Charisma

Charisma: (n) compelling attractiveness or charm

I just finished a performance.

I don’t think the audience liked me.

The money was bad; the response was tepid and nobody was particularly interested in purchasing my books.

So I asked myself, what did I do wrong?

Always our first inclination. Where is my fault in the matter? It is an agonizing process, but without it, vanity can make us intolerable.

You know what the truth of the matter is? The people who sat and listened may have been with their moms and dads years and years ago and heard one of the parents comment or joke about a heavy-set man walking by, portraying that he was less than acceptable.

Maybe that person just never forgot that little drama. Maybe he or she found themselves trapped in a response that was not his or her own, but so ingrained that it popped out without permission.

Charisma is such a wicked maze of misunderstanding.

For after all, one man’s “beautiful” is another man’s “plain.” And one woman’s “gentle” is another woman’s “boring.”

So what’s the best we can do?

Find our gift, work on our gift, share our gift in good cheer.

For lo and behold, anybody who would benefit from knowing us will certainly find us.

 

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Celebrity

Celebrity: (n) a famous person.

I remember the first time it happened.

I was sharing at a book conference about my latest release, and the announcer, in an attempt to beef up my credentials, told the splatter of
humans attending that I was “a celebrity.”

His exact wording was, “We are so pleased to have our next guest, who has achieved celebrity status.”

The oddness of his phrasing was further punctuated by a pitiful smattering of applause.

The introduction bothered me.

Since we live in a social structure which insists on honoring a social structure, ranging from famous people all the way down to “nobodies,” it seems difficult to breathe in a sense of self-esteem unless we are constantly touting our self-worth.

After all, we don’t want fifteen minutes of fame because we desire to be famous. Rather, we want to make sure we don’t end up being the guy or gal who never got it.

So at the end of my little lecture that morning, I opened the floor to questions, and a young boy about nine years of age raised his hand. I have learned over the years that allowing such a lad to offer a question can open the door to, “Does anybody really like your book?” or “How’d you get so fat?”

But I took the risk, acknowledged the kid, let him take the microphone and offer his inquiry. He was a pretty nice little guy. The only thing he wanted to know was, “Are you really famous? Because if you are, I want your autograph.”

There was a giggle in the room. I don’t know if they were giggling because he was so cute, or wondering why in the hell somebody would want my autograph.

So I asked my young friend, “Have you ever heard of me before?”

He frowned and shook his head.

I laughed and said, “Well, then I guess I’m not famous. I guess, like everybody else, I’m just a celebrity in my own mind.”

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Cab

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Cab: (n)  short for taxicab.

Even though we contend that honesty is the best policy, sometimes the dividends are questionable.

Often I will admit my weakness or even ignorance in an attempt to create empathy with an audience–only to have someone come up to me afterwards, shaking their head and saying, “You really feel that way?”

So with that in mind, with some trepidation, I offer the confession that I have only been in a taxicab four times.

I don’t live in New York City.

I have never been without some sort of vehicle for my own personal use.

So the idea of climbing into the back of a car and telling a driver where to take me, as a meter continues to remind me of how much I’m going to have to pay for the opportunity, is a little unnerving.

I also have this flaw of wanting to converse with everyone I meet. During my taxi drives, this became problematic. All four of my drivers were apparently advocates of maintaining their language of birth instead of pursuing the local dialect. So they did talk to me, and I tried to catch a word here or there, but I am sure I nodded my head at the wrong places and remained silent during awkward intervals.

I also remember that I was always surprised at how much it cost. Matter of fact, when I watch a TV show based in New York City and see them taking all those cabs, I always wonder how they can afford it–unless they don’t have an apartment and sleep in a box somewhere near a subway grate.

So it is difficult for me to talk about cabs.

Does it help that I like the game show where the driver asks the passengers questions– Cash Cab?

Pretty lame, huh?

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Budge

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Budge: (v) to move slightly

I am an oxymoron.

For I will tell you of a certainty, I am a domesticated gypsy.

Or a gypsy, domesticated.

Half of my journey has been raising a family of fine sons, who now hDictionary Bave lives of their own.

But intermingled was a series of travels to share my art and heart with hundreds of thousands of people across the United States of America.

It was a precariously divine mission, one which I had to spark up in my soul daily, to guarantee enough pistons in the engine to propel me forward.

So I was often amused when I finished my show, which included music, humor and dialogue, and the sponsor nervously came to my side, twitching and relieved, and said, “It sure seems like everybody enjoyed it.”

I do think this individual usually believed if he or she had shared some problem or preference that the audience expressed, that I would leap at the opportunity to amend my approach or add a different angle to my presentation.

Here’s the truth–and you’ll just have to believe that it’s the truth since you’re not that familiar with my soul.

You can change your cologne but not your face.

What I mean by that is, if somebody wants you to smell different, it’s really no big deal.

But when somebody wants to change your look–or your outlook–they’ve landed on sacred ground.

I’m always willing to change things that don’t matter, but I won’t budge if I believe they have eternal consequences.

 

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Bozo

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Bozo: (n) a stupid, rude, or insignificant person, especially a man

I’m not certain of this little piece of information, but since it’s on the Internet, who in the hell cares?

But I do believe that the original “Bozo the Clown” was produced and filmed in Chicago, Illinois. The reason I’m not certain is because during my growing up years, we didn’t have Bozo. In Columbus, Ohio, we had a character named Flippo.

Yes. “Flippo the Clown.”

Originally, the gentleman hired to play this part was given an inexpensive black tunic with white cotton balls sewn on it, and a silly flock of hair with cheap dime store makeup. He was commissioned to be the instigator of foolishness for children as he introduced favored cartoons and giddy newsreels.Dictionary B

But our clown, Flippo, had a much broader vision for his role. Rumor had it that he favored certain beverages before filming the kiddie show, and the more he imbibed in these intoxicants, the looser he became before the cameras, often throwing in adult references which clearly surpassed the scope of the understanding of the average child, only to be appreciated by mature ears.

He was very popular. He was also highly criticized by Ohio mothers who felt that he was not always appropriate for younger ones.

Flippo didn’t care. He made a multitude of appearances in small-town venues all across the landscape, always drawing a respectable crowd of followers and even a few female fans. Some of these clown admirers found themselves invited to Flippo’s changing room, where certain scandals began to trickle out to the public.

I’m not exactly sure what finally happened to Flippo, but about the time that people in Chicago discovered that Bozo…was, the audience that was watching Flippo suddenly flipped. 

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Band

Band: (n) a group joined togetherDictionary B

We can learn a lot from music.

First of all, music admits that it gets better as it includes more elements.

  • Melody welcomes harmony.
  • Harmony is not prejudiced against rhythm.
  • And rhythm doesn’t think it has a beat on everything.

What makes a great band?

  1. Find your heart.

Whatever makes you tingle, feel and think.

  1. Find your voice.

How do you want to say it–in a way that will edify human beings instead of depress them?

  1. Find your mates.

Locate those of like, precious integrity and purpose–and hang onto them.

  1. Find your sound.

Create something which only exists because you do.

  1. Find your audience.

See if your chimes ring anybody’s bells.

If we apply those principles to everything we do–politically, spiritually and emotionally–we will come up with much better solutions.

A band does not believe it’s the only thing on the scene, but it must know that it’s on the scene… because the only thing it brings is another reason to believe.

 

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Backstage

Backstage: (n) the area in a theater out of view of the audience, especially in the wings or dressing rooms.Dictionary B

Everyone who ends up onstage has to spend some time backstage.

Matter of fact, you may feel that you’re cursed to that arena, never to gain spotlight.

But I have been backstage many times in my life, and I will tell you, there was never one single occasion when I failed to learn something.

I went through a season when I warmed up the audience for national acts, who were much more famous and adept at the art form than me. So being backstage was a mingling of realizing that no one in the large audience knew who I was–or cared, for that matter–and that if I was to gain any traction whatsoever, I would be required to arrive with my running shoes.

I’ve also been backstage during talent competitions when it was obvious that the person performing center-stage before me was equally talented, or even more blessed, and I needed to refuse to criticize them, but instead, just give my best.

Backstage is where we learn to listen and prepare instead of perform and mug for the audience.

It’s where we take inventory of what we are about to do and eliminate foolish choices.

It is the location for the introspection that causes us to become viable to those around us instead of just becoming jealous no-talents.

 

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