One Man Show: Lessons Learned

My show on Monday, June 20, went extremely well. Packed house. Lively audience. A few responses: 

• I loved how you focused on the specific people who influenced you and how those people and experiences tied together in the journey of your life.

• How fun to see you last night giving a most wonderful performance. The writing and performance were outstanding!!! Congratulations on a project well done! I’m thrilled that I got to be there and witness it.

• You had us hating your father, loving your saxophone teacher…the roller coaster ride of emotions all felt in this 77-minute memoir… I can’t get over the mastery and art of telling these stories first, second and third-person….Coming full 360 back…sharing the dots that were connected in order for PowerSpeaking to be a reality…

• I am still thinking about your one-man show. I had a photographer friend who talked about his feeling of having his guts on the wall in the early years when he showed his work. You certainly did that last night.

 

To see videos of the show: 

Highlights (12 minutes)

Full length version (one hour)

 

The show was six months in the making. I had four coaches, each with a different and valuable perspective. Things that shaped this show: 

 

In the personal is the universal.

Speaking of my mentors and my detractors in life, trigged similar thoughts in the audience. One person commented: “You told the story of my life. We had the same father.” And another: “I felt personally connected to the issue of being told you were in the ‘slow reading group’ and destined not to add up to anything.”

 

• Kill your darlings.

“But that is so good, I can’t leave it out,” I kept saying to my coaches. They said, “Does it move the story line forward?” They were always right. Edit, edit, edit is the key to a good story.

• The answers are in your basement or attic.

In retirement I’ve had the time to sort through the boxes of old photos and letters from childhood and early adulthood. The secrets of our lives can be found in such treasures. Mix those themes with a 10-week course at The Marsh in San Francisco on Telling Your Story, and bingo – you have a show. 

“Everyone might find value in exploring their personal history,” suggested Susannah Baldwin. I couldn’t agree more. 

 

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