Generosity Plus Plus

This post has been noodling around in my noggin for several weeks now.  I’ve been struggling with what to write and how to write it.  You see, I recently returned from the first FaffCon, which was a voiceover unconference.  I’d never been to an unconference before and due to a scheduling conflict, wasn’t originally planning on attending this one.   Fortunately I was able to rework my schedule and get to Portland for the event.   I wasn’t sure what to expect even though I’d helped to organize it.

What happened during those 2 days was absolutely unbelievable.  Let me back up a bit.  The structure of an unconference is different in that the attendees create the topics to be discussed and the expertise comes from within.  So if I want to learn about accounting software and there’s someone in the group who’s a wiz at it, they offer to lead the discussion.  Or I may know a ton about marketing that I think would benefit the group so I’ll lead a discussion about that.  The physical structure is such that you sit in a loose circle or something close to that and move chairs around as needed to accommodate the group.

So here we were in this new structure not really knowing what to expect.  Which was great because the sharing that was done and the knowledge that I gained blew me away.  You know when you see someone who seems to have all the answers and you wonder just how they found all that out?  What was the secret key they used to open the door to the success they’ve gained?  You know it’s there; you just can’t seem to get it for yourself.

This was the type of stuff I learned during those two days.  People were really letting down their guard and showing me the way to grow my business and exceed my goals.  It was truly life altering.  I’m so glad I was able to attend and so honored that those in attendance trusted everyone else with their secrets.  I hope FaffCon continues for a long time because; to borrow a line from the organizer Amy Snively, this is the conference I’ve always wanted to attend.

Finding your Funny

One of the great resources available to creatives in Chicago is Improvisation training at The Second City.  This training center has been around since 1959 and has been turning out incredible talent since then.  They have a wide variety of classes available from writing to directing to performing to what’s probably the only musical improv curriculum in the country.  Chicago is known for it’s improv.  We have several other places for training, The Annoyance Theatre, Improv Olympic among others.  I went through the Conservatory at Second City and was very proud to “Get the T-Shirt”.  See, when you complete the training at Second City, you get a red t-shirt with the original logo on it.  The only way you can get that shirt is by graduating from the conservatory.  It means a lot to me that I have that shirt.  I’m not a improver by discipline but I was very interested in using what I learned to further my acting.  And I have to admit, it was a huge help to me.  Not only did my co-workers at my previous job think I was hilarious, it made me more present in my auditions and performances.

My training ended there almost 2 years ago.  I really miss the practice and the camaraderie.  I didn’t realize it until I was in LA a few weeks ago and was hanging with a fellow voice talent who is incredibly funny, Amy Snively.  Amy is great at the one line comments that reflect a situation in the perfect hilarious way.  Before long, I was adding my 2 cents to her riffs and the fun began.  It was a blast.  But it also made me realize that I’d lost my funny over the months.  All the changes in my life, the sadness, the uncertainty had left my funny hang-tied with no where to come out and play.  Amy helped me find my funny all over again.  I just have to make sure I don’t lose it anymore.