Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Starting Over

Quick Performance Update – next week: None
Other Jan. performances:  None

It is 2013!  Last year this is what I wrote on my first Blog:

“First things first. It's 2012, and time for a new start in the Blogosphere. I am now on Twitter (mssheila757) and this has introduced me to the world of great Blogs and bloggers - I have a new goal to attain. The plan is to be consistent on Tuesdays and share about where I will performing, what research has caught my eye as of late, and other odds and ends about my profession as Storyteller and Character Presenter. So hang with me and, if you like it (or disagree or want to add), share a comment and share with friends. Peace.”

Uh, well, I failed miserably about keeping my Tuesdays as Blogging days.  But it’s a new year and a new time and I get to Start Over, although it is Wednesday.  J

Actually, all year long I am constantly starting over.  I restart my diet and changes in eating habits over and over.  I constantly revise, update and restart how my “home time” schedule should be.  I also am constantly restarting, re-energizing and researching for my storytelling programs, historic character presentations, creative writing/dramatic workshops and motivational/inspirational speaking engagements -   which is what I hope all Artists are doing.

I compare my artistic “start over” to getting a rental car. (Yes, note my shameless plug for Avis.  They are my preferred rental car company and have a great rewards and corporate plan.)  When I get in my own car, I start it and just drive to my destination.  This is how I am when I am doing lots of performances back to back or without much break – just get to the performance and do my thing. 

Continuing the “rental car” metaphor; in a rental car, I always take a moment to make sure I “get to know” this car.  I act as if I’ve not been in a car before.  I try to do this same thing before getting ready to perform, particularly if I have had a significant break between performances.  I work through a semi-checklist:

v  Rearview Mirror at my height.  How have the stories I am presenting done with audiences in the past?  Is there a better age group for this audience?  How has it done in this type of venue?  I have done this story for this group before and need to do something different, or do they enjoy and desire the repetition?

v  Sideview mirror appropriately placed.  Are there any distractions I need to be aware of for this performance?  Is my time limited?  Will I be in a place with a microphone?  How is my voice?  Is it early and I need to go to bed early the night before?

v  Where are the windshield wiper and light buttons?  Do I have everything I need to make sure the performance goes smoothly?  Also, do I have everything I need so people can follow up with me, i.e., brochures, CD’s, business cards, etc.?  Have I packed everything I need for the road and/or the program?  [Have to compliment my storyteller friend, Lynn Ruehlmann, who came to First Night Williamsburg with all of her materials, and I, well, I didn’t remember to check for the light button.  Sometimes the problem of just driving is going to fast and not looking or thinking.] 

v  How do I turn on and access the radio, CD and/or Sirrus, including the volume, the scan, etc. so I can relax a bit?  What will help me relax before the program?  Do I need to say some affirmations?  Am I praying?  What type warm-ups do I need to do and have I made time to do them? 

So, I’m starting over with the blog, but also taking some time to check out my presentations and stories, acting, for a little bit, like I’ve never told or presented them before.  I hope that at the end of this significant break I will have, that I will be an even better Artist and Performer.  Won’t you join me?

What is Ms. Sheila reading?  Anecdotes Illustrative  of New Testament Texts published by The S.S. Scranton Company, Hartford, CT (1901) that had been given to my maternal grandfather.
Most interesting thing researched this week?  I was preparing to do my Ol’ Bess Historic Character Presentation at First Night Williamsburg (VA) and looked at Virginia Gazettes(newspaper) from Dec. 1775.  Came across a small article from the Dec. 2 newspaper which reported about the accidental gun shooting of the girl, Fanny Brooking, by her father while he was maintaining his gun.  It broke my heart and reminded me that the tragedies of guns aren’t new.  (  column 1)

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