About Me

Welcome welcome!
ma and I for grad.JPG
My mother and I celebrating my graduation.
(photo credit Terry Colyer)
What I look like as a paper bag puppet.
As a therapeutic play facilitator, I offer opportunities for personal development through adult play, process-oriented theatre, theatrical clowning, and earth connection.  This work is especially for those struggling with anxiety, depression, or shyness who wish to have a stronger sense of connection to self, earth, and others.
Narrative biography (Artist and academic CVs to follow)
I was lucky to meet my first mentor at age 16 at Moss Street Market in Victoria; Lear Mios taught me holistic spirituality and psychology, earthy feminism, and how to laugh at myself. 
From 1998-2004, I studied a BA in Latin American literature and poetry at the University of Victoria.  The poetic humour and fantasy of magical realism and the emotions and images in poetry were wonderful training for the emotional acrobatics and sensibilities of clowning.  During this time, I worked facilitating groups of children and youth.  They taught me much about what it means to live with curiosity and playfulness.  I also travelled to Mexico, Guatemala, or Costa Rica to live/work/study during these years.  I am deeply thankful to the friends I made in these places and what they taught me about generosity and warm hearted living, not to mention dance moves.
In 2006, I moved to Salt Spring Island, where I began a deep apprenticeship not only in organic gardening and seed saving at a yoga center but also in rich relationships with the human and non-human world and what it means to belong.
In 2008, I moved again to the artistic and cultural cauldron of Montréal.  Here I met and trained with my energy work teacher Monika Muller in tantra, energy healing, and shamanic courses.  I also participated in many improvisation, theatrical salsa, and alternative theatre and movement classes.
From 2009-2011, I completed a master’s in applied community psychology at Concordia University.  As part of this experience, I helped initiate a green alley project in a neighbourhood block in Verdun, QC.  This work blended storytelling, permaculture, holistic education, and sacred activism.  It was an honour to be part of the community that formed around the alley greening project.
In 2012, while running my business in Biocosmic Energy Healing, I had a dream that I received a client at the door wearing a tutu and a lamp shade on my head.  I also began to receive curious combinations of words that moved through my head that winter: ecology, clowning, storytelling.  Environment, clowning, theatre.  I decided to learn to clown and bring together these threads together into a doctoral study towards a healing modality in service to others.  Sometimes silly, sometimes somber, clowning is performance in communion with all beings, human and non-human, all elements, all emotions.  Clown shows up as a unit of humanity with all of our shadowy parts shared in a loving light.  Clown asks, “What about the heart?” (Don Rieder).
My influences and mentors have included:
~my family, particularly my parents Mark and Pam for raising me and for their love and support, my siblings Jenny, Tim, and Carla, my grandparents Ruth and Craig, John and Doreen, my aunties and uncles in the Hyslop, Nicholls, and Vickers clans
~Nature-culture and herbal study with Dan Jason, Earl Claxton Jr., Jean-Claude Catry, Owen Bridge, Dawn Bramadat, Brian Mertins, time spent with the Lilloet nation and Debaj theatre, the Bullocks Brothers
~energy work learning with Debrae Firehawk and Monika Muller
~natural beekeeping with Shirley and Klaus Langpohl
~community study with Youth Challenge International, Heartroot Farm, The Deanery Project, Nan’s Rock Shop, Maya Pedal, and Heartseed Farm
~yoga, meditation, nutrition, non-violent communication through live-in membership at the Saltspring Center of Yoga
~theatre/movement/clown study with Paula Plater-Galloway, Salsa Descalza, Sue Proctor, Nadia Cicurel and Promito Playback, Kit Brennan, John Turner, Mike Kennard, Jason Butler, Vivian Gladwell, Blondine Maurice, Elise Deguire, and Nayana Fielkov
~academic mentorship with Satoshi Ikeda, Warren Linds, Catherine Moore, Patrick Leroux, and Karl Hele
I am grateful to my Celtic, French, and Germanic ancestors, my blood and spirit families, my communities, and the lands of the Alberta foothills, the Western Gulf islands, the isthmus of Central America, the mountains of Mexico, the Monteregian Hills of Montreal, and the fertile Annapolis Valley / Mi’kma’ki that have supported me thus far.   I am currently living in the Kootenays on unceded Sinixt, Ktunaxa, and Sylix land.

Artist CV:

Languages: English, French, Spanish

Membership: Theatre Nova Scotia

Education and Training

  • 2014 – 2019. Doctor of Philosophy. Natural Clowning as Inquiry: A Research-Creation Study. Individualized Program, Concordia University, Montréal, QC.
  • 2017. Boot Camp, Joey & Auguste. Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance, Manitoulin Island, ON.
  • 2015 – 2016. Naturalist Coaching. Brian Mertins, Montréal, QC; Ship Harbour, NS; Fall River, NS.
  • 2015. European Clown. Elise Deguire, La Caserne 18-30, Montréal, QC.
  • 2015. Butoh. Diego Piñon, Studio 303, Montréal, QC.
  • 2014. Playback Theatre. Promito Playback, The Freestanding Room, Montréal, QC
  • 2014. European Clown. Nose to Nose Inner Clown, Embracing the Unexpected, Montréal, QC.
  • 2014. Clown and Mask. Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance, Manitoulin Island, ON.
  • 2014. European Clown. Sue Proctor, Concordia University, Montréal, QC.
  • 2008-2014. Barefoot Salsa Dance. Salsa Descalza Collective, Montréal, QC.
  • 2014. European Clown. Nadia Cicurel, The Freestanding Room, Montréal, QC.
  • 2013. Improvisation. Improv Montréal, Montréal, QC.
  • 2013. Vocal Training. Moe Clark, Montréal, QC.
  • 2013. European Clown. Nose to Nose Inner Clown, Courage to Be, Montréal, QC.
  • 2012. Contact Improvisation. Erin Dace Trudell, Leviathan Studio, Lasqueti Island, BC.
  • 2011. Art, Land, and Community Internship, Heartroot Farm, Audet, QC.
  • 2009-2011. Master of Arts. Community Psychology. Individualized Program, Concordia University, QC.
  • 2009-2011. Holistic Healing, Monika Muller, Montréal, QC.
  • 2008. Community Theatre and Commedia Dell’Arte. Kate Rubins Theatre, Victoria, BC.
  • 2008. Improvisation. Theatre St. Catherine, Montréal, QC.
  • 2006-2008. Community Agriculture Apprenticeship, Salt Spring Center of Yoga, Salt Spring Island, BC.
  • 1998-2004. Bachelor of Arts. Latin American Literature and Poetry, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC.

Natural Clown Public Presentations and Performances

  • 2018. Natural Clowning, ArtsPlace, Annapolis Royal, NS.
  • 2018. Natural Clowning: A Research-Creation Study in Physical Clowning and Land Presence, National Indigenous Physical Activity and Wellness Conference, Vancouver, BC.
  • 2018. Doctora Doctora, The Capitol Open Stage, Middleton, NS.
  • 2018. Beep Beach, Broken Leg Theatre, Wolfville, NS.
  • 2018. The Amethyst Cove Song, Night Kitchen, Wolfville, NS.
  • 2018. Fabo, The Capitol Open Stage, Middleton, NS.
  • 2017. We’re Looking for a Feeling: Une Étude Autoethnographique sur les Relations entre Clown Through Mask et Connection avec la Terre, Montréal Clowning Festival, Montréal, QC.
  • 2016. Natural Clowning: A performance autoethnography study in nature communication and theatrical clowning, Canadian Society for Education through Art (CSEA) conference, Victoria, BC.
  • 2016. Natural Clowning: Wayfinding Towards Connection and Flow, International Outdoor Education Research Conference, Sydney, NS.
  • 2015. The History of Magic, Circus of the Normal, Upper Economy, NS.
  • 2015. Improvisations on Diversity Issues, The Living Histories Ensemble, Vanier College, Montréal, QC. (Paid artist/researcher fee).
  • 2015. Oily Business, People’s Potato at Concordia University, Montréal, QC.
  • 2015. What is this New World?, Just Watch Me! Open Stage, Concordia University, Montréal, QC.
  • 2012. Mary and the Seal, Montréal Storytellers’ Guild, Montréal, QC.
  • 2012. Fleur Bleu, Regroupement des Conteurs du Québec, Sherbrooke, QC.

Community Engaged Art – Natural Clowning

  • 2018 – present. Laughing and Singing Our Way Through Emotions, Nan’s Rock Shop, Wilmot, NS; Victoria, BC.
  • 2016 – present. Improvisation. Perform! Nova Scotia, various school locations, NS.
  • 2017. Clowning, Youth Company Productions Limited, Annapolis Royal, NS.
  • 2016 – 2017. Theatrical Salsa, Nan’s Rock Shop, Wilmot, NS.
  • 2016. Musical Improvisation, Heartseed Farm, Nictaux, NS
  • 2015. Natural Clowning, The Deanery Project, Ship Harbour, NS.
  • 2014. Clowning, Hexagram, Concordia University, Montréal, QC.
  • 2014. Natural Clowning Lab, The Hermit Lab, Killaloe, ON.
  • 2013. Gardening Through Song and Games, Un Plant de Tomate à La Fois, Verdun, QC.
  • 2011. Theatrical Salsa, Heartroot Farm, Audet, NS.
  • 2006-2007. Spanish Through Song and Games, Wolf Valley and Salt Spring Center School, Salt Spring Island, BC.
  • 2001-2002. Sunship Earth (ecological immersion through play), Rocky Mountain YMCA, Seebe, AB.
  • 2000-2006. Outdoor and Creative Facilitation, YMCA/YWCA of Vancouver Island, Rocky Mountain YMCA, Victoria, BC, Seebe, AB

Awards and Grants

  • 2018. Conference and Exhibition Award, Concordia University, Montréal, QC.
  • 2017. Scholarship, Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance, Manitoulin Island, ON.
  • 2017. Scholarship, ArtsPlace, Annapolis Royal, NS.
  • 2017. Conference and Exhibition Award, Concordia University, Montréal, QC.
  • 2016. Conference and Exhibition Award, Concordia University, Montréal, QC.


  • 2015. Pilot Artist in Residence, The Deanery Project, Ship Harbour, NS.
  • 2014. Visiting Artist, The Hermit Lab, Killaloe, ON
  • 2014. Visiting Artist, Annapolis Seeds, Nictaux, NS.


  • 2018. Linds, W., Goulet, L., Hyslop, M., and Jasso, V. Weechi Metuwe Mitowin: Playing Games of Presence with Aboriginal Youth in Saskatchewan. International Journal of Play, 7(1), 41-59.
  • 2017. Hyslop, M. Reflections on ‘Welcome to Natural Clowning’: A performance autoethnography. Canadian Art Teacher, 15(2).
  • 2017. Hyslop, M. Clown and fool as voice. Journal of Childhood Studies, 42(3).
Academic CV


English: fluent (spoken, written, aural)

French: intermediate-advanced (aural, spoken), intermediate (written)

Spanish: fluent (spoken, aural), intermediate-advanced (written)


Doctor of Philosophy – Individualized Program: Applied Positive Psychology                

Concordia University, Individualized Program, Montréal, QC.  2019

Master of Arts – Individualized Program: Applied Community Psychology                  

Concordia University, Individualized Program, Montréal, QC. 2014

Bachelor of Arts with Distinction: Spanish and Latin American Literature

University of Victoria, Victoria, BC. 2004

Teaching Experience                                                                    

Continuing Education Instructor for Positive Mental Health                                              

Killaloe, ON; Montréal, QC; Wilmot, NS; Kentville, NS; Victoria, BC. 2016-Present

  • Create curriculum: Psychomotor (collaborative improvisation exercises), affective (guided meditation, arts-based reflective activities), cognitive (dialogue and written handouts on affective education, relating activities to affective or creative intelligence).
  • Facilitate workshops in theatrical improvisation and clowning and positive mental health

Community Theatre Instructor                                                                                              

Ship Harbour, NS; Kingston, NS; Truro, NS, 2015-Present

  • Create curriculum: Psychomotor (theatre exercises), cognitive (relating activities to an improvisation or collaborative creation framework), affective (meditation, arts-based reflective activity).
  • Facilitate theatre workshops for theatre skills for middle and high school students in both French and English for The Deanery Project and Perform! Nova Scotia


Concordia University, Montréal, QC, 2014.

  • Completed 32 hour Graduate Seminar in University Teaching: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor learning objectives, learning styles, teaching to diversity, active learning, group contracts.
  • Created syllabus and teaching philosophy statement
  • Completed activities in learning styles and technological learning
  • Created and taught mini lesson and received peer and facilitator feedback: “good time management”, “a calm and inviting facilitation style”, “fun” 

Teacher Assistant                                                                                                                   

Concordia University, Montréal, QC, 2010

  • Prepared and taught weekly mini-lectures for Political Sociology of Food undergraduate course
  • Marked and graded weekly papers for ten weeks

Spanish Teacher                                                                                                                    

Wolf Valley School and Salt Spring Centre School, Salt Spring Island, BC, 2007-2008

  • Created curriculum for Spanish classes for groups of 5-10 children
  • Taught through games, songs, drama, art.


University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, 2001-2004

  • Supported second language learner students with language and computer assisted language learning issues at the Computer Assisted Language Learning (C.A.L.L.) Facility (Spanish, English, and French)

Youth Facilitator                                                                                                                    

YMCA, Seebe, AB; Port Moody, BC; Victoria, BC (volunteer and paid), 2000-2006        

  • Created summer program plans for children ages 3-13 in day and overnight programs
  • Taught health promotion through art, environmental, leadership, and outdoor activities
  • Taught Sunship Earth program curriculum (ecology and sustainability) to groups of up to 20 school children aged 10-12 in outdoor setting.

Spanish Tutorial Instructor                                                                                                   

University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, 2000

  • Taught weekly Spanish Tutorial for 18 students in Hispanic and Italian Studies Department
  • Prepared tutorial activities based on weekly curriculum
  • Facilitated oral and aural practice of Spanish through activities and film 

Spanish Tutor                                                                                    

Self-employed, Victoria, BC and Salt Spring Island, BC, 1999-2009

  • Tutored Spanish with adults and high school students
  • Planned lessons in grammar, comprehension, oral and aural practice.

Research Experience 


Killaloe, ON; Manitoulin Island, ON; Montréal, QC; Wilmot, NS; Nictaux, NS; Annapolis Royal, NS; 2016-2018

  • Used arts-based research as a methodology. Researched and engaged with Canadian Clowning and nature as a world view as methods of psychological inquiry.  Documented via life writing (as developed by Carl Leggo) the psychological impact on my own well-being.
  • Acted as logistics and community director for an ecological arts collective project for nineteen months
  • Trained in Canadian Clowning and European clowning, sampled other improvisational movement and theatre techniques
  • Created and performed for eight community locations
  • Created curriculum and facilitated community workshops influenced by drama therapy and Jungian, humanistic, positive, and somatic psychology

Research Assistant                                                                                                                 

Concordia University, Montréal, QC, 2015

  • Conducted literature review on Indigenous youth, theatre games, play, and positive decision making
  • From literature review, co-authored and edited successfully published article (see list of publications)

Research Assistant                                                                                                                 

Concordia University, Montréal, QC, 2011-2012

  • Conducted literature review for Dr. Satoshi Ikeda on gardening programs for teenage girls and teenaged mothers and the impact on wellbeing


Concordia University, Montréal, QC and Verdun, QC, 2009-2011

  • Used participatory action research and life writing to research impact on wellness of participation in a community environmental project on self and participants
  • Co-initiated a neighbourhood green alley project with research assistant, community members, and municipal stakeholders with guidance from Dr. Satoshi Ikeda.
  • Interviewed (open-ended, inductive) eight people in French and English, transcribed interviews, translated French interviews

Selected Community Work Experience

Home Care Worker                                                                                                                

Annapolis Valley Home Care, Kingston, NS, 2018-2019

  • Provided companionship, music, art, and mental health support for clients with anxiety and depression

Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Intern

San Andrés Itzapa, Guatemala and Victoria, BC, 2005-2006

  • Liaised with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), local community organizations, funders, board of directors, and staff at Maya Pedal.
  • Coordinated volunteer logistics, translated between Spanish and English, organizational support

Selected Volunteer Work

Gardener and Community Support                                                  

Indigenous Work Force, Tipella, BC, 2013

  • Participated in fishing, community art practices, gardening upon request of leaders

Theses and Publications (1 of 4)                                                              

Linds, W., Goulet, L., Hyslop, M., & Jasso, V. (2018). Weechi metuwe mitowin: Playing games of presence with Aboriginal youth in Saskatchewan. International Journal of Play, (7)1, 41-49                               

Selected Presentations and Performances in Positive Mental Health (1 of 18)

  • Natural Clowning. National Indigenous Physical Activity and Wellness Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

Awards and Scholarships (2 of 20)                                                                                                

Concordia Merit Scholarship, Concordia University, $10 000.00                                          2017-2018

Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, SSHRC, $17,500.00                 2010-2011

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