It’s almost 2pm on Thursday in Los Angeles, and my curiosity has gotten the better part of me once again as I search for parking on Hyperion. A Performance and Magick workshop? It’s basically unheard of, although I suspect people who are serious about their practice in either realm have tried to grasp the concept. I went in naked, metaphorically speaking, with no idea of what to expect. So the hallway leading into the dance studio lined with flowers and the right amount of sunlight must have been a good sign.
What I learned?
A fair amount in 2 hours. This is going to sound weird, but it was like the beginning of a conversation with my own body and how it’s okay for it to move in a room. An actual sense of kinetic energy and working with it. The first steps in performing with presence and how it’s different from just standing on a stage and essentially having people be forced to look at you…because you’re on a stage. The unexpected cheery on top was probably the small parts of the background for associations between cardinal directions, the color yellow, etc. It was a nice experience for an afternoon in Los Angeles.
Who is the workshop for?
We’ll start with who was there. A handful of people, a few I knew, some with backgrounds in dance, others with magick, and then curious people for their own reasons. Robert Allen explained the class wasn’t therapy or yoga or anything other than what was stated on the event description. I got the impression, while trying desperately to stay out of sight of other people, that if you, individual you, wanted to take advantage of what’s being taught to feel more comfortable on stage or in a room full of people, you better come ready to punch your demons in the face. The class stayed true to its disclaimer.
One of the many perfect pictures on their Instagram. Link below.
But oh yes, actually, because once Robert got started and explained the focuses of the workshop it was easier to participate. His class utilizes different techniques in ritual magick and acting to create a more accessible idea of body language. It’s certainly not limited to how other people perceive us or this spiritual conversation with our individual selves, but how to interact with the space around us for whatever your needs may be.
That being said, it was half lecture, half physical participation. If you’re of the self conscious nature, I wouldn’t worry too much. It wasn’t set up like “Now I want you to do the motions one at a time and we’re going to judge you.” It was more casual and open, like do what you have to do to gain some tangible understanding of what he explained.
Robert mentioned there were 3 parts to his lesson that day: visualization, physical action and experience. Whether or not you believe in magick, it can be incredibly useful to understand how to interact with the energy or presences of the people around us. So we went through several archetypal gestures; pushing, pulling, dragging, piercing, crushing, tearing and lifting.
My favorite was lifting, perhaps because of this heavy heart (melodramatic sigh). It was easy to imagine reaching for something deep below me, and then lifting it up, pushing it higher than the ceiling. The whole movement had more to it than that, but it was empowering in a way and the least stressful for shy people.
There was a ritual, which, as I’m going over the notes he was so kind to give us, is as magickal as you need it to be. It seems based on acknowledging your own personal power (no candles or incense today) and directing that to forces or powers outside ourselves. I say as magickal as you need it to be because of the psychology of priming. It’s where our thoughts are stimulated by certain things (a red apple or anything really), triggering associations we’ve made with those things to come more to the forefront of our mind and affecting decisions we make as long as we are primed. But to me, magick and these rituals we perform for clarity, invocation, wish fulfillment, all stem from the practitioner initiating the conversation. Sometimes the otherworldly can give us quite the push.
And who is this Robert Allen person?
Hell, I say go to the class just to meet him. His manner of teaching is funny without being distracting, he’s good at figuring out how to phrase things for people who are unfamiliar with certain concepts and he clearly knows what he’s talking about. I would pay money to go to one of his lectures because there’s no pretension, no bullshit, just solid information that can be used for whatever you need it for.
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Until next time,
Don’t be hungry for life. Be ravenous.
Zakkarrii Edison Daniels