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Coming together for fall!

This fall, Confluence - CV was happy to offer artists participating in its programs a series of two workshops on the regulation of performance stress, which is certainly related to artistic practice, but also manifests itself in other spheres of our lives. There are several reasons why we decided to add these workshops to our programming this fall. Poorly regulated anxiety can express itself in many ways, and can paralyze reflection on career choices or make a return to school more painful than necessary. At one time or another, this could have an impact on the paths taken by the artists we support through our programs. The idea was also to give artists who might be suffering from this condition, to the point of jeopardizing their careers, a chance to better understand the phenomenon and cope with it. Both sessions were led by our long-time collaborator Michel Brais (M.A. art dram. and psychotherapist).

"Stress and anticipation are neurobiological functions linked to survival. Properly regulated, they are adaptive, propulsive and creative. Dysregulated, they manifest as anxiety, and instead generate counterproductive, often repetitive thoughts and behaviors that hinder autonomous activation and weigh down the creative process.”

- Michel Brais

The two sessions guided by Michel enabled us to clarify both the psychic issues at stake, and their impact on the fluidity and deployment of our activation. Michel's approach was to help participants strengthen their ability to regulate stress and anxiety, first through theoretical content, and then through exercises and discussion. By equipping them with resources that could support them in their quest for personal, relational and artistic fulfillment, Michel was able, in just two sessions, to really get the participants to start moving forward.

Our program cohorts are made up of artists from all over the province, so some joined us in person, while others attended by videoconference. It was inspiring to be among those who chose to participate. Performance anxiety issues can obviously affect artists at any time, no matter what stage they're at in their career so from the very start, many felt drawn to this series of workshops. We were delighted to observe the exchanges between the artists present, all of whom work in dance, theater or music, and are at different stages of their professional development.

We hope that every participant will have emerged from these workshops strengthened and equipped, and that possible future gatherings of a similar nature between our cohorts will be just as heart-warming!


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