Boy, am I going places! It’s like that John Candy movie “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” only with libraries. On Friday, June 8th, I had a long flight to Ontario, CA after a delay due to thunderstorms in FL, then a bumpy train ride to Los Angeles after a weekend spent in Riverside for my show at the Yorba Linda Public Library, and finally yesterday I rented a car to drive to San Diego before heading up to Anaheim for the library conference on Friday!
I feel exhausted but also on top of the world. Did I mention I finally got a library job offer as well? What a great trip this is turning out to be! Gosh, it has been a dream of mine since 2006 to do a comedy show at the library…and it finally came true…and I was paid to do it! I was booked for the performance after meeting Ozgun Turner of the Yorba Linda Public Library back in November at the California Library Association’s annual conference. He was quick to support me when everyone else was not. I was still dealing with the after-math of being in the LA Times where most librarians still weren’t sure what to think of me…so they avoided me entirely.
I was nervous about returning to California so soon after just moving away in January, plus putting together a show seemed like a huge task in what was supposed to be time spent looking for a work & not spending money on trips. Besides, I was booked to perform for two hours!!!! I hadn’t done a two-hour show since 2003 with my off-off Broadway show “Like a Publicist.” I knew I could do it but I also knew how much energy and effort it took.
I was also writing material for another show with my comedy troupe ‘The 817’s,’ another blessing that came out of me and that LA Times article. Two other creative and kind librarians had reached out to me and wanted to do a comedy show at the American Library Association’s national conference in Anaheim. I had trained at The Second City and loved performing both scripted and improvised comedy, so I was thrilled to partner with them. I just knew our diversity would also make the show that much better.
When it came time for my show at Yorba Linda Public Library, I decided to do what I do best – everything. I incorporated my literary stand-up with improv games, audience interactions, video & images, my favorite songs, parody musical performances, and lots of my literary fashions! Unlike my show in 2003 where I just had the idea for the costumes and someone else made them, this time I designed and sewed all of my outfits myself. Everything from the skirt to the hat, to the bracelets and purses - what a moment to celebrate how nothing you ever work on is a waste of time!
I was also so happy that my fellow 817’s (Danica and Dave) would also join me at the show. The day leading up to the performance was full of funny rehearsals and sharing in the laughter that I knew was possible when working with people who also understand how fun and comical libraries can be.
In the end, the show was probably my proudest artistic moment yet. I had created something that was positive and promoted the thing I loved the most – libraries and literacy, and as a result, I wasn’t nervous or aggressive in my delivery of the material. I was 100% myself – a first in my ten-year comedy career because the real me isn’t ‘cool’ or confident all the time, she is actually really goofy!
In celebrating two years of StandUpLibrarian.com the other week, it was wonderful to see that if you truly believe in something and work very hard at it, eventually the right people will come into your life and assist you in realizing your dreams. I cannot thank Ozgun Turner, Danica Sheridan, and Dave Tykoson enough for standing-up for this Stand-Up Librarian with their never-ending support and encouragement. I also want to thank the audience for their energy and excitement before, during, and after the show. Never have I had such an interactive show with an audience feeling the fun I feel on stage. This is why I like performing in libraries – people who love libraries and love books really get excited about them and can’t contain it. The performer I am now does not get offended or upset when the show goes off script or out of order. I have learned to enjoy the journey wherever it takes me, and usually it goes in a more comical direction anyway.
Finally, my favorite moment of the show was doing “Librarian Gone Wild” live on stage at the library. I had previously shared the video I created and edited on You Tube, which is a parody of Madonna’s controversial “Girl Gone Wild.” That video was a sexier version since I was replicating her dance moves and outfits in the video with live footage from a night club, but it wasn’t what I really envisioned for the song. I wanted to save that idea for my 817s…and we nailed it! I cannot wait to perform it again at ALA on the 25th.
Please join us!
Thanks again to: Ozgun Turner & Yorba Linda Public Library, Danica Sheridan and Dave Tyckoson.