A look back at The Maydays Intesive from our Scholarship winner – Alan

We are all grown up people… We all have important duties in our lives, we are responsible for others. We have jobs, families, we have our daily struggles. All the things that contribute to “adult life”. But yet, somehow we manage to find in our lives this magical spark that makes us children again. Makes us explorers of lands unknown, space travellers or simple workers at the local groceries. When you do improv – absolutely everything can happen, from the most unbelievable stories and crazy characters, to normal, even boring scenes we recognise from our everyday life.
Who are we? The people that you can meet during The Maydays Annual Intensive.
My name is Alan and I have been the lucky one that was chosen to receive this year’s Jason Chin Scholarship. I only found out about The Maydays existence last year, in 2018. A friend of mine told me about their Intensive that happens in Dorset. That’s when I started dreaming about going there… And here I am, couple weeks after, when first my dream has become reality and now has turned into memory. Such a beautiful memory!
How to describe this wonderful time? What I know for sure is that words won’t do justice, but let’s try!
Whole Intensive Annual Retreat takes place at Osho Leela, beautiful country manor which is home to Personal Development Center. Surrounded by fields and trees, with air so unpolluted it makes the breathing joyful again!
And that’s where you get to polish your improvisation skills, sometimes to an extreme extent. During the March retreat there are two parts – in the morning you have classes with your chosen group and follow the path that teachers select for you. The afternoon sessions are ‘electives’. That’s when you get to choose whatever you like, you can learn Finding Game, Slow Improv, Musical and many more! The choice is vast and whatever mood you are in – you will find something that fits just right. The quality of workshops… Oh my, let’s just use two words: World Class. With every second of workshops you can feel the passion for improv that runs though the veins of The Maydays members. They are both – warm and kind people, but also great improvisers and awesome teachers.
One word from the above is so important and makes this Retreat one of a kind – people. When you’re there, you are surrounded by wonderful people. Everyone I’ve met was so open and interesting! Even though the schedule of classes and shows was intense, I still found time for some meaningful and deep, or sometimes simply funny conversations. It’s shocking how such wonderful people come from various countries (during my stay I counted at least 7 different countries) to one place to do something awesome together. To give. To take. To share. To be together.
To me the Retreat was an extreme experience, on an improvisational, emotional and even purely physical level (5 days, this intensive – can make everyone tired).
I’ve learned a lot. I’ve gained lots of pure knowledge, but also an intangible self-understanding and self-awareness. How people perceive me, how I interact with them and how that does makes me feel.  I will bring back a lot with me. Now I’m more eager to share the passion for improv and life than I’ve been ever before.
If you are considering going to the Annual Intensive… Hesitate no more, just go! The things that you’ll experience t here probably won’t be the same as the ones I have experienced. You will learn something of your own – that will be only yours – and it will stay with you forever.
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