Hi I’m Sarah Guillot, the ‘brains’ behind Creative Education. (I wanted to say brawn, but I didn’t want to mislead you this early in the relationship.)
I’m a Performing Arts Education Consultant, which is a fancy way of saying I am a weird hybrid teacher who teaches all different artsy things in lots of different in-school and after-school situations.
I gained my hybrid status by first training as an actor, then moving into directing, then teaching. Only it wasn’t quite as linear as that. Here’s my little story:
I trained for 5 years at Edith Cowan University in Drama Studies and Contemporary Performance, with a focus on devising new plays, Shakespeare, and pretending to be a tree. After university, I worked as an actor and theatre director for almost a decade - during which time I was also teaching for the wonderful Australian Girls Choir, which got me hooked on teaching. That’s when I realised that teaching is infinitely more rewarding than performing for a living, because small children are full of hope and you can live vicariously through them. It’s quite wonderful, and also a little terrifying. If you’ve ever seen a small child interact with an Elf on the Shelf then you’ll know exactly what I mean. So I went back to uni and got my Grad Dip in Primary Education.
That’s the short version. The slightly longer version includes: I was mentored by James Evans at Bell Shakespeare for a short while, but then got distracted and started my own theatre company dedicated to adapting Shakespeare for young audiences. Then I tried my hand at directing opera with OperaBox, then experimented with stage direction for choirs with Voyces, and also trained as a puppeteer with Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. After completing my Graduate Diploma of Education, I was absolutely determined to focus on Primary school teaching, but then I saw something shiny. That shiny thing was the Music and Production Coordinator position at the Australian Girls Choir, which is still a very sparkly part of my life.
The other sparkly parts of my life involve visiting drama and music classrooms to help with various bits and bobs, including helping ATAR Drama students with their Original Solo Performances. After doing this for a little while, I thought I’d write a book about my way of approaching the OSPs, which is based on my experience in devised theatre. This ebook is currently for sale in my store. This year I decided I would go one step further and create an online course, which was just released in July this year. With all these bits and bobs happening, I thought it would be smart assemble these endeavours under the title Creative Education, because a) I didn’t think anyone would be able to pronounce* or spell my last name correctly if I used it in a URL and b) it kind of explains the delightful and delicious hodge-podge that is my creative teaching practice.
If my teaching practice was a cake, I think it would be like one of those Pinterest fails where the icing is sliding off the outside and the inside looks like a packet of Smarties got drunk and tried to repaint the garage, but the judges say, “The texture of this cake is absolutely perfect. I love that you added a hint of lemon – so unexpected! - but you probably didn’t need quite so many sprinkles. And quite honestly, the edible glitter is making me dizzy.” If you feel like partaking in this particular cake, please feel free to contact me. I can bring the cake to your school. Silver platter optional. /end analogy /end bio
*It’s pronounced ‘Ghee-yo’, with a hard G. But I won’t be offended if you pronounce it Gillet, Gwee-yo, or Gwillet. Anything else is unacceptable.