say about what you want to appear as? How you want to be experienced? How is it an ‘ethical’ representation of you??? Should it be? what other things have you considered: are you putting off posting on your blog because of your spelling and you don't want spelling mistakes to represent You? What things do you consider in other contexts (at auditions, at work...). do you think to try of yourself as a 'good' person! What is that?

You can ask similar questions about how you construct a CV for your blog. What pressures do you feel you have to conform to? Where is honesty in the representation of your Self in your practice? Is it possible to represent your Self ever? Is it more about learning to be what people want you to be in different parts of your life?  

Module Twos these questions are important to you because as you plan your inquiry you are starting to take your ideas (questions) out beyond your own Reflective work (journals and blog posts) and looking at literature, peers and other professionals to see what they think – but at the same time you can be thinking about these questions of representation, transaction, how things are experienced through thinking about how much value you put in information from different people because of how they appear to you. How you experience them. How much you and what you put out alters what you receive / perceive. 

Module threes this resonates with you because of course you are starting to be out in the field talking, interviewing reading and you can think about how much of You, you are gathering and how much of the ‘other person’ or ‘other’ idea it is possible for you to gather. How does the way you approach people change what you see or hear in them? I do not think you are looking for a neutral way to do this but instate to note down the impact you think you have on an encounter as being as important as the conversation / information you get from an encounter.

So what do you think? How has this post come across?? What do you think of thinking of ethics as ‘How you are experienced’?

Please comment below



  1. Over the last few years I've been thinking about setting up my own website - then I became an assistant in casting...

    It was insightful and overly helpful to observe the process of reading about "ethics" (represented on paper) and a some times contrasting live display.

    A headshot is a great example - one photo can get you in a room, but if you don't match it, you're doomed!

    ...unless you fall through the door at an audition for the 39 Steps.

  2. It is great experience to see things from the perspective of the person audition for people as well as auditioning. I think when you are look for work it seems so personal (about you as a performer) but when you are looking for someone to work for you it is also very personal (about you as an employer) not a judgement so much of the person auditioning, more decisions about your own needs and deadlines!

  3. Hi Adesola, thank you for sharing this. The questions 'Is it possible to represent your Self ever?' and 'Is it more about learning to be what people want you to be in different parts of your life?' have got me thinking about task 4b and that I can relate these questions to Special Interest Groups. I may have two or three SIGs which I am involved in depending on my varying interests - does that mean I am pretending to be something I am not? Or does it mean I interact different with different circles of communities? This is soemthing I want to explore.

  4. I have been thinking about the next stages of the course as we found out last term about the module 2 inquiries. I have already started speaking to peers and other professionals and find their experience invaluable. Sometimes it may be subjective rather than objective but it is always interesting to speak to someone who has already done what you are planning to do. Even if they are fairly cynical about it. It makes me what to know why? How do I stop this from happening to me.
    I am going to post a blog with reference to a what have I just done moment.
    Just to confirm I will also be joining the Skype at 5 tomorrow please.
    Amanda Module 2

  5. I find the concepts you have spoken about above very interesting. I recently left a job and it was a very hard decision to make. In fact the only way I think I managed it was to look at myself and my situation as though I was an outsider. Almost to see myself for the first time. Only when I did that did I realise I was making the right decision. I feel that often if we look from an insider's perspective we cannot see things for what they are. Also when I analysed what you have said it has really made me consider how I do place more value on the information of others when I respect and like that person.

  6. Thank you for the details Adesola! It makes a whole lot of sense now. It clears up questions I had;)

  7. Thanks for sharing Adesola, the questions have helped me think more into my inquiry and to make sure I am noting everything down so I can always refer back to my journey.