The DEFY GRAVITY workshop

A one day workshop for young performers


The world is changing.  The collapse of the banking system, and the subsequent cuts to public services and the arts have added fear to an already unstable world.

The traditional advice in these circumstances is to ‘up our game’, to compete, to rise above the circumstances.  But those who have embarked on a career in the arts are already pushing themselves to the limit.  It is a difficult field to enter and a highly competitive environment in which to survive, let alone thrive.

The traditional mindset of the young performer is a precarious mix of self belief and self doubt.  Add this to the mindset of the average young person, brilliantly described here by Terri Apter.

“Adolescents swing from euphoric self-confidence and a kind of narcissistic strength in which they feel invulnerable and even immortal, to despair, self-emptiness, self-deprecation. At the same time they seem to see an emerging self that is unique and wonderful, they suffer an intense envy which tears narcissism into shreds, and makes other people’s qualities hit them like an attack of lasers”.

The good news is that change always clears the way for new possibilities.  We’ve gone as far as we can go in the ‘pushing’ mode.  The average young person’s CV is now an exhausting read…academic excellence, extra curricular activities, even holidays have been turned into travel adventures that ‘broaden the mind’.  We are raising a nation of children that seem to be a mile wide and an inch deep.

Defy Gravity is a workshop aimed at this issue of depth.  It aspires to plant the seed of confidence so deep that it grounds the performer in a totally different way.  This is a confidence that bypasses the ego with its agenda for elation and despair, arrogance and self doubt.



The workshop is broken down into a four parts over one day or two half days.  Each aspect is designed to create new confidence via a shared experience and practical outcomes.

  1. Objective: Identifying patterns of behaviour, both positive and negative.  Gaining insight into motivations and needs.  Uncovering fears and beliefs.
  1. Objective: Awareness of each individual’s natural style of relating.  Discovering the different paths to success and ways to establish clear boundaries en route.
  1. Objective: Building assertiveness and self-confidence.  Finding the authentic voice.
  1. Objective: Maintaining the new vision. Tools and techniques for dealing with resistance, the force that challenges growth or change.

Each Module is made up of rich and important exercises together with role-play. Each phase and theme is worked in teams and explored using archetypes.  Each archetype and its meaning is explained fully at the outset of each part of the program.

These archetypes include the survival roles of:-





By becoming aware of and challenging these universal core patterns we can transform them into allies rather than adversaries.

We then identify the individual archetypes that become apparent through the role plays:-









In this way we can explore, at an unconscious level, new ways in which we can show up fully with our energy and individual talent.  This helps to overcome the default pattern of ruthless competition that education and society seem to promote and reward.  A strategy of ‘I’m better than you’ can create the energy and drive for success, but it comes at the cost of alienating and separating us from others, leaving us feeling vulnerable and unsupported.

Summary of skills

We recognise the strategies we use to defend ourselves when we feel threatened or humiliated.

We create better strategies that honour our boundaries and integrity.

We identify our own personal charisma rather than competing with another’s formula for success.

We clarify the vision for our highest creative potential.

We discern the difference between the core strength of inner knowing and the fragile confidence of the ego.

We learn how to tap into the high altitudes of intuition while being fully grounded in the body – this is the Defy Gravity experience.