Dare to fail

Dare to fail was the title of my first comedy speech in Lewisham speakers club in 2009, and indeed, I was ready to try: never guessed I could get first price with it in my club.

Dare to fail! Sais also Syd Field, whose 'the screenwriters workbook' I just got and opened. He is even more categoric: You won't learn anything unless you give yourself permission to make mistakes, to try things that does not work. Yes, of course, making mistakes on the path does not mean 'fail' even if at the moment it seams as it. You have to risk and learn and that is the way to go!

Syd sais Visual Storytelling is like screenwriting, and while I have no ambition to learn to make a film, write a scenario, visual storytelling does interest me a lot. Let us see, what I can learn from it! Alas, I have three different books and differents crafts I am studying at the same time, a bit too much perhaps! Comedy, keynote speech writing from Judy Carter, and this one. Soon, I have to settle for one, at first. For now, I am hopping here and there, hungry.


The Message: Never too late

As it seems, a TEDx is not so far away after all, it is not all "impossible dream", I begun to think to discover, between many messages, which is the more important, which is more from my whole life experience.

Is it something uniting many seemingly very different from my life stories?

I do think I found one.

So far at least is my preferred one.


Never too late, for a first kiss: I was 23
Never too late to become woman: For me 25
Never too late to have the first child: 28
Never too late to live in a new country: 30, 43 and 74!
Never too late to begin a new life...
Never too late to change profession. 48!
Never too late to discover talents you did not think you had: comedy at 77!

Well, there are many stories to choose from my life, I can tell some or not. Perhaps, I could write a book where I do put all of them? Are there new books which have videos - like a blog - incorporated, sounds and images too?

Never too late to make one!


Julie with Judy: what is your message?

In three days of the Bootcamp of champs organised by Darren Lacroix together with Judy Carter, learned so much!

From our two workshop leaders and the 22 pals who took it. Trying as much as possible to follow instructions, have fun and learn.

The first day, dedicated all to uncovering from our 'mess' in our life our messages was the most intense and more useful at the same time more difficult for each of us.

Judy Carter, who wrote the first ever book on Standup Comedy many years ago, and a new one with a whole workshop in it (still to read), wrote a new book The Message of You. She told us at the end, she learned also from us, how much we opened, and realised she never opened so much. Listening to our 'mess' and the message coming out from them, she decided to open more in future, as she felt more then ever connected to all of us.

Yes! I always told my storytelling workshop attendees, more you open more people connect to you. The vulnerabilities of others connect us to them. Make them love more not less.

The lessons we can teach others, tells so well Judy, is how did we survived our 'messes', what lesson we learned from it.

Many books about telling a true story speaks about that but we all understood it better and better in this two days. And also how important what we can transmit, through a speech, a story, stories, can become to someone others life.

Yes, I knew it already, but it became clearer.

Also how we can 'package' the stories into a whole longer keynote speech.

It was very worth while to come in Las Vegas, all the way from London, UK, for the Message and then Humour Bootcamp.

Not many want to become Standup Comedians, even if I learned, will still learn a lot from it. But we all want to be able to add humour to our speeches. stories.

A point. a story.
A point. A story.
A point. A story.

The structure recommended. For each point, one or three stories. Or a point and a long story illustratin it.

Judy recommends, to open telling about the intended audience's problem, then your message how to solve stated with a few of your credentials why are you qualified to find solutions, and finishing with action steps all can take right away to begin solving it.

Of course, through all, lots of stories from your life... More the time passes more I feel the importance of telling it with a story, or a few stories.

Still, uncovering your 'most important message' is not easy. And in fact, we all have more then one. Probably the secret is to uncover, which of our messages, experiences, stories, is the most important this time for this audience.

That is why I crafted 'the mistaken identity' that Joanna renamed 'all is possible' and perhaps I would 'there is more in us', at the middle of the economic chris is when so many lost their jobs. It is the story about me looking for work, discovering new qualities and talents I did not know I had, but perhaps, even more important, discovering the talents and skills learned at one 'job' can be used in very different one.

So much to absorb now from these three rich days!


5 "Secrets for your Stories" from Darren's Blog

Our "master teachers" do not stop going also to Workshops and learning!

5 Hollywood Secrets for Your Stories, from Darren LaCroix blog

Posted By Darren On December 18, 2012 (2:01 am) In Stage Time ArticlesStorytelling

Do you consider learning from people outside of your own industry?  When you’re already considered an expert in your field, one of the best learning opportunities is with experts in other fields!

Often, many of their hard-learned principles apply in your field more easily than you’d think.  Two weeks ago, Patricia Fripp and I went to a Screenwriters’ Summit in Las Vegas.  It was set up much like Lady and the Champs, where they had five World-Class Experts at one event.  I was excited to sit ‘at the feet of masters’ and be a hungry student.

Who were the masters? Syd Field, John Truby, Linda Seger, Christopher Vogler, and Michael Hauge were in town.  You may not have heard of them, even though they’re each outstanding representatives of the industry we call Hollywood. They teach and coach screenwriters, much like World Champions’ EDGE teaches and coaches presenters.

I was familiar with two of them. In a lucky conversation with a famous Hollywood star (who asked me to not use her name), she had advised me to get Sid Field’s The Screenwriter’s Workbook.  I knew of Michael Hauge from Fripp’s interview with him for the EDGE community (find their conversation at www.WorldChampionsEDGE.com).  Each of them has too many distinguished credits to list here.

What did I learn from them, continues Darren?

First, I’ve never heard the word “structure” used so often in a two and a half days.  Wow.  That’s a lesson to all of us.  We have both the structure of the whole presentation and the structure of each story.  Ever consider that?  Here are the best secrets from my notebook that weekend, and how you may be able to adapt them for your use.

sid#1) Syd FieldYou can’t fix nothing from nothing.”
Sid is saying that in order to tell a great story, you have to be willing to tell the story. Start telling it even if it’s really bad at first. Then you can sit down and improve it.  It’s impossible to edit it in your head.

How can you use this:

Start by recording a story as you tell it to your friends and then transcribe it.  It’s easier to improve your stories when you see them on paper.

Great stories aren’t told, they’re re-told.  There’s a process to developing a great story: keep telling it and improving it.

By the time we see a screenplay (or listen to a story), it’s gone through countless re-writes.  The value of your stories can be measured by your results, your re-bookings, and how well your speech is remembered.

Julie adds to that: I ordered his book and discovered Syd also has free access Workshop of Screenwriting on YouTube. Finally, I also did buy his book on Kindle.

john#2) John TrubyThe need is inside, the goal is outside.  The need is the psychological weakness and the hero should not be aware of their need.” 

John is telling us that the heroes of stories have a goal on the outside, where the audience can see it – as well as an inner need or wound that can be healed by the pursuit of that goal.

How can you use this:

When looking for ways to improve your stories, look at the characters. What do they want? What are they trying to achieve? Your story may come to life when you reveal the emotion of the character and, more importantly, their change of emotion during the story.

#3) Christopher VoglerThe best dialogue is no dialogue.”

Think of your favorite movie moments. What’s happening? Is there a powerful moment that tells the story in silence – when much is happening but nothing is said?  It was mentioned during the conference that one reason actor Will Smith wanted the lead role in the movie Pursuit of Happyness was the powerful yet understated moment when the lead character got the job.

How you can use this:

Most speakers telling a story are so focused on what’s said that they don’t show what’s happening without words.

For example, in my story about telling my parents that I wanted to be a comedian, the emotional moment is when they say nothing – yet you can read what they weren’t saying on my face.  In another story, when I hand my coach, Mark Brown, my speech, I let the reaction linger before Mark says anything.  The audience response told me how powerful those moments became. Pick a moment in your story and tell it in silence.

#4) Linda Seger“Ask yourself, what do you deeply care about that I can share?”

Linda’s talking about the majority of her clients who write screen plays that they think will sell, which is not a good path.  We write best from our passion and when we’re trying to find our voice.  Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino, and Woody Allen have unique voices when telling their stories. Find yours.

How you can use this:  Emerging speakers waste time looking for a ‘hot’ topic about which they can speak to earn money, rather than speaking about their passion and then finding an audience that wants or needs to hear that message. Use stories and create metaphors from your favorite pursuits. You’ll come to life when you talk about what you care about, and that’s where you’ll convey your universal lessons.

christopher-michael-fripp#5) Michael Hague“One primary goal of all storytellers is to elicit emotion.  Emotion grows out of conflict.  Desire does not cause emotion, but it does drive the story.”

Wow, that’s deep. You may have to read this over a couple times to fully absorb it.

How you can use this:

When telling stories, do you consider the desire of the character? What they’re looking for, what they’re trying to achieve?  What’s their conflict or obstacle?

You’ll tell a better story when you can answer those questions. I had a three and a half minute story that I told in my speeches until my coach showed me the only important part of the story.  Now, that story is 30 seconds – and more powerful.

If you love stories, you’d have loved that weekend with those screenwriting pros who have so much to teach about great storytelling.  These are just a few of the highlights that I picked up at the event – and you may be certain that I’ll use them my own storytelling.

If I carried away only one powerful message, it was about the value of structure.  I’ll now start to craft stories more purposefully, starting by getting the elements down and looking at the structure, desire, and emotion of my characters.

You?  Which of your story ideas is your favorite? How will you use these nuggets to strengthen your story?
Article taken from Darren LaCroix | World Champion of Public Speaking - http://darrenlacroix.com URL to article: http://darrenlacroix.com/keynote-speaker-darren/stage-time-5-hollywood-secrets-stories/


Save the cat!

From one blog to another, and then navigating the web. I found this book that is supposed to be for those writing scenarios for Hollywood.

I downloaded first the kindle sample for free, the book Save the cat! By Blake Snyder (recommended to us in Darren Lacroix blog), and a few hours later, as it already gave me a great idea, bought it. Will read it in slow sips.

The title suggest to show from the beginning who do the hero saved, what good deed he done, so we can like him instantly.

As I wanted to write a memory from my stories, I did not feel I did help many in my early childhood. But suddenly, it came to me I am not the hero: let me put my father the hero!

All changed instantly. He was of course a hero with flaws, so what? He did save more then only a cat!

Now, I can begin to relate in a prolog, how he said 'I will take him!' When at work, where there was in fact mostly a saving Jews place, they were asked: "who wants a young escaped French prisoner ? They arrived on the Danube three in a small boat from a German prisoner camp" At the time, we were hiding too and with false papers, but he continued "Katinka, my wife speaks French, we can take one."

Then begin his story, with the Red Coat, I already told, one of the worst winters he ever had while in the school. And the lesson he learned from it, and, even if I did not understood long time, transmitted to me.


Sorcerers? Dracula in Vegas? I arrived!

Arrived, seen, conquered...

Well, I already created a new story. A motivational story from an incident that gave me a new insight yesterday noon.

When one relax, and let things happen, they do. It is not this morning I will write it down yet, but I told it, expanded it in myself already many times.

Today is the BIG day. D day. B day. birthday. First step in my 80th. Will spend it with two 'famous' speakers and comedians and keynote givers: Judy Carter, and Daren Lacroix. More! 20 like minded pals!

What happens in Vegas will not remain in Vegas! Already full of the six hours outing and adventure from yesterday.


Humor Bootcamp Las Vegas 13/14 Juillet

* * * Attention: Speakers, Authors, and Performers * * *



July 13 & 14, 2013! Live in Las Vegas!

Darren LaCroix's Humor Champ Camp

If you would like to be funnier,
and connect with your audience
at a much deeper level...

Darren and Julie
Darren with me in London.

.I asked her and she said yes.  I’m THRILLED Judy Carter is joining me to help teach you! Judy is the woman who opened my eyes to the fact that humor is a LEARNED skill! If you know my story, you know her. She literally wrote the book on how to be funny! I never dreamed I’d join her on stage teaching. Be there for this amazing transformational teaching duo.

I hope, Judy Carter will be too, indeed. 
If you don’t know Judy, here are some things you should know (…and why I’m so excited!). Conventional wisdom among comedians used to be that stand-up comedy couldn’t be taught. Judy Carter changed that by opening the first stand-up comedy workshop in Los Angeles is 1984.
After appearing with her new book on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Carter became a sought after comedy teacher, teaching workshops all across the US, as well as in Canada, Australia, England, and Germany.
Graduates from her workshop include top touring stand-up comics as well as some of the top successful movers & shakers of comedy . . .
Seth Rogen (Knocked up, Superbad), Tom Shadyac (director of Bruce Almighty, Patch Adams, Liar Liar , The Nutty Professor, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and more), Sherri Shephard (The View), former SNL cast members, and headlining comics from leading clubs and the Tonight Show.
Humor is the fastest way to connect with your audience!
Whether it’s a one-on-one conversation or an audience of 1,000. You must connect before you can persuade!
What if you could make more people laugh more often? What would that feel like? What would that mean to your business? Would you be recommended more? Would you have more fun doing what you do? Your time is important, so what if we could change that in just two days?
Not only will you create your own humor at this boot camp, you’ll get up on stage and test it. Often.
You will get lots of stage time!
Proven techniques, professionally presented,
with helpful documentation. A well-constructed…”

~ Russel Scott Manthy, King’s View Consulting

Everyone wishes they were funnier, but…
Have you been envious of the person who has everyone gravitating towards? What if you could have some of that?
There’s no such thing as “Funny School.” There is no microchip you can implant to instantly make you funnier. Most people believe you are either born funny, or not. If you weren’t given the “funny gene” at birth you are out of luck this lifetime. Pray for reincarnation! Better luck next time around. This Boot Camp destroys this myth! We’ve got proof.

Boring? NEVER!

Has anyone ever bored you into their point of view? OK, maybe that one time you gave in just to shut someone up, but that is just not a powerful strategy. Agree?
Boring never “sold” or persuaded anyone! If you are a speaker, no one ever said, “Oh boy, you’ve got to hire that presenter, they can bore any audience.”

OK, maybe you’re saying, “But I’m just not funny!”

Perfect! You’re just like me (Darren). I was born without a funny bone in my body. Just ask my brother. In fact the first time my brother laughed at me is when I told him I want to be a comedian. Ouch!
I was smart enough to know that I wasn’t funny, and I needed guidance. The best thing I did was became incredibly “coachable.”
I went to people who were the best at their craft and I learned from them. Experts in any field “think differently.” A huge waste of time is trying to save money and learn from people who are just a half step ahead of you. They teach out of a textbook, not from years of experience.
So, I took every comedy class I could. I sat at the feet of the masters. I learned from the greatest humor and improv teachers in the business. I learned their tools, techniques, and followed their systems. Guess what, it worked! They were right. It was well worth my time and investment. Now, making people laugh is what I do for a living. Trust me people who knew me growing up are shocked when they found it. I was the quiet kid.
I am living proof that anyone can “learn” to be funny. We’ll prove it to you during the boot camp. You will believe it can be learned and astounded that our process works so well. You’ll leave with “a proven process” that you can repeat over and over again.

Being funny at a party or when the situation appears is good, however, learning the process of “planned humor.” Especially planned humor can add so much to one’s self confidence. Does that make sense. How powerful does it feel to have a story or a bit that works every time.

The Message of You: Find Your Message in LA

The Message of You: Find Your Message in LA the 12 July :  and also read this

From Judy Carter's Comedy Workshops blog:

"Like many of us, my father would often say, “I hate my boss. I hate my job. I can't wait to retire so my time is my own.”

My father took an early retirement at 55 as a mechanical engineer from the Los Angeles DWP, and he finally had the time to do what he wanted. The problem was, he had no idea exactly what it was he wanted to do -- with the exception of drinking himself into a stupor. 
At his funeral, there were few friends to lament his passing, to share wonderful stories of time spent together, or to pass on life lessons he had taught to them. No co-workers stopped by, so there weren’t any work stories to be shared, to tell us of accomplishments that should be remembered. And even the Rabbi was hard pressed to find stories that might show some meaning to his life.

Perhaps, that’s why I really wrote, “The Message of You” -- because I believe that when you clearly understand your life’s message, it gives you purpose. Most of our lives, like my father’s life, are dictated by the needs of others, our family, and our business obligations.  But, when we’re not doing the things we have to – how many of us can get up out of bed excited to express ourselves and do what we love to do -- and know that it is what we were born to do?

Your message is your legacy. I’m getting so many wonderful emails from readers of The Message of You who find it eye opening to do the exercises in the book, examining the journey of their life -- and finding it’s meaning. 
Don’t mistake The Message of You" Conference in October as just another speaking conference. It’s more than that. It just could be a life changing conference where you take an amazing journey – into yourself. Just like my dad -- you don’t have forever. What are you going to do today to determine how you will be remembered?

Sign up, travel to the conference, and be ready to discover your message. I’ll help you get started. 
The rest -- is up to you."


Audience, it is wonderful!

I fall in love with the audience and its reaction, with my first story, called the Icebreaker, at my first speech told in a Toastmaster club, 5 years ago almost, just a few month after I arrived to live in London.

A year later, fall 2010, I obtained the title Competent Comminucator, and created this blog.

At about same time, told my first true tale before 60 paying audience with Spark London: Now or Never - I would name it rather Never too late, relating my departure from Paris and arrival to London to begin a yet another new life.

Continued to give speeches in my toastmasters clubs, I slowly got for ten more Advanced Communicator Bronze, then Silver, then Gold. And some special Educational speeches, each time learning, trying out some new skills.

3rd year, after I joined, I spoke before 400 in the Manchester townhall, and this year, gave my first keynote at Creative Ageing day in Ayr, Scotland.

4th year, I put my teeth into something I knew nothing before and I have now more then 60 gigging as Standup comedian behind me. And a Best silver newcomer 2012 award.

In the last two years, created Storytelling workshops, as I believe true stories are so important to communicate!

I just got now the DTM, Distinguished Toastmaster reward, equivalent to a PhD, in the Toastmasters International organisation.

What now?

Well, as you get PhD, as I learned in 1977 when you got it, you realise how much more it is: you are just the newest between the scientists, I am now the newest between speakers. So much more to learn and to achieve!


Written by my 12 year old grandson

Written by my 12 year old grandson
Biggest compliment on my activities I could ever get, is this page written for my youngest grandson.

He passed it to me yesterday. The red marks on it are from his teacher to whom he gave it. "I got 6/6 for it" he told me. He is 12 1/2 years old. Loves best 'that video on YouTube were you compete to eat cakes'