Hosting: Pat Sajak, Alex Trebek and Me?

I’m a member of a fantastic organization that has been around since 1917, the Women’s National Book Association. Actually, I just became vice president of the New York City chapter, after creating and managing the chapter’s blog and spending a couple of years co-editing the online newsletter and managing the WNBA-NYC booth at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Ok, simmer down with the “WNBA? Do you ladies play basketball, too?!” comments… After the first 10 or 20 times, that joke gets kind of old. Anyway, as I was saying, I’m a member of a fantastic organization! AND…tonight I will be hosting our second annual “Open Mic,” here in New York. (I may have to do an entire blog post about Open Mic versus Open Mike.)

(I also may have to do an entire blog post about the unprecedented number of “asides” and epic use of “quotations” this post has.)

Ok, I can do this! I can focus! *sips coffee*

I will be at the KGB Bar at 85 East 4th Street tonight, to introduce 22 writers reading their original work. Some of them are published authors and some of them are not. But the thing they all have in common is their membership in the New York chapter of the Women’s National Book Association and their willingness to stand in front of a group of people and share their work.

(Ok, that’s not entirely true… If we get to all 22 readers, I will be reading the work of my good friend Rhona Whitty, who is too chicken shit to read her own great writing, which may be a good thing because she talks way too fast and despite living in New Jersey for quite a few years, hasn’t lost much of her Irish brogue.)

Have you ever read your work aloud, to a group of strangers, in a bar, with a microphone, perhaps even holding a drink? How do you feel about the “air quote”? (And how do you feel about asides?)



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21 responses to “Hosting: Pat Sajak, Alex Trebek and Me?

  1. Rhona

    I just want to tell everyone that Linda put Alex Trebek to shame last night. She was terrific! Come along to the next one and see what I mean. (This is also a cunning plan to make sure she continues to emcee our Open Mics. Cue the evil laugh. . .)

  2. gladhart

    Love air quotes, love asides, love to read aloud– I haven’t read in a bar, but I have read in a winery.

  3. Sounds like fun! I’ve read my work to a bunch of first graders. Not sure that counts. 🙂
    Break a leg, Rhona, you can do it!

  4. Steve McCann

    I’ve read my short stories several times in front of large audiences while also being recorded on video. Each time, my anxiety caused me so much distress that I swore I would never do it again. Unfortunately, after the readings I received so many compliments that I find I’m subjecting myself to this torture again (walking around with a marble in my shoe would be less stressful–oops, I inserted an “aside” :-). Tell Rhona if I can do it, she can do it.

    I wish I had an Irish brogue. Although, I once had somebody ask me if I was from England. This amazed me because I can’t imagine anybody mistaking my nasally Kansas twang for anything remotely from the U.K. Maybe I could try sounding like Harry Potter?

    • Rhona

      Hi Steve,

      You sound like you are a great reader! I wouldn’t mind the anxiety, if I could just bring the words to life, but it always sounds flat. I do intend to work on it some more. There were a couple of readers last night who were just so terrific, I’m hoping we got them on video so I can go back and listen to them again.

      A Kansas accent rocks by the way! You don’t want to sound like Harry Potter! 😉

  5. Sounds like fun! Rock the mic tonight, ladies.

  6. i’ve never done that but i do enjoy the use of “air quotes”

  7. Nice!! I hope you have a great time!

  8. Erik Larson

    Break a leg.

  9. Heather Hawke

    I’ve read at a bar, albeit without the drink in hand. Silly me, that would’ve helped – like the time I gave a lecture as a grad student on codeine cough syrup (bronchitis) to a room of thousands. Best talk I’ve ever given, or maybe, I just thought so….