Being brave

This is a post about bravery. Individual and collective bravery – the acts that make magical things and magical nights happen. Nights like 'New Beginnings' - stories at The Chapel in Salisbury.


The first medals are pinned to lapels worn by Clare Reddaway and Jayne Woodhouse. It was their notion to bring A Word In Your Ear’s short story formula to Salisbury – not knowing if it would work, not knowing if writers would submit or an audience show up. A new venue too in The Chapel – a nightclub with a lovely room for throwing out a few words. The Chapel was brave too – opening their doors to Live Lit before the garage and the grime.


It's brave to write and submit a story – it’s personal and there is the constant reality of critique and rejection. To read and perform a story at a Live Lit event takes the risk and the bravery to another level. ‘What if,’ thoughts start to arise…what if I lose my place, fall to the floor, forget how to speak or am pelted by rotten fruit and run out of town? Performing stories is my recreational drug of choice but for five of the cast, New Beginnings was their first time reading a story to a Live Lit audience. Despite moments of pre-show nerves, I hope they agree it carries a legacy of post-show elation. Bravo to all those who submitted and those who performed – you and your words were terrific.


The audience was brave too. Leaving the sanctuary of a normal Saturday night to come to an event like New Beginnings is an act of faith. Unsure of what they would be served, the audience members came along for this taster menu anyway – lots of them! It made for a warm reception and a good atmosphere and I hope they and others will continue to leave their sofas for libraries or nightclubs or spaceships to hear some more – I reckon it’s only a matter of time before Clare puts on an event in a spaceship.


As for me, I was nervous in front of a new audience for sure – ‘if I’m going to be run out of town, I wish I’d made a note of where I’d parked the car?!’ But the writing and rehearsals, the fear and anticipation and the adrenaline-fuelled liberation of performance is magic. I hope to experience more of that in Salisbury and in spaceships in the years to come.


Until then, there are pictures and recordings available on A Word In Your Ear's site here.


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