Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My First Public Reading - Update

So, I survived my first public reading with only a couple of minor mishaps. Well, one minor, the other a little bit more traumatizing. Everything went according to plan; I put together the excerpts I wanted to read, edited them after reading the pages out loud and had one of my good friends read them over too. The day of the reading I printed out the pages and this is where I made a mistake...I didn't clip or staple them together (insert foreshadowing here).

The rest of the day consisted of a lovely late afternoon lunch (seafood chowder), some shopping with one of my best friends from high school who came up for vacation, and a beer at my brother's bar. This took my mind off of the nervousness which was slowly building as the time for my reading grew closer. My friend, Shannon, and I left my brother's bar to head home, meet the hubs, and pick up my pages. I grabbed them off the table and made my second mistake...I didn't check to make sure I had them all.

The reading was held at a small bar in Portland called Mama's Crowbar. The room filled up quickly and I was pleased that so many friends and family had gathered to support me.

One of the authors was sick, so there were just three of us and I was to go last. This was good because I had time to see what the other authors did. During the other readings I sipped on a beer to take the edge off. By the time it was my turn, I was relatively relaxed and confident in my reading abilities.

I only tripped over a few words and it was great when people reacted to something I said. Then the cell phone started ringing. It was one of those awkward moments where if I were in the audience, I'd hate whoever was responsible for not only distracting me, but the performer. Here, I was the performer and I tried to press on, but I could see people looking around the room. Being that I had the microphone, I took control of the situation. "Sorry," I said in a voie louder than my usual. "So, yeah, that's my phone." (This would be the minor mishap referenced at the beginning.) I was the asshole who didn't turn off my phone and ironically it rang during my reading. Fortunately people laughed. If at me, I deserved it.

My favorite excerpt was saved for last and it was just getting to the really juicy part when I turned the page and was back on page one. Yup, I left the last two pages at home on the kitchen table. What could I do, but admit my mistake and shrug my shoulders. People wanted to know what happened next, I left them hanging and the organizer of the event said I write suspense for a reason.

Anyway, I didn't get booed and I made some new friends so overall, it was a good night. Next time I do a reading (oh yes, there will be a next time), I will make sure to turn off my cell phone and staple the damn pages together!

Here are some pictures and a recap of the Scratchpad Reading Series http://www.scratchpadseries.com/recap/the-recap-scratchpad-6/

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