First time at The Maydays Improv Retreat

Our previous Jason Chin Scholarship winner, Adina, tells us about her experience of coming from Romania to do 4 days of improv with The Maydays.

A time for gratitude, joy and…improv…always!

In the land of far far away Bucharest, Romania, in a time when everybody is thinking about resolutions and the new year, Fm still thinking about my Maydays Improv Retreat that I had the honor of attending in September 2017 after receiving the Jason Chin Scolarship.
I remember every detail, from the train ride from London to the cold short walk in Gillingham, Jason Delplanque’s warm welcome and the itchy feeling of not knowing anyone while designing my name badge.  As cliche as it sounds, for me, this was one of the most amazing journeys and I believe it’s my duty to share it with you guys reading this so…here it goes…

It was a very cold September day when I boarded the train in London Waterloo heading to Gillingham, Osho Leela, the place where the Improv Retreat takes place.  I remember a Harry Potter feeling as everybody on the train was talking about improvisation….and you don’t usually hear that in a train. Two hours later we arrived and we were waiting for a taxi to Osho Leela. I was coming from Crete, Greece (35 degrees Celsius) to a „warm” Gillingham of only 10 degrees Celsius. While waiting for the taxi I met Ken, this guy who was FEELING TOO WARM on 10 degrees Celsius and who had the most witty jokes. With his help we managed to catch a taxi to the retreat and this is where all the improv magic began….

Being there under the same roof with 60-70 people I’ve never met before, people with different stories, ideas, aspirations, made me understand the real power of improv. And what the Maydays Improv Retreat does is so powerful that improv becomes the international language that everybody understands.

Improv Retreat schedule

 

The days I spent there were all about improv and this had a major impact on me and my future plans but…we’ll get to that subject soon.
I had the opportunity to attend unique workshops every day and I also was impressed by the system: every morning people queued up at the registration point to chose their daily workshops and again…the improv discussions at 8AM were a very pleasant experience.
Being a scholar at the Maydays Improv Retreat was such a fulfilling wonderful experience for me it enabled me to see the improv world outside my country, to develop as an improviser, to see the possibilities that this world brings and to find a way to incorporate everything in my journey here, in Romania.

What happened after the four days? My world was changed. Challenged by a new wave of ideas, energy, people, I took all the experience, wrapped it with all the feelings and carefully brought it home. It took the shape of: skills shared with the improv community here, ideas that shaped our future as an improv school and theatre, energy and skills that I used as a teacher in my classes with the kids at the foundation where I work.  I believe everyone should have a “Maydays Retreat” experience in their life, even if it’s not at Osho Leela or it’s not about improv, as long as it filled with as much gratitude, joy and the most unforgettable people in the world.

On the 24th September when we gathered for the last the time in Zorba, we were 60-70 people who had passed all their fears, who were sad to it was over and who were looking forward to the next time they’ll see each other on the world improv stage.

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