I can’t remember, so I’ll assume that I have never relived a workshop experience like Preface or Not led by reg e gaines. What he said, how he said it, and how he made me feel changed the way I looked at to the craft of writing, the art of performance, and elocution.
At the workshop, all eyes on me, I struggled to enunciate and elongate the vowels in my monologue The Collection. At one point, I’m staring down at the words and forget how to form them. My mouth opens several times, but nothing spews forth. How do you pronounce, “Don’t?”
Like a kid learning to read, or someone translating a foreign language into English, I grapple to say the word. I’m hating and loving the experience. I know I’m being pushed to do better, and it’s a struggle to accept that I am not doing my best. I need to perform the play, instead of read it. The words I’ve written have lost their meaning. I become angry and frustrated with myself for not nailing the performance!
Finally the words on a page become more than that, they transform into a scene of a woman sitting in her living room trying to catch a breeze through louvers. Her twang and delivery gave credence to the unfolding scene. No longer am I in a conference room. I am outside the house viewing the scene like a voyeur and witnessing something great. Ego crashing, confidence rising!