Where do I begin. I suppose I'll start with the circle that each person found themselves in on the first day of the PEP intensive. I'll start with my first reaction of being in a room with people my age, and people more than twice my age and that it took less than ten minutes of open discussion for me to gather that everyone there thought they sucked at what they did, but loved the craft anyway. "You mean I'll be 50 years old and I still won't think I'm good enough? I'll be this old, and still tell myself all the negative things I cripple myself with today?" I asked myself these questions while I looked around the new but warm room. After five days with this dynamic group, not only did I get to know and grow friendships with people from all different parts of the world, not only did I get to practice and perform some of my favorite songs and material, I also answered my own questions. And the answers are, "yes Alex, you may still be 50 and be just as hard on yourself as you are today, but, you now have the tools and guidance you need to keep you getting up on stage, confident, and proud, every time. You now have to the tools to deal with the stage fright that is not going anywhere. Not to mention, you will always have this week to look back on, and can remind yourself of the endless support and reassurance you got from a group of talented individuals and a very special instructor, who might I add, knows exactly what she's talking about." I recommend without question, Wilma Wever's Performance Empowering Intensive to all ages, at all levels, if they are looking to love what they do, and love it while they are doing it. Because let's be honest, it's quite hard to look at yourself and say,"I did that, and I did it good."
Alexandra Fortin as Karen in The Children's Hour, final scene. BFA Acting 2, Marymount Manhattan college .
At any time during the workshop I discovered many things about myself and about the subtleties to be a great performer. I learned how to connect with my feelings, my thoughts and my heart when I sing. I have learned something sensational, how to communicate through my voice, how to sing with my song.
The workshop has allowed me to maximize my potential and I have learned how to put aside what does not serve me. PEP offered me a different way to improve my song and my performance. PEP was also an experience that improved some other aspects of my life. I discovered the wonder of extending my arms and to express what is inside.
Each of the participants of the workshop taught me a lot. Many different ways of feeling and thinking, a lot of wealth from different parts of world.
Many things in life are very special. The Performing Arts have a very special place for me. Throughout the course I have received a great workout. Wilma represents an extraordinary opportunity to improve your skills in the performing arts.
Wilma thank you very much for your great advice.
Rafael Perez Flores at the Don't Tell Mama Theater in New York City, February 2016
"I came all the way from Belgium to participate in the PEP Intensive workshop in January 2016 and it was more than worth it. PEP helped me in many ways. I feel better connected with my body, I found a new way to use my voice, I'm freer. PEP inspired me on many different levels and I'm determined to keep following my dream. I strongly recommend every singer, actor, performer to take PEP. And, Wilma Wever is een tof wijf."
Roberto Simone As Ridder Golo in the World Premiere at the Burgfestspiele Mayen, Germany, 2015
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
I love this quote because it reflects exactly how I used to think about myself as a peformer, a singer and a human being in general. But since the PEP experiencing I learned to tackle my self created barriers, and that anything is possible if you only allow yourelf to believe you have the talent and skills to become the performer you want to be. Fear can really be a trap, and the more you dwell on it, the more you will feel you belong there. Wilma really knows how to pull you out of that scary spot and gives you the conviction you need to get to a place where you feel happy, secure and ready to take on anything that comes your way! All you need is to be you,100%!
Valentina Arena as Kitty in Go West with Aida Cruise Lines
"I used to be somewhat dismissive of these kind of training because I thought that in the end it all came down to being prepared, but there is more to it: being prepared is an essential aspect of your performance but not the only aspect to be aware of: the environment and our daily mindset will add unexpected challenges to every rendition of a piece, and those challenges can and must be tackled in a very specific way: the PEP way."
Maite Uzal, Pearl Theater, Rebel Theater, Repertorio Español NYC, Madrid
PEP allowed me to get more conscious about myself, more focused on my personal goals and my dreams. At the same time it helped me to improve my singing skills. PEP gave me a new box of tools that helps me to perform with all the passion of my heart, with the power of my soul and above all, that allows me to enjoy myself even more in each performance, in each song.
The ability to sing better, with my own personality, learning new acting skills and getting a new vision of what a great performance takes, were only some of those new invaluable tools.
Being in New York for the workshop was one of the best experiences in my life. I was able to find new amazing and supportive friends from around the world, and the group became sort of a family with Wilma as the heart of it. She is an amazing human being that inspired all of us with her teaching, with her personal touch, with her passion.
I consider being onstage a great privilege that I enjoy most in my life, but having a supportive group of encouraging friends like the ones I found at PEP makes the big difference.
To sing is a gift, but to perform is MAGIC!
Alejandro Pteuffer Al as Thenardier in Les Miserables with Artestudio, Mexico City.
Under Wilma's guidance and through her exercises in PEP workshops, I learned to let go of my self-criticism and doubts, which had been sabotaging my creativity. I rediscovered a sense of creative freedom - everything I do now, feels like a credible choice, like the real me. It was a self-opening and confidence-boosting experience."
Charles Pang in the Story of Yu-Huan at Theater for the New City, NYC, 2014
Thanks to PEP I rediscovered myself. I have new tools as an artist but most of all, as a person. Even if you are not an actor, it is important to get to know yourself and love who you are! PEP helps you do that.
Participating in PEP was what I needed. After working really hard on my performing technique as an actor, singer and dancer, I found myself thinking too much and criticizing myself while being on stage, instead of being in the moment and enjoying what I love doing most.
In the intensive PEP workshop I worked on breathing, visualization exercises, body relaxation, positive thoughts, acting games and made new friends and had fun! And, I feel more confident and ENJOY being on stage again.
Agustina Berenguer playing convincingly multiple characters in '1989' A Musical Play, Directed by Tatiana Pandiani at the Connelly Theater, NYC (with Iñaki Baldasarre)
I took the PEP Intensive with Wilma Wever in February 2016 and I have to say I didn’t change, I TRANSFORMED into a completely new performer. Getting in touch with your fears and thoughts about how something has to be makes it possible to transform all of that into Freedom and complete Self-expression. I am so happy I took this class and what I found for myself in it. I advise every actor to take PEP because you can find parts of yourself that you didn’t even think existed.
With different exercises such as, breathing, Improvisation and psychological exercises you get to the bottom of your unconscious mind and you get to unlock the gates to your most precious tools for self- expression.
In a summary, by doing this class and completely diving in and trying out new stuff you can find yourself in the purest from. And all you need to be is 'unique-you', because there is no one else like you. Once you find that for yourself you can shine on stage and in your life as a human being.
Wilma is also one of the best teachers for this class, with her guidance and understanding of the arts and human beings/ artists she can grasp your talent and bring it to the surface in an instant.
But you have to be willing to dive into the unknown sea.
So my advice, get yourself some goggles and go on a diving adventure and bring back all the treasures you can find on the way.
Max Jadin performing 'Neverland' in the Don't Tell Mama Theater, NYC
I started taking PEP classes at AMDA during my second semester. I immediately realized that those two hours a week gave me the strength and life skills I needed to "survive" (with success) all the stress and challenges that performers face on a daily basis. I've learned to put my experiences in a different perspective, analyze them and reflect on how to better approach difficulties on and off stage. It was basically performers' therapy. I've acquired invaluable tools. To name a few, I now understand how to take criticism in a constructive manner, to work with difficult scene partners and directors, to let go of stage fright, and, most importantly, I've learned how to believe in myself and never give up on my passion. Of course, it definitely helped that Wilma is such a supportive, attentive, caring and skilled teacher.
Veronica Maccari at the Festival of Cannes Red Carpet, 2015