Thursday, November 5, 2009

Here We Go #2

Yeah, I’m going to need to change that title to something good.
So anyway, the second question on my writer’s list of questions is, “Are you equally good at telling stories as you are as writing them?”

Haa haaa haa haa, mwa haa haa. Hee hee. I’m sorry. Let me dab that tear from my eye. Hee heee. Can’t stop laughing.


I used to act in high school and I did all the funny roles. There was something about losing yourself in someone else’s character that took the edge off of being on stage. Plus the physical humor, so funny. At the time, that seemed so easy.

When you write something, it’s a little bit different. As you stand in front of an audience, you worry about what the audience is thinking. Are they going to like whats been written? Will one of those great big canes appear from air and yank you off the stage?

I once stood in front of a crowd of writing peers, getting ready to be judged for a humorous piece of work. It was supposed to be one of those stories that had a twist at the end that would send everyone into fits of laughter.

It didn’t quite turn out the way I had imagined. I said my funny line and paused, waiting for a laugh. My mouth went dry and my eyes started to water. I realized I was having a hard time breathing, but I couldn’t just go sit down in the middle of my piece. So I kept going.

I rushed back to my seat the first moment I could. My face felt hot and I just wanted to leave. My friend leaned over and said, “We couldn’t hear you very well.”

“Oh.”

So my answer is no. I don’t tell stories as well as I write. Maybe someday with lots of practice or maybe a microphone - possibly both.

10 comments:

Heidi Ashworth said...

I so hear you! I can tell cute little jokes or very short stories with audience appreciation but verbally telling stories I save for when I need to put the kids to sleep. They're out like a light in no time.

Patti said...

I think talking in front of anyone is the scariest thing ever, so give yourself a pat on the back for that.

L.T. Elliot said...

I have to disagree with this one. You've gotten loads better at speaking in public since this instance and when you read now, you can fully appreaciate the nuances and subtlety of your brand of humor. I think you're hilarious and you're doing an awesome job getting yourself out there.

Carrie Harris said...

Oh yeah. Reading out loud is tough, especially when you're writing comedy. Being a writer and a performer don't necessarily go hand in hand, do they? This is why I practice all my future speeches in the mirror with my hairbrush. Not that anyone has asked me to give a speech; I just like to be prepared. :)

Carolyn V. said...

Heidi, I may just borrow that sleep method! What a great idea!

Patti, you're right, a pat on the back to anyone who gets up in front of people. It's so scary!

L.T. Thanks. =) I still find it hard to do, but with more practice, right?

Carrie, Thank you!!! See, writing and speaking don't have to go together. I'm totally going to start practicing with that hairbrush! Good idea. =)

devonellington said...

I discovered something interesting as I've been going around on speaking engagements and teaching engagements.

Although I revise until my editor rips the pages from my ink-stained fingers, I do better when speaking if it's not too tightly scripted. I have a loose idea of what I want to cover, but I do much better and connect more strongly with the audience when I wing it.

Suzyhayze said...

I think I tell them better outloud. Is a speaking tangent the same as backstory? hmmmmnnnn.

Carolyn V. said...

Devon, what a great idea! I will try that, although...still scary.

Suzy, a speaking tangent is so much better than silence. ;p You're so lucky to do them outloud so well!

Lisa and Laura said...

This is such an interesting question. Jamie Ford did an amazing job of telling a story yesterday at the book signing and Laura and I both do pretty well with public speaking, but I have to say I think we're better writers than live story tellers. Our friends always tell us that they feel like they've talked to us on the phone after they've read our blog, so our "voice" is pretty consistent. I think we're funnier in print, but maybe that's just my vanity talking???

Susan R. Mills said...

Me neither. Writing is so much easier.