“Imagination, working at full strength, can shake us out of our fatal, adoring self-absorption, and make us look up and see—with terror or with relief—that the world does not in fact belong to us at all.”
— Ursula K Le Guin
What is a Story Midwife? Good question. Gabriel doesn't entirely know yet. Here's what they've got so far:
The Imagination is alive and breathing and, though it has no physical structure, it is a place. I mean this in a concrete, non-metaphorical way. The Imagination is a realm, one of infinite scope and possibility, one that belongs to no one, over which no one is master.
Artists are taught that there are only certain spaces in the Imagination we are allowed to travel, that there are only certain things we are allowed to bring back with us, and that certain kinds of people have greater access to imaginative freedom than others. We are taught to cut ourselves off from our fullest capacities, in order to fit a form someone else has chosen for us.
Material success. The creation of great art. The healing of our wounded world. These can all be worthy goals for the artist. However, the first task of the free artist must be a commitment to wholeness of one's being. We must become embodied. We must learn to live fully and freely in all of our bodies—physical, energetic, imaginary. A vital step in this process of becoming is the cultivation of a loving, nourishing, collaborative relationship with the living, breathing Imagination.
There is no one best path. We each come to freedom by our own way. As your Story Midwife, it would be my job to help you find your own path, through methods wild and strange and spiritual, while also being grounded and pragmatic and efficacious. I bring to bear all my years of experience telling and studying stories, making theater, working intensively with renowned acting teachers and improvisation teachers, spiritual teachers and energy healers, witches and shamans, all while living in deep, devoted spiritual practice, to help you discover your own path of artistic freedom.
If you'll have me, I will walk alongside you for a time, offer a gentle guiding hand, and help you give birth to the free artist within.
- Solo Performers
- Whether you're a monologuist, poet, performance artist, stand-up comedian, this practice can help grow new ease, vibrancy, clarity, and freedom into your performances
- This practice will help you craft compelling audition pieces, develop living, radiant characters, and create a generative, ever-deepening artistic life
- Directors & Producers
- Gabriel can join your productions on a consulting basis and offer experiments, games, and practices to help you grow intimate, joyful, fluid, playful ensembles
- Any artist who dreams of bringing fuller embodiment and freer imagination to their work
“Gabriel Rodriguez is a unique theatre artist. Their profound grasp and understanding of the pure essence of theatre, and of story, is rare in one so young. There abides in Gabriel, I believe, a great need and desire to find and bring forward — in their own innovative way — the key to the truth and vitality of their and our own story and good journey. I can think of no greater pleasure and privilege than to travel with them on this road."
— Ted Pugh, actor, world-renowned acting teacher, co-founder of The Michael Chekhov School
“In case you are attracted by the world of the imagination, and you seek to enliven it, allowing it to be available to you for artistic purposes, enabling you to broaden your perspective of what is possible, seek out Gabriel Rodriguez as your mentor. Being a young person living in the age of the screen, which can supply all of your images for you, Gabriel is unique in their capacity to think, live, and image creatively, beyond the ordinary and conventional, not bound by outside stimulations. This is a rare gift, one to be nourished and cherished, one desperately needed in our time.”
— Fern Sloan, actor, world-renowned acting teacher, co-founder of The Michael Chekhov School
“Gabriel Rodriguez shows the qualities of a consummate and gifted artist. They live in conversation with eternal being, the numinous, with those creative forces that unfold and evolve the world. An excellent collaborator, and communally inspired, Gabriel tirelessly hazards the unknown in a relentless, extraordinarily compassionate, pursuit of transformation, not just for themself but for the world. It is an inspiration and a creative joy to work with the presence they bring to any process.”
— David Anderson, actor, teacher, Founding Artistic Director of Walking the dog Theater
“Gabriel is perfectly situated to offer guidance in service of artists more fully exploring and locating their deeper creativities. Not only is Gabriel versed in performance technique(s) but they also have the artist's sensitivity, which is something that cannot be taught. There is a generous and spacious impulse running through their work, one which allows the performer to disentangle from habits and stoppages which may keep them from their truest work. Gabriel is a true servant to the performer and the performance."
— Craig Mathers, actor, acting teacher
“Gabriel is a master in presence work; their creative approach links daily practice with artistic practice. If you are fed up with “professors” “projecting” onto you, and ready for a person who truly listens, Gabriel is the guide for you!”
— Wednesday Derrico, director, producer, performer, Co-Founder of Experimental Bitch Presents
“Gabriel is a sensitive, intuitive, and generous collaborator. I have always felt that I could come to them in my most vulnerable, discombobulated, or confused state, and I would still be met with patience and understanding. Gabriel is a gift to anyone who is looking for guidance or just a joyous presence in any room.”
— Josephine Elwood, IRNE award-nominated actor
"I have never met someone who sees the human spirit quite as clearly as Gabriel. They are at once both incredibly astral and pragmatic, which proves to be a remarkably unique talent for crafting work that studies the intricate grandeur of a world the rest of us can't help but fumble through. They are a most delightful oddity and a joy to create with."
— Nicholas Medvescek, producer, graphic designer
“Gabriel is an incredibly skilled actor, an inspired storyteller and an innovative theater-maker. With astute insight and immense compassion, they are one of my most valued collaborators. To learn from Gabriel is exciting and expansive."
— Misha Lambert, performer, poet
“As an artist, Gabriel is always tuned into the truth of a story. They pursue not what they want to be true or to happen, but what actually happens when you let the story lead. Not just “making up a story” but more uncovering it through asking it, listening it, playing it into being. There’s always a feeling of depth and history to their characters and the stories they tell. It’s as if each element within a story could continue to unfold, that there’s nothing that doesn’t belong to or is not vital in the story. Each part is the whole.”
— Valorie Kissel, actor, designer