Monthly Archives: March 2010

So You Want to Write a One Person Show, Part 2 of 7

So You Want to Write a One Person Show, Part 2 of 7

In my last post, Part 1 of 7 on writing solo shows, I spoke about discovering the Central Moment that your show pivots on.  You did free-writing about this pivotal moment and you held it close to your bosom.  

Writing solo show takes guts.  Mostly, the guts to get out of your own way.  You can still keep it private.  In fact, you could keep it private forever.  You could write this show solely for discovering a truth about yourself.  What is that private truth that you have not even allowed yourself to know about you?  

I have made so much sense of my life in crafting a story arc out of the miscellaneous and non-linear events in my life.  I believe we're hear to find and make meaning.  

Leading Moments

As you explore the Central Moment, begin to write about what led up to it.  What was happening in and around your life?  Who were you before that Moment?  What kind of friends did you spend time with?  What was your family like?  How did you spend your free time?  What kinds of thoughts ran through your head and why?  What did you know to be true about yourself?  Answer each of these questions with an example, a concrete smaller moment that shows us an event occurring.

Turning Points

How did this Central Moment then change your world?  Write about the changes that took place after this event happened.  Write scene after scene.  Don't censor.  Did your thoughts change?  Did your friends change?  Did people react differently to you?  Did you stop going somewhere?  Did you start going somewhere?  What did you start wearing?  A smile?  A purse?  A bathing suit?  A fedora?  All of the above?  Perhaps these changes seem to have nothing to do with your Central Moment.  All the more interesting to note them…

Through Lines

What co-incidences do you notice that have to do with your Central Moment? Begin to keep a journal of co-incidences and synchronicity.  Note each time something comes full circle.  Note the through-lines that string together the random moments in your life relating to this Moment.  Begin to think back to childhood.  What memories from when you were 4 or 7 years old seem to relate to this Moment?  Find the earliest memory that relates to this moment and anchor your through-line with it.  Then, look at your dreams and fantasies of your future.  Which of those have to do with your Moment?  Write about them in concrete ways.  Show, don't tell.  

Write Write Write

During this process, it's imperative that you don't censor yourself.  Set a timer for 10 minutes, and just write.  Don't take the pen off the paper.  Let yourself be surprised.  Know that no one will see it.  Say something to yourself you haven't dared to speak until This Moment.

Ready for Part 3 of 7 on "So You Want to Write a One Person Show"?  Stay tuned!  I'll be writing it in the next few days.

Michelle interviews me on Laughter Yoga

Michelle interviews me on Laughter Yoga

"I slowly walked into the hallway and turned the knob on the door leading to the teacher???s lounge. I was tightly clutching my cell phone as I sat at the table rearranging my papers again and again. I got up and started pacing as Michelle, my classmate, reassured me that it was going to be fine. The blend of leftover pasta, soup and banana filled my nose as I nervously looked around for any excuse to put this phone call off.  I finally came to the conclusion that there was no excuse and I just have to conquer my fear and get it over with. My fingers shook with terror as I carefully typed the ten digit phone number wondering if it was a cell number or office number. This number belonged to Ms. Dattner, a laughter yoga instructor and comedian in San Francisco, who has toured the world bringing smiles to people???s faces. I figured she would be the perfect person to talk to for information on laughter.

via blog.aliciadattner.com

A sweet youngun' called me up after finding me on the internet and interviewed me about leading Laughter Yoga… here's what she wrote. I'm quite proud of her.

Michelle interviews me on Laughter Yoga

Michelle interviews me on Laughter Yoga

So I got a call last weekend when I was in LA from a youngster named Michelle doing a report on a topic of her choosing: laughter.  She was charged with interviewing an expert on the topic, and it was fun to talk together.  I asked if I could post the paper she wrote, and she said yes:

I slowly walked into the hallway and turned the knob on the door leading to the teacher???s lounge. I was tightly clutching my cell phone as I sat at the table rearranging my papers again and again. I got up and started pacing as Michelle, my classmate, reassured me that it was going to be fine. The blend of leftover pasta, soup and banana filled my nose as I nervously looked around for any excuse to put this phone call off.  I finally came to the conclusion that there was no excuse and I just have to conquer my fear and get it over with. My fingers shook with terror as I carefully typed the ten digit phone number wondering if it was a cell number or office number. This number belonged to Ms. Dattner, a laughter yoga instructor and comedian in San Francisco, who has toured the world bringing smiles to people???s faces. I figured she would be the perfect person to talk to for information on laughter.

After we got the introductions out of the way I started to breathe normally again and I relaxed my tensed up shoulders. She started by telling me about her laughter yoga class. Ms. Dattner started her own club that has breathing exercises based on yoga techniques but also laughter incorporated into the class. When people told her about laughter clubs she was so intrigued that she immediately wanted to become a laughter yoga instructor. Since she is also a comedian, laughter is in her blood and it comes very naturally for her.

Laughter yoga is used for relaxation as well as relieving pain. ???When I have a really good laughter session, I feel more present and I feel way less pain and stress. ?? [Laughter is] way more effective than taking an Ibuprophen.??? Ms. Dattner believes.

Ms. Dattner claims that laughter has changed her life. She finds herself laughing just for the sake of laughing. Laughter gives us adults a feeling of playfulness that you lose as you grow-up. The way she keeps that feeling in her daily life is by doing her job. Her comedy and laughter yoga reminds her to laugh. To incorporate laughter in her daily life she is even thinking about holding a daily class on the internet.

By this point I was completely relaxed and comfortable with talking on the phone as she started to explain that at first most people think that laughter yoga is just plain weird. Although that is just a first impression, for most people that is their only impression. Ms. Dattner admits that it is a little challenging finding pupil but once someone goes and tells people how great it is, the word gets around. She says that a lot of interest is attracted over the internet. Laughter yoga originated in India and is a huge thing there. Some schools have even adopted it into their morning assembly. It won???t be long until laughter yoga takes over the world as the universal way to relax and release stress and tension.

This was the first time I got to hear one person???s opinion about laughter. I could tell that she genuinely loves what she does and she truly wanted to help me. At every pause in the conversation she would fill the space with either laughter or some sort of noise to let me know that she was thinking of more to say.

Our conversation winded down but this was the most powerful and touching moment. One word inspired me, it???s simple yet meaningful. “Kids naturally laugh, and that is one thing that no one can take away from you??ever. ???My advice is simply, not to stop laughing when you get older??? Ms. Dattner remarks. I came away from that interview with pages of notes but only that remark planted in my brain forever, and it will stay rooted in my head just as a reminder for me when needed.

Because my topic is laughter it has really changed the way I look at life. I laugh at any possible opportunity, and I am more conscious in observing the things that make me laugh. This interview was so uplifting because she (Ms. Dattner) has made a career out of something she loves.???I???m inspired to teach things I want to receive??? Ms. Dattner states. I make others laugh in hope to get some chuckles back. The reason why I chose laughter as my I – Search topic was so I could have an excuse for doing something I love for two and a half months and call it schoolwork. I aspire to have the same principals as this very inspirational leader that I got the honor of talking to.”

Eat, Pray, Laugh! solo show run extended a second time

Eat, Pray, Laugh! solo show run extended a second time

Recently, having sold out the last two showings of Eat Pray Laugh! we decided to extend the show run through March.  And on Wednesday night with a great audience we found it necessary to extend the show a second time.  What a treat.  If you had told me five years ago this would be happening, I would likely not have believed you.  Hare om.  

Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com $20.