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Immersive Theater for Job Seekers

When people ask me why I love being a performing artist and a creator of immersive experiences, I don't have to think long to answer. The main reason, the thing that brings me the most joy, is that I can change people's perceptions, attitudes and ideas; I can bring them an experience that will improve their lives, at least a little.

This positive impact is greatly multiplied during a workshop like the one Eat The Cake Studio developed for the Pôle Emploi (Unemployment Office) of Crépy-En-Valois and which I facilitated. The first session of “L'Art d'Accéder à l'Emploi par le Théâtre Immersif” (The Art of Finding a Job through Immersive Theater) was a resounding success !

18 job seekers registered for this first session. The majority of them had never done any theater before and didn't know anything about immersive theater experiences or how they were created. Over the course of 6 sessions, I had them do theater exercises to develop self-confidence, teamwork, emotional recognition and management, creativity, spontaneity, body and postural awareness, public speaking and speaking with strangers.

Part of each session was then dedicated to developing the immersive experience we created together, "The Silly Job Fair," a fake job fair where their fantastical companies would try to recruit new employees among the participants.

Working in groups of three, they invented their fictional companies, the positions they were recruiting for, and the activities they would have the participants, the potential recruits, do. There were Mars Potatoes, gardeners who grow fruits and vegetables on Mars; The Galloping Unicorn, a company that organizes unicorn races; The Lagomorph Messengers, who send messages using messenger rabbits; Instant X, which organizes sexy, youthful outings for seniors; Fiesta, which rents costumes, party dresses, and suits; and The Self-Esteem Factory, a company that magically builds self-esteem in people.

The candidates also created the graphics for their companies, elaborated their costumes and set up their stands, each more original and elaborate than the other, with a multitude of small well thought out details.

There were quite a few participant-spectators, including several potential employers who came to participate in the experience and therefore found themselves on the other side of the equation as they had to play those looking for a job, an exercise which they cheerfully submitted to!

I was extremely happy and proud to see the transformation in these job seekers, many of whom had lost confidence in themselves, despaired to find a job, or were depressed from sitting at home doing nothing and not seeing much of anyone.

To varying degrees, of course, they gained a lot of confidence; they proved to themselves that they had interesting and valuable talents and skills; they overcame their shyness and fear of talking to strangers; they made connections and new friendships with others; and they had a lot of fun!

Feedback from the participants was really gratifying:

  • "This performance gave me more confidence in my stage and social skills, and of course provided some really good times with great people." - A.

  • "This service did me good because I got out of my house after several months of wanting nothing, of loneliness, of losing myself. I discovered a friendly universe with fantastic people and a lady who makes you want to move forward, Elena. I still have a long way to go to return to the “me” I used to be but I'm taking it slow and this session showed me that I can do it." - R.

  • "Superb discovery of this activity, learning to really let go, it was a breath of fresh air and in addition to the immersive experience I really appreciated the collaboration with a super pleasant and talented group." - P.

  • "The performance allowed me to discover immersive theater and to see that you can create a company. On the relationship side I met some great people and I thought all the groups did great." - N.

In the end, creating this immersive experience with this fantastic group of people was as rewarding and enriching an experience for me as it was for the job seekers. I truly feel that I facilitated significant and very positive changes for these individuals who needed it.

I look forward to conducting the next session which will take place very soon!


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