Hello everyone! I’m Comfort, the Spare Tyre Administrative intern. Pleased to meet you all. Now I believe I’m here to tell you about my Spare Tyre experience so far, right? Great, hold on tight and I’ll begin…

…so it’s been a real rollercoaster of a ride and I’ve held on with both hands and truly enjoyed the journey so far. I have met so many wonderful people and done so many fantastic things that it is quite hard to know where to begin. Yet, I suppose the best place to start is the beginning. I couldn’t quite believe that I had secured this internship and that it was all really happening. When Arti called me to offer me the Admin internship with one day of artistic experience. This was such a marvellous opportunity. I accepted immediately…

I started off in drama and theatre skills workshops with adults with learning disabilities. I really enjoyed working with Isaac, an Associate artist of Spare Tyre and a very skilled practitioner. Participants were learning how to improve their performance level, work in teams and grow in self-confidence. They explored using props to create scenes in unusual ways. For instance, one participant used a sock to create a puppet and improvised a sketch for us. Seeing such spontaneity allowed and celebrated for me was rare and brilliant.

They went on to create radio plays and short films from stories they had created regarding their fears. This included a retelling of the famous Harry Potter plot and a retelling of The Wizard of Oz. It was great to see the effect this work had on some of the participants. Isaac made the space safe for them to share whatever they wanted to and they were so open to the methods and skills they were learning. Spare Tyre’s creative practice was evoking emotional and spiritual responses in their minds and hearts.

After working in those first five sessions, I then went on to work with the Company of Artists 60+ for another five sessions working with Emma Parish, a brilliant and particulary skilled practitioner working with voice and singing skills. She is truly a super facilitator who I really enjoyed working with. I have really relished working in these sessions. The Company of Artists were a really lively, lovely and welcoming group. This really helped me to settle into the sessions and I felt right at home.

What surprised me and excited me most about this group over the sessions I was with them for was how fun and funny they were! Despite their age they never made me feel too young as they were all so ready and eager to play. I really think this is a wonderful strong point for the company which puts them above the other older creative groups I have worked with. Their openness and their humility made every session a real joy to be a part of. They quickly became the highlight of my week.

In two of the sessions I was asked to lead a short part of the session. The first exercise I did with them was to teach them the haka, a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Maori people of New Zealand. In the next session I worked on doing some Gregorian chanting with them, using Latin. I think they enjoyed the chanting more than the haka, but I personally feel they excelled in both. Due to working with them I learnt about my own practice as a facilitator but also who I was and how I came across to other people.

…so I am pretty sure you have found my blog interesting, exciting and anything but dull. As I leave you now, I do hope it’s clear I am truly inspired and ignited with a shared love for Spare Tyre and their work. Go in peace and perhaps we will meet again.