Shame. Shame and a soliloquy he remembers that sounded something like this: “What are you doing? You’re not good for this. I’m going to make a fool of myself. I can’t, what a shame! I can not believe it”. Those thoughts and feelings did not go away and did not go away, so, being aware of it, She set her goal to break the barrier that she herself was building until, finally, she managed to break through it. He acknowledges that at first he had a bad time, and that it was uncomfortable, and that too much was moving inside him, but he had set out to banish the feeling of ridicule and, “with a lot of effort” and although there was a moment in which he went blank, , managed to sign an improvised theater scene.
Eme, the initial with whom she prefers her identity to be preserved, confesses that participating in the social theater group that the Erguete Association launched this year was “a big surprise for me.” Along with other cohabitants, she is a user and resident in one of the addiction treatment support homes that the entity houses in Vigo. one of the first “actresses” who have had the opportunity to try a new bet by Érguete to improve self-esteem and promote new habits and environments for those people who are trying to overcome their addiction or who are already in the final phase of the process. And, after having tried this first experience, Eme, who had never before been part of a theater project except for school performances, where she obtained the leading role in Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood, is forceful when she states that “it was liberating.”
Accompanied by the teacher who taught the classes, Saray Gómez, and the director of the group, Pedro Rodríguez, Eme indicates that “the first day I had a bit of a bad time because I was not able to get rid of the feeling of shame, but seeing The others made me laugh a lot as a spectator. I had mixed feelings between discomfort and the desire to overcome that feeling that I was going to make a fool of myself. TOAlthough I had a bad time, it was a great discovery because I really liked it. Just like when a psychologist or a psychiatrist tells you to write, theater is therapeutic,” she says.
Likewise, this user of the entity points out that “it was very positive, not only because of the therapeutic connotation, it was very fun, you tried new things and it was a way to motivate yourself. What I experienced is that you do both internal work and external work and it is very worth it. With me they have made me want to continue rehearsing, because I managed get through those feelings of shame and play a small role of about ten minutes with another person. In the end you do it, you express your emotions and you achieve it.”
At his side, the social worker and teacher of the workshop in the Vigo entity, Saray Gómez refers to the fact that “theater is a tool that helps you overcome shyness.”, but also to control emotions, to become aware of how we feel, it helps to express yourself with your voice and gestures, it really helps you free yourself. That is the goal for me when I teach classes, I like that everyone feels better and that they see it as entertainment, a fun that helps them walk.”
It helps provide them with a connection to the real world and we break the isolation of consumer environments
Pedro Rodríguez was one of the people who promoted the performing arts group in Érguete after proposing it to the coordinator of the housing program, Javier Alonso, and emphasizes that “assessing what kind of cultural projects we could start, we thought of the theater because I am at in front of a group in Nigrán and we have verified that it is a very powerful tool, which works from the youngest to 88-year-olds. The intention is to bring the theater to people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it, and when I proposed it to the organization, they said yes. We tried it and we are very happy with the result, because the users received it well. It’s the first time it’s been done and we would like to be able to finish the project with a work, so that they see that their work is received with applause”.
From the entity’s point of view, Javier Alonso comments that this type of intervention with users is very positive, not only on an individual level, but also on a community level, since it improves coexistence. Another beneficial aspect for the coordinator of the supportive housing area is that “it helps provide us with a connection with the real world and we break up two consumption environments. We thus managed to connect them with a discipline with which they are able to express their emotions and open up to experiences or memories that were very closedat the same time that they discover something they like and that helps them feel useful”, he says.
After this first pilot project, and with such excellent results, Érguete hopes to continue creating its pool of actors and actresses and offer theater as an effective alternative against addictions.
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