Viewing: Performance - View all posts

Back in the Saddle 

I've only ridden a horse once in my life so don't really know what getting back in the saddle feels like, but Back on the Blog sounds less dramatic.

I haven't been completely idle. I write and play music almost daily, work on starting a podcast this fall and dabble in cartooning - more about that in future posts. Since my last blog post in May, I've filled two handwritten journals with thoughts and ideas. Keeping a handwritten journal is cathartic if nothing else and a better accounting of my life than…

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Gratitude from A to Z: Zone 

I'm grateful for the zone. The elusive place where performance flows without effort. Easy to imagine but so difficult to find.

The zone is commonly referred to in terms of athletic performance but any of us can find the zone while engaged in any activity. If you want to see an athlete in the zone, check out the documentary Free Solo. It is the story of professional rock climber Alex Hannold's quest to become the first person to climb legendary Yosemite rock face El Capitan by himself without ropes. The…

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Gratitude from A to Z: Improv 

                                      Photo Credit: The Making Box

I'm grateful for improv. The way it teaches me to cherish failure. The way it exercises my ability to think quickly, listen closely and stay in the moment. Most of all I'm grateful for the laughter it generates. Improv erases seriousness and replaces it with joy.

The mantra of improv is "yes, and...". Accept what you are given by others and build on it. Draw energy and inspiration from your improv partners and shine it right back at them.

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Gratitude from A to Z: Audience 

Taking on a personal challenge this December that I'm calling Gratitude from A to Z. Each of the next 26 days I am riffing on one thing that I am grateful for. My purpose is to exercise a sense of gratitude for what I have and revive my regular blogging habit. The final month of the year is an appropriate time for thoughtful reflection.

Today I am grateful for my audience - individuals like you who care enough to pay attention to my creative work. The energy I receive from my audience drives my creative…

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Practicing Performance 


I spilled a lot of words on this blog earlier this year and then suddenly in June, the carafe appeared empty. Other muses called my name -  music performance and improv training. I've spent a lot of time the last few months working on my live show and playing a series of live music gigs. Still lots of work to do to make my live show more engaging but slowly making progress.

It took me a long time to realize performance is radically different from practicing. It's like the difference between having a…

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Improvising for Fun and Profit 

I've always had an interest in comedy. My earliest comedic performances took place in elementary school classrooms where I was quick with a zinger in response to what was happening around me. It often got me into trouble with the authorities but it was worth the warm feeling that comes from bringing joy and laughter to others. 

I recently signed up for an Intro to Improv course. I was actually looking for some kind of standup comedy course but all I could find locally was this improv course. My plan is to…

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Finding Your Audience 

There are over seven billion people on the planet right now. If you are creating something, you should be able to find an audience for your work somewhere. 

Audience building depends largely on your reasons for producing creative work in the first place. It is fine to be creative for yourself as personal expression but there are also many good reasons to build an audience.  An audience can becomes patrons, purchasing or financially supporting your creative efforts. Creating work that engenders thought…

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The Performance of Art 

It's difficult to get up in front of people. I think we all experience some level of anxiety when faced with speaking, performing or even large social gatherings. I struggled with stage fright for many years when I first started playing music in public as well as when I had to get up in front of a class in my day job as an educator. You need to be an entertaining performer to be successful at both. 

The audience wants you to succeed, they want to be engaged and entertained. The challenge is to establish…

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The Anatomy of Laughter 

I read that scientists discovered what they believe is the evolutionary origin of human laughter. While observing primates hanging around in trees, scientists observed individuals that were startled by a sudden movement of wind in the leaves of the tree. When the animal realized it was just the wind and not a real danger, it made a sound of relief that the scientists found was similar to human laughter. They theorized that laughter has its origins as an expression of relief after having experienced…

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