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A Year of Yes: Don’t Hide the Madness

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” ~Allen Ginsberg

This week as the host of a live storytelling show, I was there as an orchestrator and doing tiny bits between our featured storytellers. Rather than overly rehearse them (as is my usual MO) I decided to be a bit more improvisational with them.

This is not my style. I like to be on point, suited up, and prepared for every eventuality. I hope for the best, and expect the worst. It’s how I survive in a mad, mad world. Some say it’s part of my charm; others say it’s part of my neurosis. Either way, that’s me.

And despite it being against my nature, I will admit that ad-libbing was actually fun. It was freeing (if a wee bit frightening) to just be able to listen, enjoy the stories, and respond. It’s a healthy thing to follow you inner moonlight, to let your madness have some time to the spotlight once in a while. Give it some room to breathe and explore. It’s interesting to see what it finds.

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It’s difficult to put into words the emotions that surface during Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself. Part magic show, illusion spectacular, storytelling night, and clairvoyant event, it is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. His poise, grace, empathy, and masterful command of the stage and audience are on a level of genius that I didn’t know was possible. I alternately cried and laughed for close to two hours, completely riveted by the through line and captivated by Derek’s presence. Mostly I sat there with my jaw on the floor because I was astounded by his work. * My friend and mentor, the incomparable writer and storyteller @tellingabetterstory, took me and our friend, @hellosemrick, to this show a few weeks ago and I’ve thought about it every day since. I will be thinking about it for many days, weeks, and months to come. Even now as I write this post, I keep getting chills down my entire spine. In & Of Itself is that electric. * Derek gave every member of the audience a gift, personal and perfectly crafted. I’m not quite sure how I’ll ever be able to repay him, and legendary director Frank Oz, for all they gave me—a stranger they will likely never meet—during this performance. Thank you feels so woefully inadequate, and it’s what I have. I mean it from my whole spirit. * Thank you, @Derekdel and Frank, for showing all of us what can happen when we show up with our whole heart, pay attention, and make purposeful connection with another person our single goal. It is the purest form of magic I know—to really see and be seen. * In & Of Itself runs this weekend at the Daryl Roth Theatre in Union Square. After Sunday, August 19th, it will be never be done again.

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