word craft


Reading from my work

Avi ReadingOn June 26th I will be at the Shenan­doah Uni­ver­si­ty (Win­ches­ter, VA) 2012 Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture Con­fer­ence. Along with oth­er writ­ers and illus­tra­tors we will focus on the con­fer­ence theme, lit­er­a­ture for boys. While I will take part in a cou­ple of pan­el dis­cus­sions, I will have a solo spot, doing what I most enjoy at con­fer­ences, read­ing from my work. Over the years I have deliv­ered my share of for­mal speech­es, but some years ago, I decid­ed to do some­thing more chal­leng­ing, for me at least. I hired a pro­fes­sion­al the­atre direc­tor and a voice teacher and asked them to work with me to put togeth­er and per­form a pro­gram of read­ings, selec­tions from my own writ­ing. It’s a form of reader’s the­atre, but in this case I am the only per­former. I learned to adjust my writ­ing, at times cut­ting and even rewrit­ing, so as to make each episode dra­mat­ic, intense, and more suit­able to an audi­to­ry expe­ri­ence. I learned learn how to respond to a live audi­ence, to vary my voice, to cre­ate dis­tinct char­ac­ters, and but most of all to bring ener­getic life to my own words. I am not a nat­ur­al per­former, but for a per­for­mance to work, I need to throw myself into my words. When it is suc­cess­ful, it is deeply reward­ing for me—as a writer. I get a response that is pal­pa­bly there. As for the audi­ence, they are enter­tained for an hour. We all—I hope— have a great time.

2 thoughts on “Reading from my work”

  1. Hi Avi,

    I just heard your read­ings, and all were excel­lent. Your voice held me as rapt as your words.
    I was in the sec­ond dis­cus­sion group as well, and men­tioned to you that I had Rag­weed, and was plan­ning on start­ing it tonight.
    It tru­ly is touch­ing me already. My 21 year old son, who has floun­dered a bit, is cur­rent­ly in Europe, trav­el­ing by train. He was hik­ing the GR11 (Span­ish side of the Pyre­nees) on his own…in very remote regions, quite high up. He recent­ly end­ed the hike, but while hik­ing end­ed up in a lit­tle town called Bur­gete, where they were hav­ing the last night of a fes­ti­val, and appar­ent­ly fed him for free, con­cerned about how skin­ny he is.
    Across the world, I feel I have fam­i­ly in Bur­gete, tak­ing care of my “Rag­weed”
    Thank you so much, for con­tribut­ing so much, to our human experiences.
    Sin­cere­ly, Suzanne


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