With so much content hitting people nowadays, and so many distractions vying for our attention, it’s a huge challenge to create content that is truly engaging, impactful and remembered long after it’s experienced.
Big Juicy Creative spotted an opportunity, through its experience of delivering workshops, to raise the game of the traditional workshop format, by adding a dramatic, creative twist; and so our ‘performance workshops’ were born. These workshops are delivered in association with trusted creative partner in crime Speyside Design, led by Jo-Ann Clark.
Rather than rely on a speaker or facilitator to relay information in a factual way, audiences are much more receptive to content when you can add story, humour and a visual feast.
Consequently, Big Juicy Creative has developed an innovative ‘mockumentary’ style performance-driven workshop aimed at introducing themes for discussion. Using this medium, we are able to tell complex stories through memorable characters as a way to build empathy, understanding and depersonalise sensitive issues and perspectives.
These one-woman shows, complete with multiple colourful costume changes, work particularly well for controversial subjects, where opinions tend to be different and, often, polarised, and there can be a lack of understanding between parties.
By creating a 'mockumentary' style show we are able to voice the different opinions in a non-threatening, humorous fashion, which enables the audience to be receptive to all viewpoints, building empathy and understanding. This paves the way for a positive, empathetic post-show discussion.
Performance Workshops Available Off The Shelf
Ecoanxiety - anxiety about the future of the environment - is a growing psychological condition which is increasingly affecting the workplace. Views on the topic are often very different, which can cause division between employees.
If you are a company that is committed to sustainability and living your green values, then this workshop will underline those values. It will grow understanding between employees about how to deal with their worries about the environment so they don’t impact on their health, inspire them to take positive action and build empathy around the different views people have on environmental issues.
Format consists of a live hour-long show in the style of a 'mockumentary' presented by Edna Attenborough, David Attenborough's long lost sister. It follows the journeys of various characters in different states of ecoanxiety, from Chardonnay the footballer's wife to ecowarrier Green Mamma. The show includes elaborate costumes, as well as pre-recorded video footage to give the feel of a 'real' documentary and bring the topic to life through creative design as well as characterisation.
The show can be followed by a facilitated discussion, or a longer day of workshop material.
Additionally, there is the opportunity to make this show and workshop truly bespoke, incorporating a company’s specific green values and messaging, as well as integrating content into the character storylines on ways employees can get involved with green initiatives. As well as via the storylines, this can be done through the pre-recorded video material and mockumentary branding.
The inspiration for this performance workshop arose from significant research undertaken for a writing commission for Psychologies magazine on the growing condition of 'ecoanxiety'.
Particular thanks must be given to Caroline Hickman, a world leading climate psychotherapist and executive committee member of the Climate Psychology Alliance, who gave a particularly long, in-depth, fascinating interview. When she spoke, Suzy could literally see some of her characters leap to life from her page to the stage!
“Suzy’s show was a great light hearted way of looking at a serious subject. She really pulled the audience into her characters, each looking at the environmental challenges we face from a different perspective and dealing with different associated anxieties. This approach encouraged the group to open up and discuss the challenges, anxieties and possible solutions. I highly recommend it to any business or group wanting to create engagement and discussion on the topic”
- Polly Middleton,
business leader, global healthcare company
“It was such a funny yet powerful experience. Suzy took an extremely serious and challenging topic and created a range of characters who each looked at climate change from very different angles - the use of comedy was very clever and helpful. Suzy was able to deliver the whole creative process herself from writing the script to bringing it to life - in all my experience as a trainer, I have never seen such a range of skills and they really helped to drive the key messages home. Suzy is unique in that she is both extremely interested in other people and also very interesting. She has so much to share and always gives her all”
- Judith Thurlow,
property entrepreneur & former trainer
“Suzy easily slipped into characters that we could all relate to, which really made light of a situation we sometimes feel is out of our control. A creative genius with lots of empathy and a very diplomatic way of discussing hot topics”
- Erin McBean,
manager, property business
Comparisonitis is the toxic modern tendency to compare ourselves unfavourably to others, fuelled by social media. It can cause division at work and in our personal relationships, as well as a lowering of self-esteem, which can affect productivity and ability to be creative.
If you are a company or group for whom comparisonitis is a toxic influence, then this one-woman mockumentary style show will help your employees break free of this negative mindset so they can flourish. This is particularly helpful in creative industries, where comparisonitis can stifle a person’s confidence.
As with the ecoanxiety performance workshop, the delivery uses colourful characters, set, video footage and engaging storylines to convey the key messages. This paves the way for a helpful, open discussion about this sensitive psychological condition, which people often feel vulnerable admitting to suffering from.
The performance workshop can also be followed by facilitated discussion, or a bespoke programme can be created for you.
This workshop was also developed following a large research project on the subject, interviewing world leading experts on the topic, like the UK's leading #comparisonfree coach Lucy Sheridan, for Psychologies magazine.
"Doing a creative job, I definitely suffer from comparisonitis, which can make me lose my mojo sometimes and wonder what the point of creating anything is, as someone has already done it better!! This workshop really helped me manage these feelings as the characters are actually full of practical tips. It also made me laugh a lot and take this modern disease, and social media, a lot less seriously "
Subject: Covid-19... WTAF was that all about?
This workshops helps employees reflect on the events of Covid-19, and their personal experiences, so they can move on in the most productive, healthy way. It also helps them really see the pandemic from different points of view, particularly ones that may be different to theirs.
It is vital that employees are given the opportunity to effectively and collectively process the experience of Covid-19, so they can move on and return to full productivity again, experiencing post traumatic growth rather than post traumatic stress.
This performance workshop gives them the tools to do this. It also acknowledges the different viewpoints held by people on the virus, in order to build understanding and empathy between colleagues to ensure good working relationships regardless of difference.
"This hilarious workshop really made me think about my experiences of Covid-19 and acknowledge the stress and hardship I've been through. Not just push it away. It's also made me realise that there were some good moments, too, that I wasn't really focusing on. It's made me understand some of my colleagues better, too."
Scripts for performance workshops on topical issues on the following topics are also currently in development:
Becoming a parent
A performance workshop helping employees prepare for their new identity to ensure they are in the best position to thrive at home and at work. Particularly relevant for companies committed to shared parental leave as will look at the issue from a mother and father’s point of view.
A performance workshop on nurturing creativity so employees thrive professionally and personally. This can be adapted to particularly look at female creativity and creative leadership, too.
Suzy is professionally trained in delivering stress management workshops in a traditional format, but is keen to develop a script that translates tools and techniques and ways of thinking into a performance workshop to bring it to life more authentically.
Managing your ego
Inspired by the brilliant books by Prof Steve Peters on managing your ‘inner chimp’, Big Juicy Creative is developing workshops which aim to help employees emotionally regulate so they are more effective at work and happier at home. Suzy has written extensively about the subject of ego for magazines like Psychologies.
Kids and Covid
Big Juicy Creative has developed a script aimed at helping adults emotionally process the experience of Covid-19 (see above: Covid 19 - WTAF was that all s). However, this emotional processing is also essential for kids, too, which is why we are looking to adapt our script and deliver workshops to kids in educational settings.