Demontrating and Doing︎︎︎
In one exercise that I have done with beginning students I give a simple set of instructions:

a) demonstrate something that you know, and

b) do something that you have never done before.

I ask them to use real materials, pretend nothing, and engage in a minimum of language when presenting the work.

The conversation afterwards quickly explores the psychological differences between knowing and not knowing, and what the role of a witness is in both versions.  The students discuss how they feel about doing something in front of others, and how it feels when they know what they are doing vs. not knowing what will happen.

This exercise allows one to practice, to develop trust.  If one is going to take risks, then one must be prepared to fail.  It is important to experience being less than successful in an endeavor, to understand that one can survive it. And generally the public will retain respect for the effort, recognizing perhaps better than one’s self that no one is perfect.  It is also probable that one learns more from something that hasn’t worked as envisioned than if it had gone exactly according to plan.  Other possibilities open up that probably hadn’t been initially considered.

︎︎︎from Marilyn Arsem