I have neglected you, dear Bouffon Droppings.
I have been busy and have some news. You have a sister. She’s called Dusty Shoes. I know you will understand as you are part of the reason Dusty Shoes exists. And, she likes you.
Here is her image, and she asks for your patience as she comes to complete fruition in the next 4 weeks.
Every Thursday morning at 7:00 I start my day with a rollicking, yet professional meeting with the Think Referrals Business Network. We have our breakfast, present our 60 second updates, maybe watch a presentation and/or discuss some of our business challenges. And, we have fun.
Some of the challenges that emerged today related to sales.
Sales. A scary word that conjures up plaid jacketed, smoking, slick used car salesmen and buyer’s remorse. EEK… But, this word is what we all do, all the time. Ask Daniel H. Pink! His newly released book “To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others” addresses this very issue. I love Dan Pink’s books (“A Whole New Mind” “Drive”) and this one is another goody. I recommend reading all three.
Pink discusses how we all work in sales, “whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, entrepreneurs enticing funders to invest, or parents and teachers cajoling children to study, we spend our days trying to move others.”
Or a homeless person asking for help.
When I left the meeting this morning, I was almost to my car when a rough, albeit gentle, thin looking man approached me and started talking.
Cup of tea in hand, birds chirping on the balcony (five dollars of bird seed is good entertainment value), I stare at my computer on this last day of 2012 and wonder what brilliance I can bring to my final post of the year.
I’m not sure.
I could review my year, as so many of us do. And, or, I could dash off my hopes and dreams for the New Year. Or, I could expound on the absurdity of a “new” year when time is time and just goes by day by day, and really, is anything different?
But, there is that psychological component. A new beginning. A new slate. New ideas. New resolutions. A new agenda, literally and figuratively. I get that, and somehow, am seduced by the idea. And, maybe that’s okay.
Last year, inspired by Chris Brogan (a great guy to follow), I chose three words for 2012, which I spoke aloud at the end of my stretching routine each morning. Embark, manage, and focus. “Embark” meant I needed to explore and do things that took me out of my comfort zone. “Manage” meant improving how I took care of my business and personal life. “Focus” meant to hone in, and not be so much of a multi-tasker (nice way of saying “scattered”?).
How did I do?
Not bad. I did undertake actions that challenged me. Jumping on a plane to another country when I hadn’t travelled for a while, hiring a business coach, being a student, saying no more, and writing more regularly and publically were a few. Focusing continues to be an ongoing challenge but I’m substantially more aware when I float away from an unfinished task and pull myself back. (Now I’ve added cute little birds feeding on the balcony, I’ll have to work harder at not drifting!) And, because my focus has improved, my “managing” has followed suit. Choosing to let go of old ideas for my business has also helped to hone in. (My biz coach gave me a thumbs up!)
So, dare I be hopeful for 2013? Boldly, I declare yes! In the latter part of 2012, I committed to a venture that will take me massively out of my comfort zone in 2013 (overlapping resolutions!) but closer to an overdue passion. The result will reveal itself in August at the Edmonton Fringe Festival in the form of a one woman show – written, performed by yours truly.
Insert a big gulp!
There is much ado about following your dreams, your goals, and taking that leap of faith into an area where fear loves to herd in all obstacles. Magazine articles, inspirational seminars, self-help books, and even advertising all coach you to follow your passion. There’s a lot of pressure to rise to your potential and attain everything you want in life.
But, what if you are happy to just plod along and enjoy your day to day activities, your day job, and your surroundings. Does that make you less somehow? No, it makes you purely in line with life. Maybe you don’t have a burning desire for a big dream. Maybe you’re content with good conversations, good meals, sharing coffee with friends, being there for loved ones, exploring a new path in the woods. And, maybe that is enough.
So… where ever your energies lead you, to a good coffee shop or to be a world renowned speaker, I wish you peace, satisfaction, and a gathering of good stories to entertain your imagination. And, I challenge you to open your eyes wide, and just check in to see if there is a way to make a moment a wee bit more special. (Maybe it’s putting chocolate flakes in your coffee, or a random act of kindness to a stranger.)
Happy New Year and Good Health to you and your tribe.
I have a newsletter. It’s been neglected lately, but I’m excited to be back on track. And, probably contrary to most business suggestions, I do not publish to the grand public because I figure, if you are subscribed, you are there for the special juicy bits that only YOU get to see!
Maybe later on down the road I might share “old” newsletters to the general public. As of yet, that has not happened.
That being said… if you would like to join, I’d be happy if you came on board for our secret “Buffoon Culture” club.
Here’s a wee taste what was in the second last newsletter!
Creativity tips… (original from yours truly!)
2. Have you got any hidden hobbies that you have let slip lately? These days we spend so much time on the computer that we forget that we used to draw, paint, sew, or whatever it is you “used to” do. Take an hour or so, schedule it in, and do something…. and tell me about it!
You will also get to read an interview each month with a real life bouffon! (their human reveals all)
Today March 27 World Theatre Day celebrates it’s 50th anniversary with a succinct & pertinent speech by John Malkovich. Fifty years….. It’s amazing that fifty years later there are so many people who still aren’t aware of this celebration.
I took it on as a mission today to make sure that a whole bunch of people would become enlightened by a simple gesture. I made my sign. Put on my runners and a smile. Then hit the streets with no fanfare.
It worked! One person CAN make a difference.
I had conversations about theatre, plays, musicals, husbands who won’t go, time that doesn’t allow, people who loved theatre in Europe, good memories, the politics (especially recently) and I even made some play suggestions that were received positively. I We all laughed. I felt happy as I brought smiles to people….(isn’t that sort of live theatre?) Some cars honked and the drivers gave me the thumbs up.
Now, back at home I feel good that I stirred up a little bit in my quiet community. The dry cleaning man said, “Why isn’t there a parade?” Well… maybe next year, I’ll instigate a parade!
Here are some people I met who didn’t know about WTD (except one…guess who?)
I dedicate this World Theatre Day to those who continue to make theatre despite the trials & tribulations, and this world of high technology. Vive Le Theatre… Nous allons continuer!
(did you guess the one person who knew about World Theatre Day?)
I’m BACK! Good grief… I have never had such a busy start to a year. But, I’m not complaining! It’s all been very creative. Buffoonery workshops, a conference, teaching, scene study, a film shoot (more on that), and writing, but, alas, not here.
At the end of 2011, I accepted to become an official blogger for the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance and amidst all the yummy creative chaos of January I managed to see some theatre and also do some writing. I’d like to share my recent posts with you here, if you would like to read them.
Vive Le Bouffon
It’s the love scene in “All’s Well That Ends Well” by Shakespeare. I’m playing the boy. My partner is playing the girl. And, we’re both bouffons. The production is en Francais and we’re having a ball mocking this scene, as bouffons do. Ce n’est qu’un plaisir!
I come off stage for my next change, back into a “normal” character and realize how free I feel. I also realize that my devilish inner voice that taunts me, tells me I’m not good enough, has been flushed into the outer world. Nowhere near me.
Read the rest of the article on GVPTA’s blog
On The Topic of Rehearsing
Last Saturday evening I went to witness the current VanArts (formerly the William Davis Centre) acting students’ presentation of their “rehearsal project” taught by Dave Mott and Daniel Martin. Since I had also taught this group, I wanted to support their first public appearance. The 10 students were guided through the play “The Hologram Theory” by Jessica Goldberg. The goal of this class is to teach the students how to rehearse effectively.
Effectively – just what is that?
Read the rest of the article on GVPTA’s blog
Traces… Their Truth?
Brush strokes, tattoos, video testimonials, life scars, legacies….. These are a few of the traces I pondered after watching Théâtre la Seizième’s original production “Traces”, directed (& created by) Craig Holzschuh and Anita Rochon, with collaboration by Gilles Poulin-Denis, (stage manager, Noa Anatot; set design: Julie Marten; lighting: Jeremy Baxter; music, Steve Charles; video, Corwin Ferguson) recently on at Studio 16 in Vancouver.
Coming from a family of artists – father, painter & potter – mother, fibre artist, I was always aware of the marks they were leaving in the world. I was in admiration of their visual contribution that will remain long after they are gone. It made me wonder about my contribution.
Read the rest of the article on GVPTA’s blog
The EveryDay as Drama: “El Pasado Es Un Animal Grotesco”
This January has been unusually busy. Therefore, I didn’t get to see as many shows during the PuSH Festival as I had dreamed of doing, but I was fortunate to witness “El Pasado..” by Mariano Pensotti. Ironically, unbeknownst to me, the only show I saw last year at the PuSH was by the same author, “La Marea” on the street in Gastown. In hindsight, I can certainly see a similar energy, style and observation of everyday life.
Everyday life – something we don’t necessarily see as dramatic, theatrical fodder to present. In the filmmaking world, Alfred Hitchcock quoted: “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out”. When I hear that, I suspect the “dull bits” are what occurs in the everyday, the quotidian, that aren’t featured in dramatic story telling. How many scenes do you see people scratching off their to-do list, changing the toilet paper, clearing the fog off the mirror after a shower, washing their coffee pot, ironing, writing a note, humping a pillow…..
Read the rest…. well, you get it now! HERE
Feel free to share any of your thoughts…. Would love to hear them.
It’s the last day of 2011, and here we venture into a “new” year where we renew our cheque writing habits and scratch out the 1, and replace it with a 2, and initial the error. But, that’s just a technicality.
Really, the New Year always seems to have a refreshing sense of renewal, a clean slate, a second chance, a new step, new energy and resolve, a dusting off, a shedding of old, and a new determination of marching forward. I love the sensation, yet, the realist in me says “it’s just another day”, and nothing has changed. Thank goodness, the spiritual side of me chooses to embrace the illusion of newness, and pulls up the new clean agenda with hope.
New Year’s resolutions can become … Continue reading “Out with the Old & In with the New… 2012”
Happy Halloween Everyone!
As a little girl, I LOVED Halloween! It was my favourite time of year. I guess that’s why I ended up in the performance arts. Dressing up, being something else, make believe, PLAYING…. all such fun things to do as a kid.
As an adult, we tend to let go of our playful tendencies as the worries of the quotidian life creep in and take over. But, this doesn’t serve us well.
Playing is just as important, and relevant, no matter what that inner voice tells you – (“you look silly”, “this isn’t serious enough”, “playing is for kids only”)!
I would love to hear about your great Halloween memories, what were some of your costumes, and adventures?
Even if you are not going to dress up this year, how can you find a way to celebrate the kid in you?