Alrighty folks - I’ve never done a birthday fundraiser before, but I’m proud to do one this year in support of The Townies, Inc., an organization for which I am proud to serve as president of the Board of Directors. Reason number one has to be the amazing Kim Maxwell, speaking of local treasures.
Years ago, when my kids were small, I was outgrowing my earnest early performing songwriter phase but didn’t really know who/what I was growing into, or how to balance the quadrants of my dreams and responsibilities. I thought I needed to GET FAMOUS; I was literally raised to believe that was the goal. And I didn’t know how to balance that goal with the realities of my life.
I took a leap of faith and signed up for one of Kim’s writing/performing classes. And from day one, she employed techniques and tools and an uncanny perceptiveness that broke through straight to the heart of the uniqueness and beauty of who we in class truly were and what we needed to express right then.
She created a safe place for us do scary exercises designed to open our hearts to the people in the audience, to stand exposed and honest and say what we needed to say.
Most people in that class were not official performers, and some had never been on a stage before. For them, getting over that hurdle was a revelation in itself. But for me, I learned how to be on stage in a way that was new, and an approach that has carried me through to this day; here is my vulnerable self, using my craft to say things that are true for me, connecting to the vulnerable parts of the rest of the people in the room. We are all in this together and the world is stronger when we are brave and open and empathize with each other.
Well, I just wanted more of that. So I took some more classes from Kim, then I got recruited to join the board of Theater 150, and then when I found myself writing something massive, Kim and I joined forces to create Cinderblock Bookshelves. When she founded Kim Maxwell Studio, I was right there on that board, and then I was proud to stand behind her when it all came together as The Townies, Inc.
So! For my birthday, I would be grateful if you would consider supporting an organization which continues to do for the community of Ojai and beyond what Kim did for me so many years ago – which is to provide a tried and true method for you to FIND YOUR VOICE.
If you're okay with joining in the Facebook fundraiser, here's the link. And if giving money via META/FACEBOOK/DR EVIL'S SOCIAL NETWORK gives you the heebee jeebies, here's the regular donate link on the Townies website.
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