Meet the Educators: Madeleine B.
Now that the academic year is off to a great start, we’re excited to introduce our friends and fans to another amazing educator who is making the Speak About It mission come alive. Hot off the heels of her first orientation tour, Madeleine has already spoken to thousands of students in her first month as a Speak About It educator.
Madeleine, or “Mama Duck” as her teammates affectionately call her, comes to Speak About It from New York by way of California. She worked with ED Olivia when she was a student at Drew University, where Olivia taught a class on applied theater and violence prevention. Says Madeleine, “In class we created theatrical models for talking about healthy relationships and consent and had a chance to speak with students and share these models with them. It opened up some pretty interesting dialogue.” Sounds familiar, huh? In many ways, Madeleine + Speak About It were meant to be!
Empathy building is central to Speak About It’s mission, and it’s what drew Madeleine to our work and to theatre to begin with. “Seeing someone hurting or ecstatic can take us back to our own personal experiences, and when we are all sharing the same common ground, we can truly have an open and real discussion. It stops being You vs. Me and become Us vs. The Problem,” she reflects. ”Theatre tugs at what is most human about us all, demanding for us to be accountable and truly think about our actions and their consequences.” What a beautiful sentiment about the power of drama and storytelling, and one that our educators feel day in and out doing this work.
In addition to having some wise things to say about the power of theatre, Madeleine also has myriad interests and skills on stage and off. In addition to performing, she has built a portfolio of skills as a stage manager, deviser, and more! Check out her answers to a few of our interview questions below.
Have you done anything like Speak About It before?
In addition to the class I took at Drew, I worked with a group called Phantom Projects in La Mirada, CA during my sophomore year of high school. I did a Teens on Tour show called ‘Center of the Universe’ that went to high schools and middle schools performing a show about bullying and harassment. Afterwards we had a Q&A discussion with the students where we got a chance to experience how impactful our show was, and talk about some tough subjects.
What is your favorite self-care practice?
Listening to my favorite musical soundtracks (go-tos are Hadestown, Head Over Heels, and Love Never Dies currently), taking a very long, warm shower, and playing Sims 4 on my laptop!
If you had to give a TED talk on something, what would it be?
How life is not linear and each life is completely unique to its own individual. When we start comparing our paths, whether it be relationships or careers or even grief, we lose sight of the singular journey we must take ourselves. I always have to remind myself that I cannot compare my Chapter Three to someone else’s Chapter Twelve. I just have to keep living my life and know that each chapter is going to be its own wild adventure.
If you could read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Can I put all the Harry Potter books into one massive book and have that count??
What song is giving you all the feels right now?
Ben Platt’s new album ‘Sing to Me Instead’ is just all the feels all the time, and so relatable to almost every part of life in some way it’s scary amazing. Definitely on repeat when I’m not listening to show tunes!
What is something you’re super proud of? Don’t be humble.
My senior year of college I earned the top award in my theatre department, alongside another kickass (or kick butt if I can’t swear!) human being after a very hectic but rewarding four years in the department. That final year I stage managed a massive musical with 60+ people involved, and directed a devised piece in NYC created from a NY program in our department with my peers. Both were absolutely exhausting but both were also two of the most important memories/experiences I have of my time at Drew. I am extremely proud of the work put in and honored by my department’s award. My name is even on a plaque next to all the previous award recipients in our department’s lobby which is really cool!
Speak About It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that partners with high schools and colleges to educate, entertain, and empower students to create positive change within their communities, advocate for and practice healthy relationship habits, and prevent sexual violence.
Copyright 2016 Speak About It, Inc. Website by Alexandra Valleau