I am in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for two one-week workshops organized by the Associacion Dominicana de Actores de Cine. I just finished a one-week workshop in Bogotá, Columbia. Changing from an altitude of 2640m (8,660ft) to this Caribbean island city in one day only makes me more conscious of how diverse the world is, and how Nature shapes our lives. This is one of the great privileges of my life; being able to travel and work in so many different places. I am very pleased to be here, and to be discovering the different cultures that are Latin America. I enjoy being in these countries, where often, if you haven't been here, you don't realize how different each culture is. Certainly, at the foundation, we are all human beings, at our best and worst, but each culture has its particular gifts, and pains. Personally, one of the things I like most about Latin America and the Caribbean, is that all the different levels of humanity, from the very rich to the very poor, from the very rich in consciousness to the very closed minded, live together, there is no disguising or hiding. People are all together in the same place, including living with guards, electrified barbed wire atop walls that surround ordinary, middle-class homes, where poverty is not swept away from view. Though, there is a sense that the worst of poverty is the poverty of consciousness, which crosses all levels of society.
I remember how surprised I was when I first went to Vitoria, in the Basque country of Spain. Nobody had spoken to me of the winding streets that spiral upwards in the old center, or the beauty that surrounded the city, the lakes and forests, the salt mines, the red, sienna colored earth which gives the Alava region a stunning color from which the Alta-Rioja name comes, and from which the superb wines that grow in the Alta-Rioja vineyards come. No wonder the Romans settled here. Certainly, I had heard about the food, the tapas. But, hearing about it, and then having the surprise of how beautiful the Nature was, and how exceptional the tapas were, including the tapa with a liquid egg yolk within, that stuns the tastebuds as one bit into the delicate crust, wondering how anyone could make something like this, just added to the pleasure of discovery. I will return to Vitoria to work in Ortzai, the small theater founded by Iker Ortiz de Zarate, a sensitive artist in his own right, and former and ongoing student and friend.
Yes, reading this newsletter can seem like a travelogue to fantastic places and cultures. After Santo Domingo, I will go to Paris and Madrid before returning to New York for another Teacher/Director/Actor Intensive Workshop, which is the new format for my Intensive Workshops in New York. I am training teachers in the hopes of being able to leave a legacy of my Organic Creative Process and Organic Script Analysis, working with actors and directors who may have worked with me for years, or not. Ultimately, I will certify those whom I believe, while different and personal in their approach, nonetheless share with me the principles that are the foundation of my work.
I will then go to Toronto, where Daniela Saioni, a writer/director who has worked with me in New York, has organized the first Teacher/Director/Actor Workshop I will do outside of New York. It will also permit me to discover Toronto, a city in which I only have spent five days to now.
After my vacation, I will begin my fall travel, working in Berlin for the first time since the city has been reunified, the last being in 1983, when the Wall still existed. After Berlin, I am pleased to go to Milan, where I haven't been for several years, before I return to Vitoria, and then, Madrid, with a side trip to Alicante to teach in the Drama Program that John Sanderson, with whom I have collaborated on several productions, is developing with the University of Alicante.
Finally, I return to New York for the 10 Week Fall Program, from Wednesday October 12-Sunday December 18. If you are interested in any of these workshops, you can contact an organizer from the website, by clicking on the links that exist on the Current Class Info pages.
And, as always, if you need to contact me, send me an email at John Strasberg. You can also friend me on Facebook.
Wherever you are, keep dreaming. It makes life worth living.