Merci ! For all of you, in French and English

Thanks ! For all who loved me

For all who had loved me
For a day or for years
All who had desired me, and I desired,
For years, month or a few hours 
Or imagining that he loved or wanted me
A day,  months,  or many years;
Or even for a wonderful night:

I have not forgotten
I have not regretted
I have not forgotten

Neither my years long teenage flame
Disappeared even before we touched;
Nor my first kisses on the street or a bench
In the almost closed park;
Or swimming midnight naked into the lake
And the tender chaste cuddling near a wood fire

I have not forgotten
I have not regretted
I have not forgotten.

Becoming woman at 25: it was not too late!
Our children were conceived with fervent kisses
I have not forgotten!

Deceptions, betrayal and sorrow followed,
Bitter ashes covered too often the great times
But I learned, even if later : one evening
Can make me happy for a whole year
I have not forgotten any of you !

Betrayed or neglected: I have not regretted.
I cried, then later told myself "it is I who imagined"
"It was me who lured myself he loved as I loved
That he wanted as I wanted and desired "

Yes, I desired, I loved
And even it not for all life
Was desired, was loved
I have not regretted
I have not forgotten

I loved some  and strongly desired others
I have loved and lived, and I do remember.
Thank you all for those moments, 
Those years  or moments of happiness:
I do not forget!

And here is the French original

A tous qui m'ont aimée ou désirée

Pour tous  qui m’ont aimée
Pour un jour ou des années
Pour tous qui m’ont désirée et j’ai désiré,
Ne serait-ce que des heures

Ou imaginant qu’il m’aimaient ou désiraient
Pendant des mois, des années; 
Ou une merveilleuse soirée.

Je n’ai pas oubliée
Je n’ai pas regrettée
Je n’ai pas oubliée!

Ni mon flamme d’adolescente
Disparue dans la fumée;
Ni mes premiers baisais
Dans le park presque fermée;
Ni la plongée deminuit nu dans le lac 
Ou la tendresse davant un feu de bois

Je n’ai pas oubliée
Je n’ai pas regrettée
Je ne vous ai oubliée!

Femme, tard dans la vie: jamais trop tard
Nos enfants conçus de nos fervents baisers
Je n’ai pas oubliée!

Deceptions , trahisons et blessures entassés
Cendres amères ont couvert nos bon moments

J’ai apprise alors, qu’une seule soirée
Peut apporter de la joie pour toute une année
Je n'ai pas oubliée!

Deçue ou délaissée, je n’ai pas regerttée
J’en ai pleurée,et puis dit “c’est toi qui a imaginée”
"C”est toi qui t’est leurrée qu’il t’aimais comme tu aimais
Qu’il te désirait comme tu le désirais"

J’ai désirée, j’ai aimée
Je n’ai pas regrettée
Je ne vous ai oubliée

J’ai aimée ou je vous ai fortement désirée: j’ai vécu
Merci pour ces moments, ces années de bonheur:
Je ne vous est oubilée!


7' Gig at Comedy School as special guest

November 2013 after a "refreshment workshop" with the Comedy School they invited me to perform at the showcase of new Standup Comedy students.

I opened the show, alas I was allowed only seven minutes from ten prepared. But of course, one has to adapt each time.

This year I had my ten minutes at "Old folks jokes" but I do not have yet its video recording. And now, 10' also opening at Ivor Dembina's 'you should have listened to Ivor'. Went very well, made those present laugh a lot.

New tips to look for when you look at it the second time.

Listen to how I begin.
First recognising what everyone can see: I am old. (Later, that I am not English, that my mother language was Hungarian.)

It is good to recognise what they see and hear. Then of course comes the surprises. In my case proving that we old folks are "open minded", surprising those listening with 4 letter words.

Finally, "toping" by telling the tale about my daughter and she "not being there". That connects to all of us who ever did something because "he or she was not there".

"Toping" is adding to a punch line without necessity to introduce, it also gives it a more impromptu feeling. Like you just invented it, now for this audience. I top even more at the end.

Be aware that nor in Comedy or in Storytelling do you have to stick to the "exact truth" about time, names, durations, for example. It is very important to be "in the moment" - so my daughter really called me - but it was more then a year before (just before my first ever standup comedy performance), so what? I told it first the day it happened and then 77+ times as it was that morning.

It is not important when, and it make seem more "fresh".

And I still tell "I am 77" it seems a sexier year, easier to remember then 78 or 79 (or now, more).

Observe how I finish.
I segue with what come before, "I am a bit out of practice now, but" and 'top" again then give my most outrageous sentence of my performance. It work very well every time. Sometimes, I got even standing ovation for it. But then, I do not stop at that but top it and top it again, usually getting laughter after laughter for the end.

It is best to leave your best working part to the end, your second best at the beginning.

I found the sentence after six hours of workshop at Camden with Ivor Dembina, who probed deep into what is we do not tell usually because "that is what the audience is interested is enjoying best".  I hesitated for three month until I first dare to try it out. It does work each time.

Added to the routine (It grows with new frustrations)
There are some added parts that were used the first in this performance, from frustrations I got just then before I performed this, about my teeth.

I also added the routine about my eyes (is it in this yet?) Later, I found a better way to introduce my Kindle (not in this performance yet). It does get a huge laughter as I talk about "Size is import - well, sometimes" and let the audience think first of something else, "I did not say it" as just before it I added a part that is about a message I got on Facebook. (See my later gigs for that).

Observe how I go from one part to the other.
Just before I performed I was told that I have to do only 7 minutes not 10 as I was promised. I had to cut some parts. Because the routine has been made in Parts, I could leave out some. But is is more difficult then. Usually I put a word at the end of a routine to trigger in me and remind the next part.

All audience is not as receptive as this was. Sometimes a part works better or less depending whom listens. That is normal, most important is all love and enjoy most of it.


True Tales - Julie Kertesz, Manchester Town Hall

More audience, lots of energy, easier and not more difficult to perform,
to tell my true tale of when I was 10 years old and the war caught up with me.

There were almost 500 in the huge town hall in Manchester that day.
I had some difficulty to find a "good ending", a satisfying ending to a sad tale.
Of course, "I am here to tell the tale" was already great, but I found a more touching end.

One can tell the same tale so many ways! There are all "true" but how you tell the story counts.


Never Too Late, Never Too Old, from Toastmasters Magazine, June 2016

Never Too Late, Never Too Old
Stand-up comedian and storyteller proves 
that adventures can start at any age.

BY SHANNON DEWEY TM Magazine June 2016

In 1944, an unassuming girl from Transylvania began the simple task of recording her thoughts in a diary while hiding in Budapest after fleeing the Nazis during World War II.

Julie Kertesz’s diary entries as a 10-year-old have served as a roadmap for her storytelling 70 years later. Kertesz, DTM, is an efervescent Toastmaster who uses her intriguing past and honest humor to engage audiences all over Europe, especially in London. Kertesz initially found Toastmasters in 1977 while living in the United States, and with typical candor she admits her reason for joining.

Should I confess? I was just divorced and working in America, and I wanted to  find a place with more men than women!” Kertesz says. “Did I  find ‘my man’ at a Toastmasters club? No, I’m still looking. But I found my voice!”

She performs stand-up comedy, teaches a storytelling workshop, attends meetings at the Lewisham Speakers Club in London and writes blogs. Every few decades she’s encountered major changes in her life, but she’s learned to make the best out of any situation and  nds humor in everything.

Crossing Cultures
For 35 years, Kertesz called Paris, France, her home. During that time she worked as a chemist and later as a researcher while studying for a doctorate in chemistry. Life had thrown her a curveball, however, and after her marriage ended, she took her two children and her Ph.D. to the U.S.

For a long time I asked myself who am I? I felt like a  fish out of water,” Kertesz admits. But then, a er living near Washington, D.C., for three years, she felt welcomed, especially a er discovering her  rst club, Monument Toastmasters in Silver Springs, Maryland.

Kertesz worked as a visiting fellow at  e National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. But without U.S. citizenship, she could only stay for a limited time under her work contract, so she packed up her life again and returned to France. But  finding a research chemist position at that point in her life proved impossible. After being told that she was too old, she was forced to change professions.

In 1981, at the humble beginnings of personal computers, Kertesz developed an interest and started a company that distributed American computer products in France. She even had the privilege of meeting computer industry pioneers Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Bill Atkinson.

I liked being a chemist, but I loved working with personal computers,” Kertesz says. “I never even dreamed I’d be a computer company founder and buyer/seller, but I discovered with delight when approaching age 46 that I had it in me.”

60 is the New 30
When Kertesz turned 60, she retired from her computer career and began to read through her 50 years’ worth of diary entries. She started saving them as  digital files to share with her children, but in doing so she realized that others may be interested in her stories, so she published them. Soon, her blog julie2004.blogspot.co.uk was up and running.

Photo in front, courtesy of The Guardian newspaper. This one taken in Tallinn by fellow TM. 

Julie Kertesz (center) stands with Toastmasters Oscar Santolalla, left, and Asta Pipiraite, after presenting her Funny Bones workshop in Tallinn, Estonia, for two Nordic European Toastmasters divisions last November. Bottom, Kertesz poses for a newspaper photographer while in Budapest where she participated in the Continental Europe Toastmasters Laugh and Learn conference in 2013.

Written in French, the diaries reveal her authenticity starting with entries from 1944. During that time, Kertesz and her family, who were Christian but of Jewish origin, were living in hiding under the steps of a coal cellar in Budapest. 

Here  is is an entry from December 25, 1944:
“Yesterday we celebrated Christmas. I am filled with happiness! Yet there is a war. We have fir branches hanging from the ceiling, we decorated them and added candy. I received so many gifts! ... For two days we hear the roar of guns so strong that even mom heard them, at least the most violent ... A small bomb fell outside the church of St. Apostles (but no one died).”

While she enjoyed writing and sharing her stories, Kertesz also discovered photography at age 70 and joined the popular website Flickr, where she posts images for public viewing (www.flickr. com/people/joyoflife). Her photography consists of nature shots, portraits of strangers, places where she travels and more. Sixty thou- sand photos later, Kertesz is still posting every day. Her photos have surpassed 10 million views from people all over the world.

In another change of events, in 2008 Kertesz moved to London, England. Although linked to millions of people through her blog and photography, she again felt disconnected in her new city. But a er a short time she found her way back to Toastmasters and joined two clubs, as well as participated in Spark London events (Britain’s  rst true storytelling initiative), where she performed be- fore a paying audience. After earning her Competent Communicator, she started a blog in English competentcommunicator. blogspot.co.uk/ where she offers advice and videos.

Coming to London, I wanted to  find like-minded people and tell my stories,” Kertesz says. “I had  nally found my tribe at Toastmasters.”

Branching Out
In her late 70s, Kertesz stepped out of her comfort zone and dipped her toe into the pool of stand-up comedy.

Sporting short white hair and well-earned wrinkles, Kertesz admits she may give off  a “grandma” vibe when strolling onto a stage at the comedy clubs. But audiences learn quickly not to judge her by appearance alone. Her stand-up act includes allusive jokes about her love life and some self-deprecating humor about her age, with four-letter words sprinkled in, despite her daughter’s advice. In this case, the grandmother uses her geriatric status as an advantage to conjure laughter.
“I had never even heard of stand-up comedy until age 77, and it was only then that I learned we all have funny bones—we just have to cultivate them,” Kertesz says.
I believed for so long that I was not funny. But we develop, with time, a ‘comedian’s eye,’ looking at all our problems and learning how to present them so others will laugh with us.”
Kertesz now incorporates elements of what she’s learned onstage back at her Toastmasters clubs, or while giving speeches as an Ambassador for Toastmasters’ revitalized education program (REP). She also saw the fruits of her labor recently when she was invited to Tallinn, Estonia, to give a workshop on “Funny Bones” to two Nordic Toastmasters divisions.
“Speaking from the inside connects us to any audience,” Kertesz says. “I learned to connect with a young audience as a stand-up comedian and with a middle-aged crowd as a personal storyteller.”

She especially bonds with her audience when she performs her personal story titled “When I was 10, the War Caught Up With Me.” Watch a video of it here: bit.ly/1RCNBKM.

What’s Next?
These days Kertesz, who turns 82 in July, spends time on her Kindle reading romance novels, scrolling through Facebook and adding to her Flickr photo account. Since she is tech savvy, she was an early adopter to meeting online with a group of advanced Toastmasters from around the world. That group chartered in March as the Firebirds Collective club.
“I learned through my online meetings that we can get to know each other even better through the web, and in a fun environment like that we learn a lot from one another.”
So what’s Kertesz’s next adventure?

“I hope to give more workshops, visit my clubs o en as an REP Ambassador and create a storytelling club for Toastmasters of different continents,” she says.

Kertesz has come a long way since fleeing her home in the midst of the Second World War.  A young girl, quietly writing in her diary, would have been surprised to know how those entries would impact people in other countries 70 years later. 

SHANNON DEWEY is the editorial coordinator for the Toastmaster magazine.

What is next? was asked in February, the article was published in June.
While continuing to offer Storytelling and Funny Bones, workshops, in various clubs and online too, Julie Kertesz continued to work as Pathway Ambassador also. 

In July 2016, she found a team as enthusiast as her and together they created Witty Storytellers Online, chartered in September, with members from 11 countries, many continents. She is VPE of the first speciality online toastmasters club. 
Her adventure continues. 


Mistaken Identity 'The possibilities are endless' video by Spark London

Here is the Mistaken identity tale filmed from a lateral point of view by Spark London when I performed.

in the iframe so - even an ipad could see it.

AND somehow it is different when one listen to it,
I think we could learn from each kind when we relisten or relook
- and not only the evident English mistakes I made during the telling -

My body language, facial expression and even voice variety got better
but I have still far to go! And I do not rush out (most of the time) after a performance.

I am most pleased that this serious message got well across and so much laugher too: it did decide me to learn about "how to make laugh with intention" not only by chance. At 2'7 the audience begun to laugh when I stripped, took out my tee-shirt, and they never stopped.

Sound track of the story I told at Canal Café Theatre


Julie at Cavendish Arms, end June 2016

Between 24 young great comedians, I was elected best at the end of evening.
In plus, for of my grown up grand-children assisted to this comedy night!



Created for publicity through three days of filming, four minutes and half result in this. Copyright VICE

A film made with my activities

The company thought that I am good example of "active senior" and even paid me to allow to be filmed for three days. A scene opening my curtain, another with an egg boiling, then me cutting it for breakfast as sipping coffee while opening my laptop.

Then out in the nearby alley for a walk: it was a great day but I was very tired by the time the finally very short scene was finished turning. We also went to a "car boot sale" outside London where I could take photos of people met. I did also buy there myself for a pound a nice porcelain with a kid "reading" images with her finger. 

They also interviewed me but very little from what I said remained in the video, but I hope, I will get the rest so I could use them later. And as evening, we went to a Standup Comedy place, reputed good, and I got a good reception from the audience, even as I did not get to begin as usual. 

What impressed me most was the professionalism of the filming crew. One only for the sound. Two for video. One to direct and interrogate, another to arrange and prepare all what was needed. Wow! Three days almost with all of them, and me, and all for a four minute result. I begun to understand now why films cost so much. But also appreciate all the work that goes into taking every minute.  


It's already December

Original recorded in Spanish - translated to English Singing together, can also celebrate the differences and friendship In this, a Bishop and a Rabbi singing together Christmas and Hannukah begin at the same time this year Havana Ghila (welcome) and Silent night