The Writer as Performer.

June 12th, 2012

This might come as a surprise to those who view me solely as a wordsmith, but I love singing nearly as much as I love putting pen to paper. I spent my adolescence majoring in voice studies at a high school for the performing arts. I recorded a CD of jazz standards (still available over at CD Baby). Over the last two decades, I’ve performed in voice competitions, musicals, concerts, coffee shops, bars, videogame trailers, and the shower. Striding to the centre of a stage, facing the audience only to be blinded by hot spotlights, taking a deep breath and then sending my heart and soul soaring to the rafters—the experience of performing never fails to intoxicate me. I love the instant connection with the audience, and the sweat that runs down my back as I belt out a siren song.

My performance life and my writing life do not often intersect. There is little applause associated with completing a manuscript. Seeing my name in print does not provide the same ilk of thrill as performing live. I do not get to see the reader enjoy my work. Audience approval comes later, if at all, be it in the form of a review, or a blog mention, or a note from a reader who was moved enough by my work to tell me about it. I have had to adjust my expectations vis a vis the gratification I receive from my writing, because I might not ever receive it from outside of my own head.

So it’s nice when the opportunity arises where I’ll be able to actually observe people experiencing my written work. Yesterday I found out that my post-apocalyptic short story The Room Between has been shortlisted in the WEWW 2012 Writing Contest. On June 20, join me and the eight other prose finalists at Vancouver’s Barclay Manor as we read our stories and the top three winning stories are announced. Event details are available here.

If you’re in the Vancouver area and would love to hear a wide range of short-form prose read by the authors themselves, I invite you to come on out to Barclay Manor. I look forward to looking into your friendly faces as I pull my written words off the page and send them soaring to the rafters.

6/21 UPDATE: The reading went exceptionally well, and The Room Between placed third overall in the prose category! Thank you to the WEWW for the opportunity to perform my work, to those in attendance for being so receptive, and to Rhea Tregebov (contest judge) for the award. 

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