Last night I read at Tuesday Funk, I reading series that takes place in the upstairs room of a bar in Chicago. I’ve read there before and so I knew going in what to expect: a great crowd, some really great stories, and a good meal afterwards. Add a little bit of Kahlua in my glass and I was all set.
I love giving readings. My skills still need work, I think, but I’ve definitely improved over the past five years. Before my very first reading I was very nervous, and it was all I could do to get the words out without stumbling over them too much. Now I don’t concentrate on the “oh shit I’m reading my words” as much as “I have to entertain these people,” so that helps with the nerves. Shifting my focus from me to the audience really helps. Now I try to see it as more of a performance, and with each reading I try to become a better verbal storyteller. Because that’s what it’s all about. Sure, it’s promotional and all that, and it’s a chance to hang out with friends, but it all boils down to story.
Funny how that works out, huh?