Open Wounds

MAGPI in Phili

MAGPI (the Mid-Atlantic Gigapop in Philadelphia for Internet2) is on the calendar for May 11 in Philadelphia.

May is heating up with pre-publication day gigs. I’m looking forward to each of them, even if I’m a bit nervous. Events are performances and performances carry their own load of anxiety – some more than others. In my day job as a trainer I teach people, amongst other courses, how to do public speaking and deal with their anxiety (it’s the number one fear people have – even more than death or marriage or child-birth). So you’d think it would be easy for me, right? Well… public performance (radio, face to face, even blogging) has its weight of anxiety for everyone – me included.

I have things in place to deal with anxiety – specifically yoga practices I’ve cultivated and studied over the last twenty years (they do work if you use them – especially breathing practices or pranayama), preparation (I never go in cold), being in touch with and knowing my process for being anxious (if I know my process I can deal with it better at each stage before I hit PANIC.), self-talk (hey… it works, I talk to myself – don’t you?), and practice. There are others but those are my go-tos.

Back to MAGPI.

My most excellent publicist, Marissa DeCuir at JKScommunications has set me up with this wonderful gig teaching an hour long workshop on writing action-scenes for 10-12th graders. There’s a lot of fight scenes in Open Wounds so I have something to say about how I like to write them and what kinds I like to read.

Digression: Favorite fight scene from when I was younger – The Fellowship of the Ring, by JRR Tolkien, the chamber of Balin’s tomb in the mines of Moria right through to the balrog on the bridge. Wow. It captured my imagination at 12-years old like no other book at the time.

Okay, MAGPI. Here’s the link. The workshop is called, “They Fight!” It’s not open to the public. It’s a distance learning gig from University of Penn out of Phili with up to ten classes involved remotely from ten different schools. But I wanted you to know about it.

I’m really excited – and anxious – the best combo to have because one without the other would either be impossible (just excited?) or miserable (just anxious?).

Here’s another piece. My friend, David Brown, actor, fight choreographer, teacher of stage combat, and all around excellent human being, will be helping me out with some swordplay demos and readings. He’s the best and I love to work with him so it’s a real bonus for the students and of course, him and I get to hang out all day on the drive down and back. I’ve promised him lunch. It’s great what friends will do for you.

Anyway… MAGPI. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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