Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wild Woman of Queens: Notes on Urban Creativity from across the East River.

Election night-DL Hughley interviews. 11-08 Sandra Lee Schubert

Sandra Lee Schubert

Finding a Voice

At our last Wild Angels class we presented our homework. The assignment had been to create a 1-3 minute monologue choosing one of a series of topics. The idea was to get hear our own voices. Our conversation in the previous class had been on the importance of hearing. Most of the class did not read their work out loud to themselves or in a group,while, others went so far as to tape their personal readings so they could hear what they sounded like.What does the sound of our voice tell us?

When I quietly read my work there is an intimacy I share with the paper. It is just me and the words. When I read my work out loud my world immediately expands. I am no longer the "I' who is reading I now have an audience. The audience may not physically be there but its there nonetheless. Words take on another life when read aloud, taking shape into form and character.

Our voice heard for the first time can be startling.Who is that person? The voice can be strikingly different from the one in our heads.The voice you hear almost becomes a new person to you. Take the time to meet yourself.

In our class a novelist asked why he should read out loud as if only poets owned the right to speak on stage. I discover whole new persona's when my voice comes into play.There is a character I discover each time I read. In a way I become a fuller person just by using my voice.

The first person to present in class was the novelist, reciting from memory a story of his grandmother. in his telling we could connect to her by his voice. Immediately she became something more then ink on paper- her voice now had a resonance in her grandson. Others in the group presented versions of their monologues, some memorized, or not. I used a cheat sheet to help in my memorizing and reciting.

The act of looking people in the eye while reciting, connecting to them visually, is a powerful experience. The intimacy of the written word is now shared broadly.

Use your voice. Listen to yourself and see who you discover.

MP3 File

A Body of Work by Sandra Lee Schubert 4-06

I am here – lined like an ancient river that once flowed east into the great sea.

I am here – a body forlorn and bound to its remembrances.

See me – from above, the shadow sister next to the river that now flows west.

If you were to explore me – rock and bone now ground into pale sand along the urban highway – I would show you the path of water that once raged against my ample shores.

This river is bound to the earth,

waiting for the end of the world and the final rain and the one great wave that will wash me once again into the sea.

Sandra's e-course leads people to write their life stories. She is a creative vagabond, a poet, writer who co-facilitates the Wild Angels Poets and Writers Group at the historic Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own. Visit her blog: Email her or @writing4life via twitter.

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