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Episode 34 – Tackling Fear of Failure and Impostor Syndrome

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Hi Friend, Welcome to Episode 34 of Sally’s Performing Arts Lab Podcast. Today, my husband, George, my daughter, Emile, and I discuss fear of failure and Impostor Syndrome.

I’m your podcast host, Sally Adams. Every week I talk to people about creating original work for a live audience. Send an email anytime to Sally@sallypal.com. Your ideas keep great conversations coming every Monday evening.

Check out sallypal.com/join for the free 20-page theatre resource. Creator’s Notebook Insert #2 on scheduling will soon be available. In the meantime, you can listen to Episode 31 if you want an in-depth convo about scheduling for your production. It’s never too late to sign up to have access to the Creator’s Notebook inserts.

I’m interested in knowing what creators need as a performing arts resource. Do you need more   information about venues? Do you want to know how to put butts in seats on the cheap? Would you like to connect with other creators? Do you need more practical tips? If there are things you want included in the Creator’s Notebook, let me know by sending an email to sally@sallypal.com! I read them all… challenge me. Be sure and listen until the end of the interview for Concise Advice from the Interview, and Words of Wisdom from George.

Fear of failure can be barely noticeable or paralyzing. For artists in the world of performance, the fear of failing can overpower the drive to perform. Some great ideas and performances languish in hiding because an artist can’t seem to get their work on the stage. The artist who succeeds in getting the work in front of an audience may struggle with another roadblock to full expression: Impostor Syndrome. Impostor Syndrome is defined as, “a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success.”

The term Impostor Syndrome was coined in 1978 by clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes. According to a study out of Georgia State University, a third of successful adults believe that they don’t deserve to be where they are. Feelings of success are often overshadowed by the feeling that you are a fraud and anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know enough to recognize your incompetence.

A few weeks ago, I asked performing artists to share what they saw as roadblocks to mounting a successful production of original work. I expected to see things like, “finding a venue,” “funding a show” and “putting butts in seats.” While these received honorable mentions, the overriding responses were, “fear of failure” and “Impostor Syndrome”. I distinguish between these two although they have a lot in common. Fear of failure usually keeps you from acting. While Impostor Syndrome means you took an action but you can’t believe your success is anything more than accidental.

I’m currently reading a book given to me by my daughter Emile’s fiancé, Beckett. The book is titled The Art of Possibility. Written by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, it exposes the assumptions on which fear of failure and Impostor Syndrome are based.

As a longtime drama teacher I was never a big fan of arts competitions. I love arts festivals, performances, and sharing programs. But competitions where the work of one group of artists is measured against the work of another group of artists to determine which group is “the best” strikes me as sending the wrong message. It’s a version of sports competition based on opinions rather than objective measurements.

Many of us believe competitions are a necessary evil to inspire student artists to push their work to a higher level. But the arts competition model is flawed and the Zanders explain why: “All the manifestations of the world of measurement – the winning and losing, the gaining of acceptance and the threatened rejection, the raised hopes and the dash into despair – are all based on a single assumption that is hidden from our awareness. The assumption is that life is about staying alive and making it through – surviving in a world of scarcity and peril.” This is where the book begins. The world we live in every day does not position anyone to reach their potential. For most of us, the opposite occurs.

The book, The Art of Possibility, goes into detail describing ways to break free from the competition construct. One quote stood out for me. It’s a quote from Agnes DeMille’s book, Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham. In it, DeMille quotes Graham as saying, “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”

This conversation is touched on from time to time in other interviews I’ve recorded. Pat Hobbs in Episode 32 talks about imperfect perfection. He says that giving yourself freedom to make mistakes can take your performance to a whole new level. Vanessa Adams, in Episode 28 knows that being vulnerable as an artist has risks and can feel dangerous. But that authenticity can help audience members connect both to the work and to each other. Emile Adams, in Episode 31, revealed that she doesn’t attend rehearsals of her own works to avoid what she calls “backseat directing” and trying to control the expression of the work.

During the conversation I mentioned the off-Broadway production of Peter and the Starcatcherzzzz. The actual title is, Peter and the Starcatcher. It’s singular… there’s only one Starcatcher. The show is now closed but it was amazing.

We also mentioned the amazing Hamilton by Lin Manuael-please-be-on-my-podcast-Miranda. None of us thinks Hamilton is garbage. In fact, Emile and I have been a bit obsessed with the show. But even Miranda admits the early days of creating the show had challenges. And just as I have no evidence of crappy versions of Hamilton, I have no proof that Eric Clapton didn’t start out as a guitar god at age twelve. It’s just that teaching middle school students for over a decade, I can guess that he didn’t start out playing Layla or Tears in Heaven the way he does now.

When it comes to creating art for an audience, we all must start somewhere or we don’t start. Today, my husband George, my daughter, Emile, and I explored fear of failure and Impostor Syndrome. 

Concise Advice from the Interview is a short version of tips on dealing with fear of failure and Impostor Syndrome. Here are 9 important bits of advice.

9) You can do this - Don’t be afraid to give it a try

8) Learn to motivate your self

7) There’s nothing about “downward spiral” thinking that’s useful.

6) You can write garbage or you can write nothing. Writing garbage means you’re still writing

5) Bragging and Sharing Your Work are not the same thing

4) To get to the place where you can create an amazing thing, you MUST create some garbage along the way

3) You won’t learn if you can’t fail

2) Let go of being technically perfect and your work will connect with an audience

1) When someone compliments your work… Just say, “Thank you”

Check out the blog, SallyPAL.com, for articles and podcast episodes. You can be part of the momentum that’s building. Keep an eye out for social media opportunities to share with the SallyPAL community. I want this podcast to give you tools to defeat your fears and share your unique artistic expressions. “If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”

The show notes include links to some of the things talked about today. Use the links as a springboard to launch your work. And, as always, thank you for following, sharing, subscribing, reviewing, joining, & thank you for listening. I want you to pursue your dream to have your work on the stage in front of a live audience. It’s scary, but SallyPAL is here with resources, encouragement, and a growing community of people like us.

If you like SallyPAL and want to see the show continue, go to iTunes and leave a review. Also, tell your friends! Word of mouth is the only way to know about SallyPAL. Thanks to Steve, Vicki, Emile, George, Pat, Julie, Beckett, and all of you who’ve been sharing SallyPAL. The art we put on the stage really does make a difference.  I want to help you create original shows for a live audience… All the performances you’ve seen on any stage once lived only in someone’s imagination… Now...keep that channel open!

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Episode 33 – NYC TOWN Stages with Robin Sokoloff

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In Episode 33 of Sally’s Performing Arts Lab Podcast I talk with New York Venue innovator, entrepreneur Robin Sokoloff of TOWN Stages. In my world, Robin Sokoloff is a pretty big deal! I’m podcast host Sally Adams. Every week I talk to people about creating original work for a live audience.

Send an email anytime to Sally@sallypal.com. Your ideas keep great conversations coming every Monday evening. Check out sallypal.com/join for the free 20-page theatre resource. Creator’s Notebook Insert #2 (on scheduling) will soon be available. In the meantime, you can listen to Episode 31 if you want an depth convo about scheduling for your production.

It’s never too late to sign up and have access to the Creator’s Notebook inserts. I’m interested in knowing what creators need as a performing arts resource. Do you need more information about venues? Do you want to know how to put butts in seats and on the cheap? Would you like to connect with other creators? Do you need more practical tips? Do you want to know how to manage the “imposter syndrome” most of us deal with? 

Be sure and listen until the end of the interview for Concise Advice from the Interview, and a special Words of Wisdom from my fitness instructor, Gerald.

TOWN Stages is a state-of-the-art, flexible performance and event space that can support the entire lifecycle of New York’s hallmark industries. Robin Sokoloff is an arts warrior on the leading edge of a new female-driven cultural arts institution and venue space. With a stunning 9,000 square foot storefront facility, TOWN provides world-class cultural experiences and opportunities for all:  from civic to corporate, tech to theater.

Robin’s vision has come to life in TOWN, a home to a Fellowship Program for artists, entrepreneurs, writers, content creators, movers, shakers, and makers of all kinds. 

In partnership with Sokoloff Arts (501c3), the program is part residency, part incubator, and part home base: offering the ultimate creative freedom to grow. An application-based program, the Fellowship offers access to shared spaces, rehearsal/performance/event subsidies, and an opportunity to be a part of a shared creative community, working together under one roof.

Robin is the Founder & Executive Director of TOWN Stages. She’s a lifelong dancer, theater professional, and activist: Passionate about building platforms for women and minority voices. As Executive Director of Loft227, Robin created a home for New York City’s best and brightest artists and innovators from March 2012 to March 2017; seeing nearly 70,000 in her doors in under 5 years, while supporting close to 900 innovative works and small business owners.

I reached out to Robin through her publicist and she made time to have a really great conversation. I know you’re going to love Robin and want to support this exciting new venture she and her team are creating. If you want to know more, visit www.townstages.com. Also during the interview I mentioned playwright Nicole Zimmerer. To hear that interview look for Episode 9 – Get Physical with Playwright Nicole Z.

Concise Advice from the Interview is a short version of tips from Arts Incuvator, Robin Sokoloff. Here are 9 important bits of advice. 

9) Produce your own work in a leased space using the Robinhood funding model charging more for non-artistic events to subsidize arts events

8) Prove you believe in your work by investing your own time and resources

7) As an artist, the tyranny of positivity should not keep you from expressing areas of need in your community

6) Make your voice heard through social media

5) Imposter syndrome happens to everybody. Stop hiding out and push through your fear. There is an audience for your ideas

4) People will tell you ‘no’. Your commitment to your vision must be louder than the ‘no’s

3) Write a bullet list that includes:
Why you do what you do
Who does it serve?
What brought you to it?
Keep it in your head and start talking about it

2) Build a team of people with a variety of talents and strategies who believe in your vision

1) Stand up for what is right

Check out the blog, SallyPAL.com, for articles and podcast episodes. You can be part of the momentum that’s building. Sign up for a FREE Creator’s Notebook insert at SallyPAL.com/join.

Thank you for following, sharing, subscribing, reviewing, joining, & thank you for listening. I want you to pursue your dream to have your work on the stage in front of a live audience. It’s scary, but SallyPAL is here with resources, encouragement, and a growing community of people like us. I’m Sally and this is SallyPAL (the P-A-L in PAL stands for Performing Arts Lab).

If you’re downloading and listening on your drive to work, or falling asleep to my passionate diatribes like my sister does, let me know you’re out there. I want to help you create original shows for a live audience… All the performances you’ve seen on stage once lived only in someone’s imagination… Now… Stand up for what is right! 

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TOWN Stages tomorrow

New SallyPAL podcast comes out tomorrow featuring Robin Sokolosky of TOWN Stages in NYC! She's awesome and worth the wait!

 

Episode 32 – Creating a Cabaret Career with Pat Hobbs

Hi Friend,I’m your podcast host, Sally Adams. Every week I talk to people about creating original work for a live audience. Welcome to Episode 32 of Sally’s Performing Arts Lab Podcast. Today, I’ll talk with musical theatre performer and Tulsa cabaret producer Pat Hobbs. Send an email anytime to Sally@sallypal.com. Your ideas keep great conversations coming every Monday evening.

Check out sallypal.com/join for the free 20-page theatre resource. I’ll soon have Creator’s Notebook Insert #2 on scheduling available. In the meantime, you can listen to last week’s show (episode 31) about scheduling for your production. It’s never too late to sign up to have access to the Creator’s Notebook inserts. I’m interested in knowing what creators need as a performing arts resource. Do you need more information about venues? Do you want to know how to put butts in seats on the cheap? Would you like to connect with other creators? Do you need more practical tips? Do you want to know how to manage the “imposter syndrome” most of us deal with? If there are things you want included in the Creator’s Notebook, let me know by sending an email to sally@sallypal.com! I read them all… I really do. Be sure and listen until the end of the interview for Concise Advice from the Interview, and Words of Wisdom from George.

Pat_Hobbs.jpgPat Hobbs is old school. He always says "please" and "thank you". My grandmother might have said, "He’s generous to a fault". Pat is a longtime player in the musical theatre scene in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He’s played the Tin Man, the Governor of Texas, a shady lawyer, a drag queen, a wealthy socialite, and a 2-bit gangster. But Pat’s favorite role is that of song stylist. He has a love of the American songbook that opened doors to the cabaret stage. Pat has recently created several cabarets just to have an excuse to sing his favorite songs. His shows became sold-out events. Pat has a long list of fans including me. You can find out more about his shows on his website, https://www.wpathobbs.com/ He’s used cabarets to showcase new talent and support his favorite causes. Although he retired from his 9-5, Pat Hobbs is hardly retired. He and his husband John and their two westies lead very busy and musical lives. John is also a musical theatre performer.

Because he loves old-school jazz and musical theatre, Pat works hard to interpret numbers with authenticity. He mentioned a story about cabaret singer Marilyn Maye on CBS Sunday Morning. Here’s the link to the story: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/marilyn-maye-proudly-old-school/ 

On Saturday, February 10, from 6 - 10pm, Pat is producing a new cabaret show called “Spectrums of Love.” The show celebrates the official opening of the new Lynn Riggs Black Box Theatre at OkEQ (Oklahomans for Equality) at 621 East 4th, in the East Village of Tulsa, Oklahoma. For more information, visit www.okeq.org

Here are few clips from Pat’s cabaret performances: https://vimeo.com/249609929

Concise Advice from the Interview is a short version of tips from Cabaret King, Pat Hobbs. Here are 5 important bits of advice.

5) When deciding on songs for your cabaret show, make a list with 3 columns; column 1 is songs you absolutely have to sing, column 2 is your alternate numbers, and column 3 is songs you love that you might have to save for a later show.  

4) Let an audience see your authentic self

3) Share your experience by mentoring the next generation of performers

2) Give yourself permission to make mistakes

1) Live in gratitude

 

 

Check out the blog, SallyPAL.com, for articles and podcast episodes. You can be part of the momentum that’s building. Sign up for a FREE Creator’s Notebook insert at SallyPAL.com/join.

Thank you for following, sharing, subscribing, reviewing, joining, & thank you for listening. I want you to pursue your dream to have your work on the stage in front of a live audience. It’s scary, but SallyPAL is here with resources, encouragement, and a growing community of people like us. I’m Sally and this is SallyPAL (the P-A-L in PAL stands for Performing Arts Lab).

 

If you’re downloading and listening on your drive to work, or falling asleep to my gum flapping jibber jabber like my sister does, let me know you’re out there. I want to help you create original shows for a live audience… All the performances you’ve seen on stage once lived only in someone’s imagination… Now it's YOUR turn!

 

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Episode 31 – Creator’s Notebook #2 – Scheduling Your Show

Welcome to Episode 31 of Sally’s Performing Arts Lab Podcast. Today, playwright-director (and my daughter) Emile Adams and I will go over the soon-to-be-available Part Two of your Creator’s Notebook, Scheduling Your Show. We may also be joined by Em’s fiancé, Beckett Adelman, who has a lot of experience as a stage manager, costumer, actor, and theatre groupie. 2018012895151703_2.jpg

I’m your podcast host, Sally Adams. Every week I talk to people about creating original work for a live audience. Send an email anytime to Sally@sallypal.com. Your ideas keep great conversations coming every Monday evening.Check out sallypal.com/join for the free 20-page theatre resource. Next week, those of you who have already signed up for the free resources will get the scheduling info we’re going over today. It’s never too late to sign up but you may not get access to the first insert after February 15. I’m interested in knowing what creators need as a performing arts resource. Do you need more information about venues? Do you want to know how to put butts in seats on the cheap? Would you like to connect with other creators? Do you need more practical tips? Do you want to know how to manage the “imposter syndrome” most of us deal with? If there are things you want included in the Creator’s Notebook, let me know by sending an email to sally@sallypal.com! I read them all… not kidding… I really do… read them… all..

In this Episode, Emile and I will go over the basics of scheduling. Because we both have theatre backgrounds, a lot of our information relates to plays. Be sure and listen until the end of the interview for Concise Advice from the Interview, and Words of Wisdom from George.  

Today Concise Advice from the Interview is a short version of tips from the Creator’s Notebook Insert #2 – Scheduling Your Show. Here are 7 important bits of advice.

7. Plan for long hours during the week of performance, also known as Tech Week or Hell Week

6. Get a schedule on the books and stick to it

5. Build at least 3 “to be announced” dates (or TBA dates) into the schedule

4. Get into the performance space as soon as you can

3. Get a reliable stage manager who can hold people accountable to the schedule

2. Mondays are Dark days which means a theatre rehearsal space will generally be closed

1.Days you don’t have a rehearsal space are days to use an alternate space

Check out the blog, SallyPAL.com, for articles and podcast episodes. You can be part of the momentum that’s building. Sign up for a FREE Creator’s Notebook insert at SallyPAL.com/join. Thank you for following, sharing, subscribing, reviewing, joining, & thank you for listening. I want you to pursue your dream to have your work on the stage in front of a live audience. It’s scary, but SallyPAL is here with resources, encouragement, and a growing community of people like us. I’m Sally and this is SallyPAL (the P-A-L in PAL stands for Performing Arts Lab).

If you’re downloading and listening on your drive to work, or falling asleep to my Moriarty-like machinations like my sister does, let me know you’re out there. I want to help you create original shows for a live audience… All the performances you’ve seen on stage once lived only in someone’s imagination… Now… Go schedule some rehearsals!

 

 

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Episode 30 – Monday Through Friday Fest with Bry Liggins

Hi Friend, Welcome to Episode 30 of Sally’s Performing Arts Lab Podcast.  Today I talk with Chicago’s Monday Through Friday Festival founder, Bry Liggins.

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I’m your SallyPAL podcast host, Sally Adams. Every week I talk to people about creating original work for a live audience. Send an email anytime to Sally@sallypal.com. Your ideas keep great conversations coming every Monday evening.

Check out sallypal.com/join for the free 20-page theatre resource. It’s a glossary of live performance support you’ll need for your show. I’m working on another performing arts insert and I’m interested in knowing what creators need as a performing arts resource. Do you need more information about venues? Do you want to know how to put butts in seats on the cheap? Would you like to connect with other creators? Do you need more practical tips? If there are things you want included in the Creator’s Notebook, let me know by sending an email to sally@sallypal.com! I read them all… Every. Single. One.

In this Episode you’ll hear my guest, Bry Liggins, share about a new Chicago arts festival, the Monday Through Friday Fest. Bry started out in Tulsa, Oklahoma at Holland Hall School as the shy kid in the back row. It wasn’t too long before she became a regular member of the performing arts groups as a lead actor and slam poet. Bry has a background in film, theatre, music, and spoken word. As a Louder Than A Bomb participant, Bry traveled to Chicago where she fell in love with the arts scene. We talked a little bit about the LTAB spoken word event where she and another SallyPAL guest, David KoloKolo performed original work.

While studying filmmaking at Columbia College in Chicago, Bry volunteered for the multi-day Chicago International Movies and Music Festival also known as CIMMFest. Bry quickly rose to Festival Manager and started to see career options. Since graduating, she’s declared 2018, “The Year of Bry”. M-F Fest is her shot at creating opportunities for artists that connect them to resources while showcasing their work. If you want to get in on the ground floor of the M-Ffest, contact Bry Liggins at bry@m-ffest.org. The website www.m-ffest.org should be up by the end of the month. Be sure and listen until the end of the interview for Concise Advice from the Interview, and Words of Wisdom from George.

Concise Advice from the Interview is a short version of tips from my guest, M-F Fest Founder, Bry Liggins. Here are 10 important bits of advice.

10 You must depend on other people to help you pursue your dreams. Don’t be afraid of collaboration.

9 To meet artists, use social media, attend local college events, or go to solo shows. Meet artists after performances to let them know you’re interested in supporting them and collaborating.

8 Starting a festival is a little like throwing a party. Starting small gives your event room to grow.

7 When you are discouraged at the success of others, turn it around and see if you can be inspired by their success and use it to propel you forward.

6 Mistakes are encouraged. You gotta fail in order to grow.

5 All art is subjective. Failure and success are as well. You are the one who evaluates all of it.

4 Start small and build from there.

3 Planning a festival or other arts event is like planning a party.

2 Be inclusive and welcoming. You’ll make friends.

1 You have the tools. You have friends. You have a room. Just do it. 

Check out the blog, SallyPAL.com, for articles and podcast episodes. You can be part of the momentum that’s building. Sign up for a FREE Creator’s Notebook insert at SallyPAL.com/join.

Thank you for following, sharing, subscribing, reviewing, joining, & thank you for listening. I want you to pursue your dream to have your work on the stage in front of a live audience. It’s scary, but SallyPAL is here with resources, encouragement, and a growing community of people like us. 

If you’re downloading and listening on your drive to work, or falling asleep to my late night noodling like my sister does, let me know you’re out there. I want to help you create original shows for a live audience… All the performances you’ve seen on stage once lived only in someone’s imagination… Now… Just do It!.

 

 

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Episode 29 - Find Your Authentic Voice with Rena Cook

In Episode 29 of Sally’s Performing Arts Lab Podcast I talk with world class vocal coach Rena Cook whose new book, Empower Your Voice: Women In Business, Politics And Life comes out in February. I’m your podcast host, Sally Adams. Every week I talk to people about creating original work for a live audience.

AApic4.jpgThis week my guest, Rena Cook, shares her vocal expertise. There are very few people on the planet with Rena's skill and training as a vocal coach but her resume goes much deeper than that. Rena is an actor, director, theatre professor, and a great friend. Rena’s new book comes out in February. You’ll find Empower Your Voice: Women In Business, Politics And Life on Amazon.com. And, as a side note, Rena’s last book became a fought over resource among my drama teacher friends. Here’s the link to: Voice and the Young Actor by Rena Cook.

Rena and I talk about why you should practice breathing (don’t laugh, it’s really important, and I’m being serious). We also talk about developing your authentic voice as a separate entity from your familiar voice. We talk about other stuff, too: Voicing game characters, and why women in politics need to pay attention to developing their voices. And yes, I can’t stop talking about the Oprah Winfrey Golden Globe speech. Michelle Obama gets a mention as well. Rena’s a ton of fun and she knows her stuff. If you care whether people want to listen to you I recommend you listen to this episode. You can find more on Rena’s website, myvocalauthority.com. Be sure and listen until the end of the interview for Concise Advice from the Interview, and Words of Wisdom from George.

Thanks for subscribing. I could still use a few more reviews on iTunes. Thanks to Beck, George, and Pat for your iTunes reviews. You can also send an email to Sally@sallypal.com. Your ideas keep great conversations coming every Monday evening. Check out sallypal.com/join for the free 20-page theatre resource. It’s a glossary of live performance support you’ll want for your show. I’m working on an additional performing arts insert. I’m interested in knowing what you’d like to have as a resource. Do you need more information about venues? Do you want to know how to put butts in seats on the cheap? Would you like some ideas to help you connect with other creators? If there are things you want included in the Creator’s Notebook, let me know by sending an email to sally@sallypal.com! I read them all… myself.

 

Concise Advice from the Interview is a short version of tips from my guest, Vocal Authority Rena Cook. Here are 11 important bits of advice:

11 Practice deep breathing every day because breathing is everything

10 Start from an authentic place in order to own your voice

9 Don’t confuse your authentic voice with your familiar voice

8 To be effective, your vocal energy must come from deep within your abdomen. If you project energy from your belly, you will speak with authenticity

7 Pay attention to how your favorite speakers express their thoughts

6 Warm your body up to release “habitual” tension

5 On the day you know you will be speaking to an audience, engage in deep central breathing and warming up of your body

4 If you want to be at the height of speaking effectiveness, you have to really, really work and train intentionally

3 Make space in your mouth

2 Relax your body

1 Practice, practice, practice

Check out the blog, SallyPAL.com, for articles and podcast episodes. You can be part of the momentum that’s building. Get a FREE Creator’s Notebook insert at SallyPAL.com/join.Thank you for sharing, subscribing, reviewing, joining, and thank you for listening. I want you to pursue your dream to have your work on the stage in front of a live audience. It’s scary, but SallyPAL is here with resources, encouragement, and a growing community of people like us. I’m Sally and this is SallyPAL (the P-A-L in PAL stands for Performing Arts Lab). 

If you download and listen to the podcast on your drive to work, or fall asleep to my online obsessions like my sister does, let me know you’re out there. I want to help you create original shows for a live audience. All the performances you’ve seen on stage once lived only in someone’s imagination. Now, it’s your turn to speak with authority!

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Episode 28 – Prepare for Your Moment with Vanessa Adams-Harris

Hi Friend, Welcome to the real Episode 28 of Sally’s Performing Arts Lab Podcast. Today, the featured conversation is about how to prepare for your moment with playwright, storyteller, and visual artist, Vanessa Adams-Harris. I’m your podcast host, Sally Adams. Every week I talk to people about creating original work for a live audience.

Thanks so much for the comments you’ve been leaving. I still could use a few more reviews on iTunes when you've got a minute. Thanks to Beck, George, and Pat for your reviews. You can also send an email to Sally@sallypal.com. Your ideas keep great conversations coming every Monday evening. Thanks for sharing the podcast and the blog.

Check out sallypal.com/join for the free 20-page theatre resource. It’s a glossary of live performance support you’ll need for your show. I’m working on an additional performing arts resource. Please let me know if you have any ideas. If there are things you think ought to be included in the Creator’s Notebook, let me know by emailing me at Sally@SallyPAL.com.

In this Episode you’ll hear my guest, Vanessa Adams-Harris, share about her artistic process. Vanessa is a gifted actor/storyteller and has created or co-created several one-woman works including Who Will Sing for Lena by J. Liddell https://youtu.be/avvEEOBLCUc, Big Mama Speaks - A 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Survivor by Hannibal Johnson, Vanessa's original portrayal of Oklahoma legend Ada Lois Sipuel-Fisher, and her original work about Rosa Parks titled A Simple Act of Courage.

My interview with Vanessa was so inspiring because she is truly committed to her audiences. She encourages artists to “prepare for your moment”. This morning I watched a video of Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globe speech in which she highlighted Rosa Park’s commitment to prepare for the moment. Vanessa’s words carry so much weight because she has taken her message of humanity all over the world. I believe we are witnessing the birth of a cultural renaissance. Artists like Vanessa are at the forefront of this exciting time. Vanessa is prepared and from what I can tell, it’s gonna be beautiful.

 I hope you’ll listen until the end of the interview for Concise Advice from the Interview, and Words of Wisdom from George.

Concise Advice from the Interview is a short version of tips from my guest, Renaissance woman Vanessa Adams-Harris. Here are 5 important bits of advice:

5 When you are in the audience, allow yourself to go along with the storyteller in the moment.

4 Remember that children hear and see us interact with each other as humans.

3 If one form of artistic expression doesn’t work for you, try something else.

2 Be prepared for your moment.

1 Be authentic. 

Check out the blog, SallyPAL.com, for articles and podcast episodes. You can be part of the momentum that’s building. Sign up for a FREE Creator’s Notebook insert at SallyPAL.com/join.

Thank you for sharing, subscribing, reviewing, joining, & thank you for listening. I want you to pursue your dream to have your work on the stage in front of a live audience. It’s scary, but SallyPAL is here with resources, encouragement, and a growing community of people like us. I’m Sally and this is SallyPAL (the P-A-L in PAL stands for Performing Arts Lab).

If you’re downloading and listening on your drive to work, or falling asleep to my cheery chitter chatter like my sister does, let me know you’re out there. I want to help you create original shows for a live audience… All the performances you’ve seen on stage once lived only in someone’s imagination… Now… Prepare for YOUR moment!

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Breathe

Hi Friend, 

I've been having some technical issues that have slowed me down this week. I think I've successfully tackled 4 out of 5 but I have to wait on an engineer to solve the final issue. Later today is my expectation. I'm posting this thought from my phone so you don't get lonely or wonder what happened to me. It's all good! I have even been able to address issues that were on the back burner like site security for the SallyPAL.com blog and the issues with links to the Creator's Notebook. 

It's snowing today in Northern Virginia so I turned my comfy chair to face the picture window facing the river and if I didn't have to pee, I would never get up. Snow on evergreens is so pretty. I encourage you to look put the window now and again. Or better yet, put on the appropriate gear for your climate and take a walk outside. We all need to fill up the creative tank now and then. And another thing, while I'm giving unsolicited advice (something I probably do far too often) take a minute or ten out of your day to just breathe and dream a little bit. I lived a really hectic life for years and I am telling you, it's worth it to be present. 

Play music you love, avoid trash TV, hug people (with consent, of course), and breathe. If you are struggling with anything, don't force yourself into a place where you feel like you have to be happy. Just breathe and look for some relief. You don't need to be passionate or ecstatic every minute of the day. Sometimes the best you can do is be angry. Angry can be a step up from despondant. Work your way up from angry to frustrated, from frustrated to annoyed and then to hopeful. If you can get to hopeful... Breathe. Breathe in content, breathe in being present, breathe in and feel the gratitude in breathing. 

I am grateful for you. Thanks for listening and know that the interview with the amazing Vanessa Adams will be worth the wait. She makes me feel glad to be a human. Now... breathe.

 

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It’s A Snow Day After All with Sally and George

Hi Friend, Welcome to the pre-Episode 28 (fake Episode 28) of Sally’s Performing Arts Lab Podcast. Today George and I are celebrating Christmas with my son and his boyfriend and three amazing dogs. Two of our three dogs must return home when my daughter and her partner get back from Tulsa. The pups, Charlie, Theo, and Buster, can occasionally be heard snoring in the background on this episode. It's Christmas. We haven't had a snow day yet but we expect some later this week.

Christmas in CB
George, Darian, Will, and Sally

George and I wanted to share some thoughts on creativity and the holidays. We also gave some shout outs to friends and family. I mentioned several people gracious enough to allow me to interview them including a recent episode with Frank Gallagher of Lager & Tea. We are so grateful for the support and love in our lives. It's what keeps me creating. In fact, at the end of this episode I shared a winter song I wrote for my sister. But any of you out there who are teachers will enjoy, "It's A Snow Day After All".

Leave comments. Give a review. Or send an email to Sally@sallypal.com. Your ideas keep great conversations coming every Monday evening. Thanks for sharing the podcast and the blog. Check out sallypal.com/join. Right now there’s a free 20-page theatre resource. It’s a glossary of live performance support you’ll need for your show.

I hope you all know how much I appreciate the support you've given the blog and the podcast these last few months. It's such a joy to know so many of you want to create original work for the stage. If you get a snow day this season, I hope you'll use it to work on a creative project. Not only does creating something make you feel good. It also gives others around you to be creative as well. I'll leave you with the words from Marianne Williamson's book, "A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles".

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

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