Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On my wall in living room

On one wall there are my children, two photos taken a long time ago, by then my husband, their father.

Yes, he was a good photographer.

He has taken both, with a very old kind of lightening, like the very old painters did. Candle light.

Oh, yes, some 40 years ago!

On the other wall, I have a photography, that I inherited from my best friend, Stephanie who did buy it from the photographer, that also was made long time ago, perhaps 20 years? Or more. It speaks to me.
Home Sunday morning-12
There is also a photo of a painting with a few other images put on it, that are "me" at different ages. Reminding me, stand I was already "stand up" at three, and "woman from 25 to 70"!

And of course, that I loved to read, at 14, when the painting was made till now.

The painting also remind me of my friend from Romania, who gave it back to me, at my first visit in Bucarest. Because, when I left, the authorities would not let me take with me, she did put it on her wall for 30 years.  Our friendship lasted through frontiers and time. Each photography, make me remember what happened around the time they were taken.
Home Sunday morning-15
I was a young woman just married, just well loved, when my young husband told me "stay and look at the window". It is a tiny photo, developed and printed by us at home. The older "still woman" is a self portrait taken when I was enchanted "still a woman" and I was, yes, past 70.

I have nothing else? Yes I have! The painting of an old house by the same painter, who did me at 14 years old, the same colours, same kind of brush.

The rest of walls? Books, books, books I cherish. There are so many and so many kind! I will take one day time to arrange them better. And from time to time, I read them again. But they also are part of my memories.
Books for Humour
Old books, new books, these one are the latests. But I have many others, too.

This thick book I read when it was so hot outside I could not go out for ten days! This one, I did buy in America. This helped me find out the things I like and find more easy a job. Each has a special tale and meaning to me as have the pictures on the walls and the divers small objects around.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Back to the Comedy School

It was a very interesting 8 hours back to the Comedy School, where I begun this year in February.

Great choice and program!

I went for the Stand Up discussion and workshops mostly. But as many different experimented comics and almost as many points of view.

They perhaps do not "look" so much till they begin to speak and become passionate, then an internal flame lights them up from inside and they become fascinating. Probably, we all do when we are believe in something, when it is important for us, when it comes from deep inside.

Perhaps, between all I learned, and I have yet to filter it, re-read, rethink it, that is what comes out the most.

But also that I did learn more at that school's workshop in February till end March, then only to use 4 letter words, as I told with humour in my set.

At Comedy School-04
He works with children.
At Comedy School-02
There were a bunch of helpers! And those are not even yet those who gave us the seminars or workshops.
At Comedy School-06
Here is an attendee like me.

At Comedy School-10d
And them, gave us very interesting hour, each, they have many many years of experience behind them, the confidence comes out of all their movements, as soon as they speaks.
At Comedy School-12
He was not only fantastic! He even told me I have charisma...
At Comedy School-19
At the end of the day, after yet another really interactive session, (I have no good photos of him) we assisted to an Interview and questions and answers with the actor Stephen Mangan, telling us about his choices "mostly it is what you do not choose".

I did not "do" many pictures and those I did are not good, All afternoon, I was too much "in" to be "out".

Sunday, November 27, 2011

To make people enjoy themselves

I did not realise until last week, how strong it is the "comedy" and how one can by playing, make all kind of different people enjoy themselves. Have a good time.

Make good memories.

Some can answer questions, others can play and speak, others can sing, or make others sing and dance. Suddenly, they feel more powerful, more confident. Happier.

I do believe, when we went away, Wednesday, many were happier for that day then when we arrived. Many felt better.

The Silver Comedians had passed.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Storytelling Workshop for Lewisham Speakers

GreenPark LaughingHorse Gestes 1
The intentions are one thing, what happens will be another. Here are some pictures from the Green Park's Laghing Horse "heat", with microphone in the hand and just the right light. At those times, it does pay to be dressed in black.

Storytelling, speaking of one's personal experience, but transformed "re-storied" is important in any kind of speaking. It makes a special connection to those listening and looking. After telling many stories - me, in English! - I decided to create inside or along my Toastmasters Club in Lewisham an ongoing workshop, about "personal storytelling", to run for the moment from November to March, and culminating by some of the participants (or all) telling stories at the Canal Cafe Theatre on one theme.

We did found those wanting to participate, and decided our theme "Change" broad enough to find each our own stories. We did decide to begin the 30 November, long time ago, not knowing about the general strike.

I am of course worried, what will happen, who can or not come that night, so we could begin. But I already bought today some mince pie, to offer those who will be there. And begun also thinking, how can we "make up" for those who will not able to make it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Silver Comedy Award for 55+ Stand Up

The Silver Comedy Award at the Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival the 17th of February 2012, after the heats for choosing them the same day and place. Inscriptions for everyone over 55 years, would be or experienced Stand Up Comedian, to George Baddeley, at the Silver Comedy (here is their Facebook page).

Is not it interesting?

I was looking for mr Cee, stand up comedian and my first stand-up mentor encouraging me to give it a go, telling me that my stand up is fascinating and good. I find him at the Silver Comedy Facebook site. Through it, I found out about the Silver Comedy Award, and decided this morning to give it a go.

Not only it will be an occasion for me to go out there, but also meet other elder comedians, younger and, hopefully, even older then me. And plus, who knows where else this first step can lead, as I did not know in February this year, where my inscription to the School of Comedy will lead me. We were 12 in the class, 11 young boys - and me, at 77! In itself, this is already a comedy sketch! And so many funny (and embarrassing situation that can be used for humour too) things happened in those first 8 weeks!

I will begin now creating a story, to relate those moments and my year to get to Leicester Comedy Festival and the Silver Comedy group.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

New places, new discoveries

Having fun at any age_0030
Most of all, I was touched yesterday, and also understood what "compassion" means from one small action to another. Also, how many ways one can bring joy in other's life.
Making fun_0050 Pam v
Something playful and different.
 Having fun at any age_0054
And at the end, all want to participate in some ways.

Having fun  all 0084d
And in one way or other, they enjoy themselves and those hours.
Having fun at any age_0037
Those were hours very full of emotions and memories for me.
Having fun at any age_0081d
I have found also a way to "communicate" in my own way.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Spectacle in Paris

I did not know I wanted to do a comic number, until I learned that Pierre and Giselle will come to Paris with their "orgue de barbarie", barrel organ.

I knew I will come to London soon, from Paris and I organized a meeting of bloggers and photographers who could come in the back room of a bar. We all had only to buy a "crèpe" pancake.

They played and song, another recited a poem she wrote, and I told the story of "my nose".

I did prepare it a lot, but it did not give so much laughter I hoped, so much I had when I told it once in the dark night in the court of a grange, filled with people.

I did not know yet, that laughter need many people and if possible darkness so they "dare" to laugh. I did not know yet, that three years later, I will succeed to make people laugh. I did not know yet how to surprise.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fog, rain "bad weleather"

The so called bad weather can be marvellous too, as can be the old age.

Different, from sunny days, different from spring but very interesting, indeed.

It all depends.

Yesterday, I went out and signs of the rain were still on leaves and the roses.

Here is one rose after rain, in our garden.
After rain-12
And the leaves, who can be marvellous too retaining even longer the drops of water.
After rain-14
And the fog can give dreamlike panorama.
Sunday fog_0166
This is while looking at the thick fog on the Heath, at Blackheath.
Sunday fog_0126
Or, one can combine fog and fall leaves, and so on.

I had a very rich harvest of photos and "fresh air" yesterday as !i went out to have a taste of the fog... as I do have a rich life full of activities at 77.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Better to show from afar

A new series of auto portraits with shaving cream, as is and cropped, and deformed, and coutout.

One of them, perhaps this, will be better to show from distance. I think this is it, because I look on it more "ok" with the showing cream.

In fact, I did put it for photo reasons this time, to make a new picture to print.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ola wins again

Huge success for Ola's Stand Up comedy, Friday night at Laughing Horse Green Park Comedy club.

He won again. First again. And huge laughs.

I did also give my number, not so bad but still very far away from his mastery. Here is the frist half of my delivery. Video on Vimeo.

There was even more laughter when he told his number, then at the Humorous Contest, 45 people laughing high at the same time. It was a pleasure to listen to him. Each time he seems even better!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tonight, tonight

I begun my comedy workshops in February this year, at the School of Comedy. Even if it was not a friendly environment for me, I did learn a lot till end of March, week by week.

The second was Logan Murray Stand Up and Deliver workshop, and in May we learned a lot during very intense weekends of 14 hour, each. He continued to teach us even when his back was injured.

The third Workshop was David Jones, who got a cold, and did not stop from September to end of October who went away so fast, but then he did suggest us places to book, and took us to a "real" comedy club for our showcase.

Tonight, my first 'Heat' that is how the comedy competitions are called, I think. But real 5 minutes and real audience at Laughing Horse's Green Park club. Even in the middle of night I was telling my text for the gig.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ola will be also at Laughing Horse

Ha ha, not only I will give a "gag" go to a "gig" at Green Park's Laughing Horse, in a Comedy Pub called The Goat Tavern, tomorrow, but Ola, who had the first price of Humorous Speech will too.

Another occasion to see what he does, and also try out my old gags a bit changed in a new environment. And meet others.

Flavia gave us yesterday, at our 3rd anniversary meeting, a stunning Table Topic answer. She made such a progress so fast!

Steve was funny and excellent, even more then usual, very much in "his element" and a guest, gave us a great impersonation of D. Cameron! Hope soon the guest of yesterday will join also our club who grows all the time. Yesterday, too, we have now a new member.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Son et lumières Glasgow

Sounds an lights in Glasgow. Even when having very busy days and night while travelling afar, one has to stop to smell the roses - or look at the lights and colours of the river before you and absorb the beauty of moving colours. 
First my eyes were attracted to the colours, then to the building from which the lights arrived, the BBC Scotland at night. 

Travel for work, for learning, but stop also for pleasure.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

D71 toastmasters in Glasgow Workshops

Full three days for me.

Because the delay in London, it seems because a traveller's panic who had to be evacuated, as well from the thick fog,

I missed Andrew Brammer's Workshop on Storytelling.

But my college Flavia was there and will fill me in tomorrow with the details, and I did assist in London to one of his Seminar and one show. Adrew tells Tall Tales, I tell True Tales, each of us in our style. He has also great actor's skills and is an active Toastmasters too.

I did not miss Barbara Moynihan's inspired by Dale Carnagie. How to hold audience, in fact more then how to alienate them.
D71 in Glasgow A-07 Barbara M
I loved it and learned from her not only by what she told but her mere presence presenting it too.

Then we had a Workshop about Workshops, by Sheila Fraser.

It was just what I needed as I am beginning mine, True Storytelling Workshop will begin end of November with a group from Lewisham Speakers Toastmasters and will last till beginning of March. Just in time... at the conference I heard Freddie Daniels, our Educational Governor telling us that he hopes more Workshops will be made in our district from now on.

In this Glasgow workshop 'Wow Workshops' some of us were the test's showing how to do a very interactive one (others the audience looked)  How to begin, for example, by ranging after different kind of experiences. I have seen this in action at Johanna's workshop at Nova Portibello, but only Friday I had understood how a strong technique it is.

Also learned many other ways, "on hand" by experimenting it. Now I will be up to me to use them in my own workshop.

And that was only Friday. The night come and many put on their clown or funny costume.
I was too tired to stay Friday, but stayed longer Saturday evening after another stunning day, about which, tomorrow. But Saturday morning I was there in time for all the workshops. Even at noon.

I lunched during a great one, hold by Simon Buchnall "Inspiration Masterclass", and learned how to explain more clearly to my future attendees, how to gain the inspiration needed, to be able to give it to others.

What made you feel strongly? Go deep down to figure out why and what experience of your own triggered it. Then you will be able to tell a true tale and with passion reach others having if not the same experience, the same deep feeling.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hello from Glasgow

Friday, at the Toastmasters Conference begun with fun,
but the computer link is too slow now to add images, tomorrow!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Two years ago, and now

Toastmasters LouAnne's worksho-22 years ago in York, I presented Luanna's workshop.

This year I will be at the door, Serg of Arms, at the Glasgow conference and contest.

In this two years I learned so much about Toastmasters and met so many!

Last year, I was in Dublin. This summer, in Las Vegas.

But I think, this will be my last one in Glasgow, they do cost to much for a retired.

Well, I can then remember the fun. And do other things instead. But this fall still there, still enjoy, I hope, all I can, all I could, and help out also a bit.

Friday, November 11, 2011

York 2009 My first English Irish Toastmasters Conference

York Sunday end Conference
I learned a lot, going there. Alas, in weekend almost no bus circulating in York.
York Sunday end Conference-67v

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My fall branch in 2011

Year after year, for 7 long years, living in Argenteuil, near Paris, I had this tree, before my window.

Those were the only sign of "real fall" for me.

Here, in London, now for the 4th fall, all the street takes wonderful fall colours, but this branch which is like the one I had is specially speaking to me, year after year.
Here it is a memory of what was.
Afternoon su through leaves

Some reminder, from afar. Reminder of those days I stayed home and sometimes my only "fall" tree were those branches in my garden.

Till, one day, furious on me, my grandson chopped it down, "to put it on the grave of the dead cat, where my mom told me it was buried."

It never really grew back. Before leaving, it begun, timidly.

At least not until I left, that was all.
"It is not a good tree" the neighbour told me, but it was my tree, my fall branch, year after year. Good for me, beautiful to look at from the window. And interesting to see as it changed colours and become more and more dark red towards the end, before the leaves fell.

"My branch" the only one I remember.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Going out there

Going out there, gives a lot of experience.

So far, for me all was worthwhile. And the Stand Up Comedy audience, usually is very reactive. That is almost addictive.

We almost expect, and do not get, the same kind of "oh, ah, haha" and so on from all, as we go along, in other environments. Having a noisy reaction gives some kind of power feeling.

When there are only or almost only comedians present, the reaction can be diluted, and that is also a learning experience. And connecting to other stand-up comedians too.

Three outings, so far. Two more already booked. And the two at the beginning of the year. in all it will be 7 for me. Each, different, even if I gave more or less the same material - also I added to it now, changing half of it after the last workshop I took. And if I counted the two Humorous "contests", in fact three, it would be 10 times telling almost the same.

So at least ten more times to go, if not more. I am sure I will "die" a few times, I was told that is part of learning, but so far I did not.

And when I will, if it is only by silence, not in real, I will go up again, as I did so many times already in my life. "By the blade of grass" pick myself up.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In the Plum Tree pub, Jester night

Stand Up Comedy night, yesterday in the Plum Tree pub, Farindon Street. Signed up, connected with others, waiting as me.

Set with Anna, who arrived from Amsterdam five years ago, and was already on the "circuit" for a year. Very nice girl.

Nice jokes too.

Anna at Plum Tree-2
Anna, was repeating for tonight's contest of the "Laughing Horse" chain of cabarets. It seems, the cabaret David found us, is a chain of cabarets in fact and one well known. So, we were lucky to be there and lucky when they liked what we did. I will be on the same contest, beginning (probably ending) next week.

Christina at Plum Tree-2At Jester Jester, nice welcome. I was put on the list as 13 others. Finally 15 performed. Other then us, the barman, the compères, there were not many others present, but there were a few in audience.

It is also an easy place to go, with two bus, or two bus and underground between them, and a nice place to try out material, perhaps some day there are more public present. More present, more laughter. Or only higher?

She was towards the end, one who got most of the laughter. Was very good, indeed.
 Some of my usual 'sure" lines fall without notice, but others did get good reaction. Nothing to complain. I did not "die" yesterday.

Some others did. No reaction can be embarrassing, if it lasts for five whole minutes. But all got applause, anyway.

Open Mic night at The Plum Tree pub, 54, Farindon Str, London, called "Jester Jesters" and this video taken by Anna (see photo above, with my camera.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall in Context

Fall colours finally arrived on my street.

While I did not decide to go and take photos in a forest, wonderful colours did dress the trees on my street.

So, I did not have to go far away (as I first intended).

The books I waited for did not arrive, but I had my full of fall leaves "in context", in an urban context.

Here are only some of them, but I have taken in short time 110 photos. It was raining in the morning, so the flowers had still drops of water on them, and all smelled fresh.

Young couple, "spring" walking, surrounded by the fall, as a black car with fall leaves on it and tree reflected on it. So much to absorb just in a few minutes.

Because of my camera, ! do see so much more, so much better. It is also the same with my comedy; I see now life's frustrations lighter, as material for future gags.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My prefered storytelling books

Doug Stevenson's book is the third book I consider as the "bible" of Personal Storytelling. And yes, it is one book even if it did appear under different titles and covers.

Subtitle in the second edition, "Strategic Storytelling in Business" and it is that, as it is also "never be boring again".

The "Story Theater" is Stevensons coaching company, but not the best title, but he was actor for 20 years before beginning his Professional speaker and Coach career.

My prefered book: Personal StorytellingWhat is important, he does treat of many different issues and techniques that the other two books do not or go through to fast.

The first book I think anyone wanting to speak in public and tell stories to remember should read is "The power of personal storytelling" by Steve Maguire.

The second is "Improving your Storytelling" by Doug Lipman, and yes, now I have a third one.

I am not sure I was ready for Lipman's book till I did not study (not only read) the Maguire's book.

Bests of my Speaker's books-5And not sure if Stevenson's would be enough in itself either.

Each add to the other, each develop and train for something plus we do need to be able to Craft our Personal Experience into interesting stories, that convey the "most important message" for that telling, and then deliver it the best possible way.

The Power of Personal storytelling,  helps you find your stories.
Gives a great method to remember it.
Explains the difference between an experience and a crafted story.

The Improving your Storytelling explains a lot about how knowledge is learned and how audience react differently and how to adopt to them and transmit them your "most important message" through a story and being at the service of the listener.

Stevenson, in "Story Theater Method" explains the acting part better and being on stage, but also gives more examples of storytelling in business environment. And why audience react not well when feeling fear, and how to get rid of it.

But those are only the "most important points" I took from each book, they do contain a lot more useful informations and they all contain exercises too.

The three will form the base of my new Personal Storytelling Workshop.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Passage St Paul, Paris

I begin to feel nostalgia for the streets and passages of Paris. Not as before, for the Champs Elysée, I thought when I lived for three years in Washington DC without being able to go back.

I can go back now. It is not so far.

Of course, if I did buy less books, I would have also the money to travel there or back, for a few days. And I have a place to stay, to sleep at least.

But for the moment, so much to do in London!

I am a serious woman.

And I am not serious about Stand Up comedy clubs and Humour. Committed to do my share of clubs, go wherever I can, as I did with my storytelling. After 20, I will see, if I stop, go back to storytelling or into my next project, the Storytelling Workshop. Teaching, this time, or let us say better, coaching through workshop.

I take even my comedy seriously.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Dublin to Glasgow

Last conference I attended was in Dublin, a year ago. Two years ago it was York.

I am looking forward to discover Glasgow in two weeks time. I made a mistake booking airline ticket and my hotel b&b is near the main station centre city.

Did not found yet out, how to go in a reasonable paid way, from one to the other.
Must be other locomotion then car or taxi!
Dublin colours

I hope.