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David Goodwin
David Goodwin is an actor, playwright, puppeteer, and teaching artist who has been working in Dallas, Texas for over a decade.    He is currently an artistic company member with Kitchen Dog Theater and la Theatre de Marionette and was a member of Shakespeare Dallas’ artistic company from 2007 to 2011.   

He has been recognized by the Dallas Theatre Critics Forum for outstanding achievement in acting (2000),  playwrighting  (2002 and 2004), and puppet design (2000 and 2005).  He holds a BA in Theatre from SUNY Albany.

My Comments

The day we spent in West Dallas was illuminating, and coupled with the 'funds of knowledge' research we have been exposed to over the last few weeks, the way I go about trying to reach my students is definitely changing. I think the impact will be even greater the next time I begin to work in a new school, particularly in how I strategize my initial student recruitment efforts - to really endeavor to bring the parents along as partners in the process.
This focus on attending to and utilizing the gifts that our individual students bring to the table that the fellows have been immersed in these last few weeks calls to mind research I was exposed to while participating in performance coaching workshops for businesses. In the business world there is lot of noise being made right now about "matching" the communication style of your client - basically shifting tone, rate of speech, and volume to subtly match whomever one is trying to sell to. The evidence of the technique's utility is pretty staggering, people are 80% more likely to buy from you if you're matching their manner of communication. What this results in is business folk engaging in training with actors like myself to essentially teach them the art of subtle mimicry and improvisation. While this may seem somewhat mercenary, it makes perfect sense to me. Ultimately it means paying more attention to the person in front of you than to your own scripted and rehearsed sales pitch. It means fully recognizing that the most important client is the one you're currently speaking to. I think what we are doing as teaching artists looking more deeply at the conditions of our students' lives is parallel to this in some ways, albeit with a much more comprehensive level of observation and with the aim of teaching and awakening, instead of selling to. Still, it means paying a bit more attention to the student or family in front of you, and less to your scripted and rehearsed lesson. It means fully recognizing that the most important student is the one you're currently teaching.

Blog Post Title: Re: Big Thought Fellows