This essay was originally posted to my Blog on 9/14/18. The week after I participated in the Raven NarrativeLive Storytelling sessions last year on September 7th. Last week when someone reminded me that the Silverton session of the Narratives took place a year ago-last Friday, the lead-up to the event suddenly flooded back into my brain, and the subsequent essay that was written right after that also popped back into my head. I’m re-posting the essay since it was so much fun for me to be a part of. I’ll have to do another one of these RN’s sometime soon.
Word Count: 992
This Raven’s Narrative thing that was originally supposed to take place in June (postponement due to the #416 Fire) suddenly happened this past weekend. The first session on Friday night in Silverton, and a follow-up presentation the very next night in Durango. I’m sure some of you are wondering how it went, and even if you aren’t (which is probably the case with most folks) I’ll tell you whether you’re interested or not.
Was it a success? Total actually, and the feeling I got after Friday night’s performance was nothing short of discovering that winning lottery ticket that you still haven’t cashed in, haphazardly sitting on your nightstand.
When I had originally looked into getting involved in these RNs (which shall henceforth be the acronym for the Raven Narratives I’ll use–I’m basically just too lazy to keep writing the words in this essay), I was a bit apprehensive. Who wants to actually pay to see someone like me up on a stage spouting various irregular platitudes? Turns out there are all sorts of people around these parts who enjoy listening to yours truly relate stories from my past. In an extremely quirky manner too, which as some of you know, I’ve perfected through years of drug-free mind wandering.
My preparation for the event involved a similar modus operandi to that of various acting projects I’ve participated in from the past, but with a slight variation to the procedure. Since the theme of the 2018 early fall RNs was “water,” the story I chose was an H2O related essay taken from the self-published book I put out in 2015 (Silverton Style-volume #0). Specifically, the “Land of the Free, Home of the Brainless” adventure. In this case though, I basically took the original essay and made some major alterations to it; cut this part from the story I wanted to tell, deleted another section of the enterprise, added a few new highlights to make the story more engaging. Most of all, updated other sections.
In essence, making all sorts of changes, and one of my friends even commented after the RN sessions were finished on Friday night that the new story I related was so different from the original essay I put in the book. Actually, that was my ultimate intention when I started developing the story way back in early May of this year. The finished product I pitched to Sarah Syverson (RNs coordinator) was different in the same way apples and oranges are. They’re both fruit, but completely dissimilar in more than just appearance and taste.
I actually got within an eyelash of memorizing the entire new story in late May, then the#416happened, and everything got put on hold. In a weird sort of way, I’m glad this took place since it gave me a little more time to polish the finished product. The closer we got to last weekend’s shows, the more I practiced the treatise.
Saying everything back to myself while lying in bed, as I was taking a shower, wiping tables at my restaurant job, stocking shelves at my grocery store job, doing yoga. Everything short of saying it back in my sleep, and essentially any time when I didn’t have to think too much so my mind could wander in a different direction.
I’m assuming I probably looked somewhat strange while I was saying the story back to myself, but then again, this sort of thing happens on a regular basis with me. As authority type figures say all the time at the scene of an accident when they’re trying to clear the area. “Nothing to see here people, time for all of you to move along.”
As we drew closer and closer to the date of the RN, there were all sorts of things I did to ensure the success of that evening’s performance. One was inviting a ton of people to the show. By “a ton”, I’m not exaggerating when I say it was something like twenty-eight of my friends to the Friday performance, and another fifteen to the Saturday show.
Not really sure what the actual number of individuals who showed up at each show was, but let’s just put it this way; the Fire Marshal probably would’ve freaked out big time at the Friday night performance in Silverton since they had to put extra seats in the aisles to accommodate everybody that showed up. The place was packed, and a similar situation greeted us performers the very next night at the Durango show. Luckily, this one was outdoors, which allowed folks to spread out on the lawn right next to the stage. This being Durango, it was actually still warm enough to do evening stuff outside too. Needless to say, I was extremely happy with the final outcome.
My actual performance was also a revelation. I had said the story back to myself, and refined the words to the adventure along the way, so many times, that I was slightly nervous, but more than a bit excited before I got up on stage. Once it got going though, and just like water itself, the words seemed to flow. In a few places, I actually had to slow down a bit as I regurgitated the words almost too fast. The result? I didn’t want to walk off stage when I was finished. Performing in front of a live audience, and when everything just seems to click, is indeed a most intoxicating drug. More than a bit fun too, and another major step in the life-long odyssey that’s become my writing career.