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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dictionary with letter A


Anti-climax: (n) a disappointing end to an impressive, exciting series of events

I have giggled my way through many a drama class and theatrical discussion as people have tossed the word “climax” in the mix, forgetting that it is a double entendre. If it weren’t for the word “orgasm,” I would not be able to pursue creative adventures without constantly chortling like a schoolboy.

That said, I will tell you that the actual definition of anti-climax gives you the source of the despondency and lack of faith that has begun to creep into our social structure.

I have never thought agnosticism to be a vice, but rather, an obvious pouting which occurs from disappointed dreamers. Let’s just look at the things in our society which are anti-climactic:

1. Our election of public officials.

We spend so much money electing officials and then basically end up with what we started with–except those elected become arrogant because they won.

2. Sports.

I don’t want to be the old guy walking around hiking up my pants, talking about “how good it used to be.” But we certainly have lost the ability to field teams which have consistency, humility and the capacity to evolve instead of merely seeking out a new sneaker deal.

3. Church.

It has now become like some great-aunt who is constantly complaining because “you don’t call or write.”

Rather than offering a dynamic platform for lifestyle and vision, it heaps tons of guilt onto people who are ill-prepared to deal with their inadequacies.

4. Sex.

Speaking of climax, we seem to have gone back to an era of sexual embarrassment, wherein we promote the struggle between men and women instead of the pleasure that can be derived by enjoying each other’s company.

5. Music.

Songs are being recorded and performed, with staging and production becoming much more important than message and heart. I have nothing against adding dancers to a song, but when I find myself discussing the choreography instead of the musicology, I think we may have gone a little too far.

Honestly I could go on all day and by the end of that time you would hate me for being such a nudge.

I think the key to avoiding anti-climax is what every young man eventually learns if he’s going to function in the world of romance:

Don’t make too many promises, show up eager, learn from the experience, and get better.


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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix


Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Act: (v.) 1. take action; do something 2. perform a fictional role in a play, movie or television production.

I was very proud of myself.

I had taken a position as a professor at a very, very small college–a position I was neither qualified nor prepared for in any way. Yet I was determined to do a good job.

I was asked to teach a class on drama. I thought the best way to instruct in drama was to write a three-act play and involve my students in the process of discovering the craft through the execution of an actual production.

To make sure that it would have some community appeal so we could sell tickets, I brought in a ringer. She was a lovely actress I had met a couple of years earlier , who had toured in one of my shows. She was delightful. She agreed to come in and work with the novices, and joined me as we went into rehearsals.

It was touch and go. I suppose, using a barnyard analogy, that it would be similar to trying to convince  a pig to lay a daily egg.

Yet after about a month’s worth of struggling interchanges, we were ready for opening night. The cast was nervous and so was my dear professional. She was wondering where they were going to fall apart–where she would need to step in to cover lines and bobbles. To make it even more interesting, the critic from the local daily paper had appeared to review the show.

Everything went splendidly throughout Act I, when all of a sudden, my intelligent and well-versed actress freaked out, skipped the entire second act, moving directly into the third act of the production, leaving her fellow-performers a bit baffled and the audience absent a good bit of plot development.

It was even more comical the next day when the review came out and the title read, College Play Gains Credibility in Third Act.

Certainly made possible by the fact that we were absent a second act.

I learned a lot that night–that life is never about what we THINK is going to go wrong, but rather, what chooses to go wrong without us ever thinking about it.

And like Shakespeare told us, all the world is a stage and we are actors in the forum.

So don’t be in a hurry.

  • Enjoy Act I.
  • Understand you will need Act II for development,
  • And don’t rush into Act III because you are anxious for the happy ending.