Empathy: Walk a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes: Acting With David Lyle: Day Two, Britannia

Yesterday we focused on listening; today we focused on empathy. 

Day Two was a joyful, energetic, engaged and collaborative day led by seasoned television personality, David Lyle. 

David brings his unique Indigenous voice to every show he performs on. Before he became the host and the voice behind Nations at War, a gripping documentary series on APTN, David was a lead performer on APTN’s Health Nutz , had a recurring role on the CW Network show Arrow, and a featured role on CBC’s Arctic Air.

 He has a long and distinguished career as a screen and tv actor and director and can be seen in many additonal tv shows and movies including Alaska Daily, Ice Road Terror and Supernatural, to name a few. David is also an accomplished acting and dialect coach. 

What a pleasure and a gift to have David work with the youth! He was an outstanding role model! David brought so much insight into the craft and discipline and language of making films and brought out the best in the youth in a short time. Those who barely spoke at all yesterday came out of their shell.

David Lyle youthLEADarts guest artist works his ‘magic’.

We began our day with a pair of shoes in the middle of our circle. We asked what they saw…then what did the shoes mean/represent…walk a mile in someone else’s shoes…

We did this to frame the idea of acting, the art of taking on a character as well as showing support and understanding for those who need it. 

Students worked on using their voices and explored the art of using them (volume, emotion, pace, intention, character, diction). They did slates, filmed scripted scenes and made up short scenes of their own based on LEAD values. We watched everything back and discussed what they did well and what they can work towards improving. David introduced the over the shoulder shot and whip shots…so cool. 

Surprise of the day: There was a spontaneous dance party! Joy! David sat and played on the piano and students leapt onto the stage and had fun! 

Many of the youth we serve at youthLEADarts are vulnerable and thus we cannot publish photos or videos of them, but we can capture their transformation in words. Acting was a ‘fave’ activity for them, hands down. They collaborated, came together and encouraged their peers to succeed. 

When asked what they wanted to take away from the day and the week, they responded:

“I want to be less camera shy.” Mya

“I want to get better at expressing my emotions.” Marcia

“I want to be less nervous around an audience, be able to just be myself and not feel awkward.” Teya

Mr. B’s closing comments were, “I love how you (the students) went from being frightened in front of the camera to, ‘Yeah! My favourite part was acting!’”