Johanna de Ruyter on Losing Herself, the Ability to Listen, and Getting Your Creative Juices Flowing

This Thursday night we’ll be hosting a fun theatre, improvisation and embodiment meetup with Johanna de Ruyter called ‘Let’s Meetup and Get Our Creative Juices Moving!’ I caught up with Johanna this week to ask a bit more about her inspiration and practice being this intriguing event.

 Performer, facilitator and martial artist Johanna De Ruyter.

Performer, facilitator and martial artist Johanna De Ruyter.

What inspired you to organise a meet-up for people to get their creative juices flowing?
I ran a session for a group organised through a not-for-profit for organisations and participants in Western Sydney and lots of people were attracted to the session and wanted more. I think a lot of people don’t see themselves as creative and/or do not have a creative outlet so I want to offer a safe space for people to explore and strengthen their unique creativity which can be applied in a variety of chosen mediums.

Has creativity always been a part fo your life?
Yes the way I have moved through life has been through creative impulse – surprising, divergent, expressive, authentic.

How silly are you, between one and banana?
If by silly you mean playful then I would say I move between banana and one, and the more banana I can access the more creativity and connection I generate.

Is laughter truly the best medicine?
It’s one of the most enjoyable and available not to mention cheap!

Where does your knowledge behind the science of creativity come from?
I am more interested in the doing then the analysing but I have researched creativity as part of my training.

You have studied communication and performing arts?
Yes for many, many years now. The performing arts for me is all about communication and a very useful resource for communication, one that has focussed specifically on communication of ideas.

Where does your love of authentic connection and communication come from?
From my own experience of losing myself and finding myself through a theatre. I completed a 2 year Diploma of Movement at a unique drame school – The Drama Action Centre. It was located in grounds of the Rozelle hospital with a focus on physical theatre influenced by Jacque La Coque but it also combined personal development and group communication influenced by Psychodrama. It was very authentic, healing and creative and I find a lot of theatre training lacks the development of these skills especially useful in group collaborations and stable ego.

What kind of performances have you done?
Mask – Commedia and Basel, Bouffon – ugly, outcast clown, Clown, Improvised, Playback Theatre, Co devised scripted and unscripted.

How did you get into improvisation?
Through Drama Action training.

Wait. What?! MARTIAL ARTS?! HOW AFRAID SHOULD I BE?!
It is great training in managing your own power and strength, I know when I need to use it and not. You are so lovely I don’t think you will trigger my inner warrior ready to strike….

You also facilitate Leadership Presence training programs throughout the Asia Pacific region. What is one of the main things you think is important  to have in a leader?
The ability to listen, to share stories of learning, to excite their followers and support emerging leaders.

To conclude, if you were a marine life form, what would you be and why? 
Hmmmm a dugong because I love cows also and they are like sea cows – steady, strong and vegetarians.

 Lover of creativity, communication and canines; Johanna de Ruyter.

Lover of creativity, communication and canines; Johanna de Ruyter.

If you’d like to come and enjoy a fun night of doing theatre, improvisation, being silly and exploring embodiment, Johanna’s night ‘Let’s Meetup and Get Our Creative Juices Moving!’ will be on at Nauti this Thursday 20th September from 6:15pm - 8:30pm.