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What To Do When You're Emotionally Triggered

Do you ever experience situations where you suddenly feel really bad in response to something happening around you, and have a compelling urge to withdraw or shut down? If so, you've probably been emotionally triggered.

I've been doing some acting training lately with a local theatre company which does shows based on Forum Theatre. This style of theatre is highly interactive: The actors perform a play in which things end badly for one or more of the characters; but then instead of leaving it there they go back and replay some of the scenes using suggestions from the audience as to what the characters could do differently that might change the final outcome. We even get members of the audience up on stage to role play their suggestions while the other actors remain in character to see how the ideas from the audience play out in practice.

The role I was being trained for was to act as the Joker: a kind of cheeky M.C. whose role is to liaise between the actors and the audience, asking for suggestions from the audience and encouraging them to get up on stage to play those suggestions out. While the introduction to this part of the play was scripted, the audience interaction is all improvised based on the suggestions that the audience offer.… Continue reading…

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