For 7 years now, I have been teaching theater at the MJC (cultural center) in Crépy-En-Valois. I had started with small children but I didn’t find that I was the best fit for that age group. I switched to middle school and really enjoyed working with them. Following that, I added a high school group to my roster, and now, this year is the second year that I teach three theater classes: middle school, high school and adult. It is a job that I find really rewarding. I look forward to teaching my classes and directing the end-of-year shows that we create.
For a while now, I have wanted to create a branch dedicated to enrichment, education and training through theatrical and immersive experiences at Eat The Cake Studio. Frances and Maddy, who are also keen on helping people to improve their lives through the medium of immersive theater, were enthusiastic about the idea too, but we have had so many projects and things to do that we always added it to the “we’ll do it next year…later ” category.
But I believe that sometimes when we make a wish, the universe responds. And in fact, that's kind of what happened. One day, I received a phone call from Corinne Charlier, the mother of one of my former students. She works at the Pôle Emploi (unemployment agency) in Crépy-En-Valois and she wanted to set up a project as part of a nationwide initiative called “The Art of Accessing Employment.” This initiative encourages the Pôle Emploi agencies to develop projects that use art and culture to help unemployed people find their way into the job market. The moment I received the call, I knew that it was the perfect opportunity to launch our education/enrichment/training branch with an interesting and meaningful proposition.
As with most administrative things in France, the process did require quite a few steps and a lot of paperwork. There was a first meeting, a proposal with the accompanying pitch deck, then another meeting, the budget to redo, and official documents to fill out, sign and send. Once the official proposal was sent, the response came quickly and we were delighted to learn that Pole Emploi had accepted it. The team and I created a presentation which I then made to the agents at Pôle Emploi. The goal of this was to help them understand the tools and the methodology so that they could propose the training to job seekers with full knowledge. The presentation was a hit; they were really enthusiastic about it.
The first session of this training will begin on January 17th, 2023. There will be 6 three-hour sessions which will end with an immersive theater experience that we will have co-created with the job seekers. Throughout the program, they will learn how to use immersive theater tools in order to regain their self-confidence, become more assured in their abilities and skills, improve their verbal and non-verbal communication, get used to working in a team and change their way of seeing the world, others and themselves. All with the goal of enabling job seekers, especially those who have been unemployed for a very long time, to enter the workplace with confidence and renewed energy.
This training experience marks the launch of the enrichment, education and training branch of Eat The Cake Studio and we can't wait to see where this project takes us. We'll keep you posted on how the experience is going and on the feedback we get from the participants so feel free to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram for more news! And of course, you can always sign up for our newsletter or take a look at our website from time to time to stay up to date on all our activities, including the progress of projects like this one.
Now I wonder what other opportunities the universe will give us to expand our branch of education, enrichment and training at Eat The Cake Studio!