Real Life Travel

Just Speak

January 14, 2009


FREE. That’s all it took to get me there. And the fact that it was being held in an old theatre in Westminster, London, might`ve had something to do with it.

I was signed up to attend a workshop where Michael Attenborough, Artistic Director throughout London, was giving a talk on language and the art of writing.

The afternoon was held at the Royal Theatre Haymarket, just down the street from the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. This theatre was originally designed and built in 1720 and seats 890. (*London`s Theatres by Mike Kilburn)

Michael at one point asked how many were actors in the crowd and about 75% of the people raised their hands.  Feeling a little out of place in my playwright dream world, I hoped he didn`t ask any more questions of the crowd. Or ask me to come up. I just wanted to listen. Listen to his accent. Listen to him pick apart Shakespeare sonnet by sonnet and perhaps take one nugget away that would help me be a better writer.

My high school English teacher had never so wonderfully explained Shakespeare in my mind as well as Mr. Attenborough did that afternoon.

He said one thing that I remember especially well: “You know the play is going to work when the characters start speaking for themselves. When the playwright doesn’t get in the way!”

He talked about just letting the voice of the character you are creating to speak, and not allow the writer (moi) get in the way of a play unfolding in your hands.

He also quoted a 16th century playwright, Ben Jonson as saying “Speak, that I may see thee”.

Hmmm. That made me ponder.

I can see you in part with your smile. The way you walk. The way you tousle your nephews hair as he races by you from the kitchen to the backyard. I can only see you in part then.

But speak! Ah! Then I can truly know you. Then I can hear your heart.

I’m a strong believer that everyone has an amazing story, no matter what they think. And unfortunately, we often hide behind it. Not sharing. Not speaking for others to behold us for fear of being discovered for who we truly are!

But if you would just speak, and I would hear those things you think about at night when no one else is around and the moon is shining in your bedroom window. Just speak and I might be able to help ease the pain. Just speak and maybe I know someone that could help you get closer to your dream. Just speak and you might realize you have more inside of you than you realize. Just speak and that dream will start to come alive again. Just speak and let who you really are unfold in your Author`s hand.

Just speak.

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  • Jenn January 15, 2009 at 8:55 PM

    Awesome Lani! I love that last paragraph, especially the last sentence.

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