Saturday, October 1, 2011

Four Tips for the Performance Author

Part Two of Two Parts

By Ramona DeFelice Long


Reading to an audience is an arta performance art. It's also a skill that can be developed. Today's blog entry focuses on the final two Ps to help shy authors overcome their trepidationPractice and Psyche Yourself.


Practice – Practice has two meanings here. You’ll become more comfortable with performing if you do it often, and if you watch others. So, attend public readings. If an open mic is offered, participate. Sit in on poetry slams. Offer to introduce fellow authors at events. Volunteer, and get up to say a few words of thanks. Every time you stand up and speak, you build confidence. It’s the immunity effect. The more you perform a feared act, the more you immunize yourself against being afraid of it.

Once you have a reading lined up, how do you practice? First, decide what you will read. Make sure it fits the time frame. Read your selection, aloud, over and over. Some people practice in front of a mirror. Some record themselves. Others read to family or friends. All good ideas. The important thing is to read the piece through, beginning to end, as many times as needed to become wholly comfortable with it.

As you practice, listen to the rhythm of the words. Note when you need to take breaths. Think about the mood and tone. Think about the narrative point of view, or POV. If the narrator is a child, you don’t have to speak like a child, but you don’t want a blasé, world-weary tone.

If it’s an action piece, read a little quickly, with a vibrant voice. If it’s quiet or moody, try a steady, thoughtful tone. If you have characters with accents, consider speaking in their unique voices. If the voice is snarky or sarcastic, adopt that into your reading voice. Get comfortable raising your voice when a character yells, or lowering it for dramatic effect.

If a part trips you up, say it over and over. If you still stumble, reword or cut it out.

I print a copy in very large type. I add emphasis and pause marks to remind myself when I want to be extra-dramatic. And I practice until I’m sick to death of it. When you’re so tired of the sound of your voice reading this thing, you’re probably ready to perform it.

Psyche Yourself – Fear is both physical and psychological, so there are both physical and psychological ways to overcome fear.

First, understand that everyone in the room is on your side. This isn’t a contest or election with winners or losers. You’ve already won. You are in this spot because you did something well. Second, phone in to your inner grown-up. Being a good reader adds to your skill set. Even if you hate it, mastering public performances is a savvy move.

Now it’s time to perform. Assure yourself that you are prepared. Bring a marked-up copy of your reading selection. Bring your lucky rabbit’s foot if you think that will help. Some writers like to hold a pencil or wave it around. Some clutch a water bottle. If the set-up is not to your liking, ask to make a change. I don’t like a free-standing mic, so I often pull up a chair. I keep one hand on the chair. It grounds me.

Before you begin, take deep breaths. If someone is introducing you, the first words out of your mouth are, “Thank you for that nice introduction, Tom.” Next words, “I also want to thank My Town Library for hosting me today, and all of you nice people for showing up.” Followed by, “This was inspired by….”

Then you’re on. “This is from my new novel, The Performance Author.”

Even if you are shy, you want people to read your stories. Readers love to meet authors. They’re your people. Read to them.



Ramona DeFelice Long works as an author, independent editor and writing instructor. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in regional, literary and online publications, and she was honored by the Delaware Division of the Arts as an Established Artist in Fiction in 2009. As an editor, she works with mystery/thriller authors and collaborated with SinC’s Guppy chapter as editor of
Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology. She is active in the Delaware literary scene and maintains a literary blog at http://ramonadef.wordpress.com.




21 comments:

Loni Emmert said...

This is a great topic and a great post. I desperately need help with my reading in public as it makes me terribly nervous. Thank you!

Tony Parrker said...

I recognize that data entry is an aggressively wanted job that causes it Home Work Done be a challenge that you land a position but you can turn the actual tables around and possess the clients arrive at you. How do this possibly be accomplished?

Bane Trench Coat said...

I am particularly fulfilled by this info in this blog. I was staggering as it was useful information in this blog. This is extremely extraordinary for utilizing the pleasant information in this blog. You're the best to use the considerable in this blog and utilizing the colossal administrations by giving in this.

linda xie said...

Très inspirant, j'aime aussi écrire quelques choses, mais pas très professionnel, cela m'inspire bien. JMRouge.fr

Anonymous said...

Reading to an audience is an art—a performance art. Of course, not everyone can do something to an audience. Teachers must have good knowlege, quality and a expirience. As for me I began to understand it about year ago, and now I am writing college paper and respect teachers for their difficult work.

Megan Martin said...

Writers should have to ignore the haters and they should have trust your instincts. I’m also an Assignment Writer UK and I have been writing since last 6 years on academic industry and I just say if you want to write then just figure out what you want to say.

Abbie Alaric said...

Perusing to a crowd of people is a craftsmanship an execution workmanship. Obviously, not every person can accomplish a comment gathering of people. Educators must have great knowledge taxi in westchester, quality and an experience. With respect to me I started to comprehend it about year prior

Bailey Robert said...

for the authors and composers of the shows then. big four companies. The you apply for the rights. of performances, location, etc. Lucas Till Macgyver Brown Jacket

Mauve Tree said...

We have an awesome collection of leather jackets. Our mantra is quality over quantity and that is why we use only the finest quality of leather and stitching. Not only the we are know of on going trends and celebrity wears so we manufacture our jacket according to current trends, movies, celebrity wears and TV show. Have a look at this simple yet classy leather jacket.
Symbolic Brown Leather Jacket

Jijo said...

For many students, calculus is the most robust subject which they are needed to deal with. In this post, they will get to know how hiring assignment help can make their way to excellence easy.

Adam Hebrew said...

MyAssignmenthelp.co.uk is leading plagiarism free assignment writing help company in UK. We provide customized all assignment writing service. We are leading the market for more than a decade now and have acquired the name of being the best academic help service for our comprehensive services at pocket-friendly rates.

Harry jack said...

We want to analyze the success of the major customers and create a search engine optimizer package that gives you great success.

Click here : Hire SEO Consultant Services

Mickey Mcginnes said...

she wanted revenge for barry s death in court and frank seduced pat to get her to retract her statement and she did. so janine. Justice League Jason Momoa Jacket

Mike Rooney said...

this is a great research topic! I think the child when the child is doing something fun...etc. Maybe go to a zoo and ask the A. McKelvey This book has a few. Arthur Curry Jacket

Jijo said...

A Great Topic for research to write my assignments.

Henry Clarke said...


Best Assignment Help for College/University Students studying abroad. Get Help with Assignment Writing Online and Secure Top Grades.24/7 assistance from Assignment Helpers of 6+ years of excellence in Assignment Writing. We also provide expert Proofreaders for Assignments.

Write my Assignment said...

Many students believe that availing assignment help from assignment writing services is unprincipled. Taking help from experts is completely ethical. Professionals do not compose homework assignments for students. The students must follow each and every instruction carefully and they must approach the companies in case of seeking help from them.

In-texting is an essential part of assignment writing. Maximum students do not have clear idea about how to buy assignments online? This is the reason they should seek help from the professionals. The students sometimes land up in fake in-texting.

Anonymous said...

This page is good with great posts and the thoughts of the author are eally appriciatble.
Hey friends want to generate more robux with the help of robux generator then check out my link and enjoy online gaming with free roblox free robux generator.

Jijo said...

The experts of such essay writing service agencies in UK have some secrets to offer to the students who are unable to write their assignments. The students can seek those secrets from the assignment help services to compile a good assignments.

The objective of writing the overview is to demonstrate how good one can understand the client company and where it actually stands in the market place. It demonstrates the condition of the market that it faces and finally it depends upon the way how you or your company can help them to achieve the set goals and objectives.


If nothing works hire an assignment expert to complete the tasks. The experts are highly qualified in the academic field and they are experienced in that particular field. The students should seek help from the experts as the experts knows the perfect format of writing the academic assignments and therefore in order to get good grades the student should hire the experts.




Jijo said...

Find examples of research paper topics at MyAssignmentHelp. Interesting high school & college research paper topics. Order in simple steps and get good, easy, best ideas and examples for research paper topics.

Harry jack said...

This is my first time i visit here and I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially it's discussion. thank you.

Click Here : Professional SEO Services USA Online - VFMSEO