I’m going to drop some knowledge on you: I’m a badass speech writer. Since I was a kid I would practice my Oscar acceptance speech. I’d add variation to it just to keep me on my toes: crying, laughter, telling stories from when I was a child (mind you, I’m still a child at the time) and thanking God and my Mom, “You’re sitting in the audience Mom, where are you?! Ahh I won, I made it!” That type of thing.
I was always precocious; I enjoyed attention and entertaining a crowd. I also enjoy talking...I can talk to a tree and have a blast! I do feel that I have a lot to say, that my voice is unique, and I will share with with whomever will listen.
Let me give you three examples of my badassery speech writing:
The first experience I can recall would be my first co-ed birthday party in elementary school. I was probably in fourth grade. We had a pool, all my good friends (boys and girls) were there, and it was around the time that Britney Spears “Lucky” was popular. We had gone swimming, opened gifts, and cut the cake. I gathered all my little friends around, still enjoying dessert and shivering from the long day of swimming. I strategically played “Lucky,” (go listen to the lyrics, it’s about a depressed star in Hollywood--what was I thinking?) and tried to get their attention. I wanted to give a speech and thank them for coming; I thought it was the host-thing to do! Afterall I knew there were speeches at weddings…(which, btw I intend to give a speech at my wedding...)!
I think I got through, “Thank you guys for coming to my birthday party! I’m so glad that you’re all my friends and made it today....” Then I lost their attention. I know I had much much more planned but can’t recall at the moment. They were kids who had no interest listening to their old-lady friend ramble on about blessings, the future, and my heartfelt gratitude for them...they wanted to jump in the pool. And they did. I remember feeling bummed out; I really wanted to say my spiel. But I probably played with my friends later. I had just a taste of speeches--it was like another performance and I was hooked!
It wasn’t until many years later when I was able to fulfill a dream of mine--to deliver a student address at my graduate-degree ceremony.
For my MFA program, each semester there was a cohort graduation. My first semester I sat in the chapel with my fellow students and heard the student address. I whispered to a friend, “I want to do that one day!” After a few short years and many unexpected turns later, in January 2015, in the very same chapel, I stood before my fellow students, the faculty, and our families and delivered the student address! I kid you not!!! No I’m serious, I really did!
I had a friend help me rehearse hours before the big moment. She was a professional speech writer and coached me on certain phrases to hit. We tweaked things, made it stronger, and she told me to use my Power Voice. It was awesome! I felt like I would command the room!
There seemed to have been a mix up in the program because when the MFA program director called my name to the podium, I was surprised. Some other professor was supposed to speak before me, or so I thought.
All day I was nervous that I’d trip on my way up the altar. But I didn’t...only because I tripped and fell on my bottom in a restaurant only hours before! Totally embarrassing but at least it wasn’t in front of my peers!
Honestly, that speech was a blur. I was nervous but the good kind. I hit the marks, spoke as slowly and articulately as I could, and took my breaths where I noted to. I think the address was longer than the others in the past--I took no notice but my professor joked about it after. I wrapped my speech with nostalgic moments from the redsincenies, I described the magic of Island (we had class 2 times a year on a little island with chapel and dormitories,) and how our voices as writers will continue to grow as we explore more of ourselves and the world.
I was very proud of that speech and truly honored to have the privilege to give the student address!
This past November I had a party to celebrate the sale of my screenplay! (Now don’t get too excited, it was a Law of Attraction exercise! But a damn good party!) I had 20+ friends and family in attendance, people from MA, NY, NJ, CT--a bunch of peeps! It was an epic night. I had food and drinks that would make Martha Stewart approve. I even decorated the house with a white, black, and gold theme: painted bottles, homemade sparkly tea lights, and other cute decor.
The party was in celebration of my (soon to be...hopefully) sale of my screenplay. I thought that if I had a rain dance of sorts, celebrated the sale, celebrated my dreams coming true, at some point it would happen. I would be so thankful that I would attract the sale...hence the law of attraction theme to it!
I had a board of my ideal cast which includes: Brittany Snow (or Lindsay Lohan), Elizabeth Banks, Hailee Steinfeld (or JoJo), Kathy Bates, Peri Gilpin, and Josh Hutcherson. I even had all my printed screenplays for my guests to flip through and a description of Pixie Chick Productions (just a few short months later PCP went live)!
The party was a hit: lots of laughter, swapped stories, groups of friends meeting for the first time, endless amounts of delicious food, very strong drinks, and an impromptu speech made by yours’ truly!
I had plenty to drink and was feeling really, really, really good! I may or may not have went outside for some “fresh air” or if you’re in CA or CO...I went outside for a smoke, and when I came back, as I recall it, was urged to give a speech.
In front of 20 of my friends and family, I thanked them, told them about my story, my company Pixie Chick Productions, and how I hoped to impact the world in my future with my company, cinema, and many philanthropic ideas. Each of those people encouraged me, supported me and believed in my vision and that is super helpful...actually it’s totally necessary… and so I thanked them and God to give me such great people, experiences and the drive to keep going for my dreams!
And I walked away feeling great. I loved public speaking, I love speeches and sharing my voice with literally anyone who will listen!
Thank Pixie Chicks, thanks for listening :)