Trish Szymanski

Trish Szymanski


What do you do?


I am Trish Szymanski. I've been told I have a big head. That's okay, I say, because I wear a lot of hats. 

Some of the activities I engage in at a professional or semiprofessional level are singing, songwriting, acting, directing, and writing all kinds of works. I've received my training in these areas from a multitude of sources including higher education, private instruction and the experience of working with many conductors, directors, professors, and editors.

If I have to choose one word, and you're asking for a verb there, an action word, I have to say that I create. And I say this because I've been aware of this part of myself since I am very young, toddler age, maybe infant.

I grew up in a multilingual household which led to my learning and familiarity with languages besides my native American English. I have tutored English language arts informally off and on throughout my adult life, and sometimes formally.

I think of language as an extraordinary tool that we, homo sapiens sapiens, evolved to do. Humans do language. So practicing our innate skill awarely and persistently brings me great joy, a joy second only to the look on a student’s face when they grasp a concept or use the right tense.

In the last few years, after some decades of acting in a wide range of theatrical works and genres, I started teaching introductory level acting and small group scene study. The student base is quite different, but what I bring to them is related.

Food is a significant part of my community service. I share my knowledge and techniques freely with my fellow volunteers cooks and chefs.


Who do you do it for?

Anyone who asks for help as long as it fits with my resources and schedule.

I offer a few acting workshops, including two with mostly different kinds of students, these are Basic acting and improv and Scene study.

What these classes have in common for me is the chance to help actors become more self reflective, more confident in the value of doing so, more fluid in their onstage risk assessment. Essentially, it's about getting present and getting real.

With language arts my students have ranged in age from 6 to 60. The children are all born and educated here and first-generation. Their parents are educated elsewhere and are all generally fluent in English. At home, however, the parents tend to speak in their mother tongue or tongues. Meanwhile, the children speak all English at school, except maybe for a foreign language class.

I do love teaching adults from all over the world, people who are here with some kind of chance and are serious about making the most out of it.

By the way, I am first generation too, my parents and sisters refugees from Europe after World War II.


Why do you do it?

Teaching gives me a feeling of having made undeniably a difference in a person's life. I think it is a fundamentally human activity, this learning-teaching. 


How did you start?



What makes it unique?



What do you love about it?

Haha. Well, it's kind of a trick I learned. I love connecting with people, and helping them, and I love learning. Teaching is a good way, maybe the best way to keep all of that going. Constant re-evaluation, recalibration, getting to know things, people, myself. Teaching in its natural form is an accelerated learning activity for the teacher too.

As an artist and community advocate (and sometimes activist), I understand and feel on the deepest level the volume of wisdom in each of us.

Despite my compulsion at times to work in words, I do have an inner drive to connect with others on planes outside of words. Mentoring our young people is so rewarding for me. It can be hanging out and listening to the child or young person talk about whatever. I want them to feel that their thoughts are worth sharing, their ideas are inspired.

As much as learning through gathering knowledge and experimenting and improvising, this self awareness practice can be a part of how I teach. But it isn’t extra work. It’s getting to be more me, and when a student lets me in, kapow.. win win


How do you / does it make learning awesome?



Anything else you’d like to share?