I was standing next to one of the pieces of art at the event I volunteered for back in January — Into Action, a Celebration of Community Power and Cultural Resistance. A woman tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I would take her picture next to the piece. I, of course, said yes. She asked me, “do you know what this piece is,” I said, “I know the artist, but if you know more about it, please tell me as I’m learning the pieces to give tours.” The art did not have a source of where the quote inside the piece originated.
Oh the terror and delight of putting yourself out there. With anything one does. Pressing The Button.
I started off as an orator back in high school on the speech team and then a theatre major. You hope that you hear a laugh a sigh, or some applause at the end of speech or performance. There are many mediums that don't have that immediate responsiveness.
I've given two lectures in the last couple of months - one was for the American Literature Association Conference in San Francisco in May and last Sat at Summer Repertory Theater's workshop day. It seems that after doing what I do for close to a decade I have a few opinions about it. Adapting a Novella into a Play - The Yellow Wallpaper
The ALA lecture/panel was about the adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper that I wrote in 2003 and a production of it produced by Dr. Judith Gallagher and directed by Melinda Benton. I'm very proud of the adaptation and it was thrilling and equally intimidating to sit in a room with Gilman scholars who know so much more than I do about the original novella and Ms. Gilman. I held up just fine and it was fantastic for me to revisit and reengage about the writing process, the production that I directed in Seattle at Theater Schmeater and the production that was produced at Tarrant County Junior College in Ft. Worth, TX. I've been asked to speak on another panel in Houston in October on the subject for the Community Colleges Humanities Association and I hope to attend. I am planning a mailing of the adaptation this Summer, as I'd love to see it produced as part of Women's History months in theater departments across the country next year.
Bringing Theatrical Skills to Corporate Events
During the last few weeks of the season at Summer Repertory Theater (my husband is the Artistic Director of the wonderful 39 year old theater training program), they hold workshop classes for the students. This year he asked me to come in and talk to his students about translating theatrical skills into the corporate event world. As theater students, the correlation that there are options outside the Arts where technicians, designers, and actors can find contracting gigs is often lost. I put together a presentation showing them pictures of an empty convention center and asked them to envision who plans and sets-up TechEd or MacWorld? I also showed them the staging and equipment that I helped set up for a Bill Gates keynote in both 2005 and 2006. Designing, building, planning, purchasing are all skills that translate to a very big business - Corporate Events. We spent the hour talking about what kinds of companies are out there for the technical side and then how actors can emcee, demo, and be a spokesperson at an event. The students were lovely and asked great questions. I hope they enjoyed our chat and got some practical knowledge for finding that great "day job". For me my "day job" turned into a career and small business that I love running.
Do what you love and love what you do, to thine own self be true…
P.S: Some interesting facts about social networking and my SRT Student audience: ~60 attendees in total, ages 19-26, all but one person had a Facebook account, all had MySpace accounts, only a handful of them had accounts or had heard of LinkedIn and only one person used and/understood what Twitter is. I found this fascinating….what social networking tools do you use?