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A Year of Yes: Going for broke

A couple of weeks ago, my friend, Ken, was telling me about his current project and how it came to be. Someone asked him what he needed to bring his vision to life, and he went for broke. He laid it all on the line, didn’t pull any punches, and went for it. I decided to follow his lead.

Last week I was scheduled to have a conversation that I was nervous about having. I wasn’t sure what to expect, what to ask, or what the outcome would be. I knew what I needed the outcome to be, but I really had no idea how to get there. I knew a lot of people were counting on me to come through for them; I wanted to do right by them. I tried to prepare for it, create a presentation, or at the very least get down a set of bullet points. I stared at my screen and then at a piece of paper, and drew a blank. I would have to go with the flow; I had no choice.

It went fine, better than fine, better than I could have imagined. In the moment, I was asked what I needed and I laid it out clearly, reasonably, and without hesitation. If you’re trying to prepare for something, and the preparation just won’t come, maybe that’s a sign that you don’t need any preparation. Maybe you already have all the words you need.

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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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