Jessica has been developing, organizing, and facilitating workshops for thirteen years. She ran weekly workshops for The Lodestar Day Resource Center , at-risk youth at the Open Hands program for Tumbleweed, and at Art Awakenings in Phoenix, AZ. She also conducted weekly workshops at the women's house of City of Refuge in San Diego, CA, and currently conducts a weekly writing workshop at Folk Time, a mental health organization in Oregon City, OR.
Jessica's workshop curriculums are developed to suit the needs of her clients. She often incorporates other arts into curricula, activating the senses during writing exercises and forming connections between the writers' inside dialogue and the outside world. She has developed workshops for ages from six to eighty, and for a variety of developmental stages in adults.
Her workshops have included poetry, journaling, fiction, and creative non-fiction.
She also teams up with other local writers to facilitate writing through trauma workshops.
Jessica conducts performance workshops with her husband, Jonathan Oak. The workshop they've developed takes participants from writing and editing a piece they would like to perform to a final performance on stage.
The workshop uses techniques from short and long-form improv and spoken word performance to enhance participants' stage presence and go beyond simply reading their work to an audience. The curriculum covers everything from basic stagecraft to object work and voice dynamics.
Jonathan Oak is a seasoned performer. He has performed across the country as a musician and a writer. Jonathan has attended the National Poetry Slam competition as a competitor (three times) and as a coach (two times). He is the 2004 Southwest Haiku champion, and is on several audio compilations.
Jonathan Oak using the persona method to perform Jerry's Muppet Rant:
I believe everyone has an important story. Your voice matters. My goal in conducting workshops is simple: to help you explore writing as a way to tell that story. Whether or not you share your writing is up to you. Sometimes writing for yourself is enough.
I enjoy working with groups that just want to do writing prompts and journal, and I enjoy working with groups that want to learn the ins and outs of a specific type of writing. I'm here to facilitate, and I love the energy a room gets when a group of people are creating in it.
Interested in having me do a workshop for your group or organization? Let's talk about what you want from a workshop.