As most of you know, I performed my solo show, "Origami Swans" a few weeks ago as a fundraiser for Rally for Recovery, a yearly event in Grand Forks that takes place in September. I also followed it up with my presentation, "The Healing Power of Storytelling", where I discuss my own personal story, and how I've benefitted from telling my own story.
It was a wonderful experience performing for a full house. Whether as clown, or human, looking into the audience throughout the night and seeing smiles, laughter, and sometimes tears, a connection existed between the audience and me that night. The most powerful moments came directly after, when audience member after audience member came up to me, not just to thank me, but to tell me their own story (in a short period of time). It is a powerful experience to receive someone's story. Whether they are telling it for the first time, or they have told it many times, it is a gift to be trusted with their story. It is one of my favorite components of getting in front of a crowd and telling my story: I create a space where people feel safe to be vulnerable in return. The more vulnerable I am, the more vulnerable they are.
And now that it is done, the most important part is: What's next?
Booking a Show About Drugs and Alcohol
First, I know that the model that led to this performance is the model to follow. Reach out to any organization that might be interested in booking a show with this kind of message. For now, that involves mental health organizations and colleges.
I have joined the National Association for College Activities, a database for schools and artists to find each other through an online database and also regional conferences throughout the United States. I am also actively seeking representation for my show.
I've done a lot of work creating press material, email templates, stringing material together, and it's paying off. I've been very fortunate to work with some amazing artists in the creation of this material, whether it is John Campbell of Nine18 Photography or Paul Hoplin of Twin Tandem Studios. They brought a level of artistry to my press material that has gotten notice from folks when they see the material. I can't thank those individuals enough for their support in helping generate amazing work with me. Also, a strong shout out to Dalton Lilley of Ohfer Creative for creating an online home for me that is easy to use, simple, and really affordable as far as website creation goes.
All of this work together has helped tremendously. So now I have to keep plugging away. I have to keep doing research, and sending myself out there. Which is a unique new place of vulnerability for me. Luckily I have some friends who done this kind of work. I ask questions. I get curious. I learn as much as I can.
Doing this has become a passion for me. I see a future with this work. It seems to resonate with folks. One of my favorite comments from my show a few weeks ago was, "You are more than vulnerable. You are TRULY human."
That's just it. I want to show you humanity. At its worst and at its best. When I reveal that part of myself to others, it inspires them to share, too.
That's where the good stuff happens.