My wife watched the video of my third consecutive taco-eating victory (it’s a work function, so she hadn’t been there in person.) (YES, I got PAID to eat tacos.) We watched the introduction of each of my competitors, and how they hammed it up as they made their way to the front table. When my turn came, I held my Champion belt over my head and turned around in a circle as I headed for my title defense.
“You look bored,” my wife said.
She was right. I had thought I was excited and hamming it up, too, but the look on my face said “okay – let’s get this over with.” All three years I that I’ve participated, I’ve gotten comments that it looks like I’m eating Sunday brunch. Everyone else looks like they’re really trying to win, and I look totally bored (and boring.)
Sometimes, what’s required is excitement, but I’m just not a JUMPING UP AND DOWN WITH POM-POMS kind of guy. It would appear that the other people are there to provide interest – I’m just there to do my job (and win.)
In my acting days, we would have warm-ups before rehearsals and performances, and these would almost always finish with some sort of energy boosting chanting or clapping or shouting. I would always be the wet-blanket at that party (my energy was just fine, thank you.) Often we were supposed to do this exercise in character, and (not so oddly), my character was the one who would be MOST in character to NOT be excited.
I love singing Karaoke, and I’m pretty good at the SINGING part. I have a good decent range, and I tend toward imitating the original’s voice. I REALLY get into the song, and I feel lots of energy. If you close your eyes and listen, I sound pretty good. But if you were to watch me do it, you’d see me singing like a dead man – standing stiff as a board.
Still, an audience doesn’t come to watch people do their job – they come to have their interest piqued – to be captivated. I know I can “fake” excitement (I WAS an actor, after all), but it just isn’t a natural thing for me. This even impacts my personal life – my lack of excitement is just me, but for people who expect pom-poms to signify approval, it comes across as rejection. I have to make a huge (for me) effort to make sure it’s understood that I really do like something.
Another lesson from my acting days. We’d have performances throughout the week, and sometimes the show would feel flat – the audience just wasn’t getting into it. Many of my fellow actors would complain about how low-energy the audience was, how they weren’t laughing, or clapping, or participating in whatever way they were supposed to. But I always felt that if the audience wasn’t into it, it was a problem with us. It wasn’t the audience’s job to do what WE expected – it was OUR job to inspire that reaction. If they didn’t get it, WE weren’t communicating.
If I want people to know that I’m really excited, then it’s not up to them to just KNOW WHAT I’M LIKE; I need to show it.
Perception is everything; you have to give the public what they want.
This week’s Smashword’s coupon is for “Cat and Mouse”:
Major Tom has plans for his leave time; this cat is finally going to get some much needed R&R with his mates. But recent additions to the household (including his Admiral father-in-law and an uppity mouse chef), as well as an unexpected visit from yet another enemy puts his whiskers in a twist.
“Cat and Mouse” is the third story in my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series.
Use coupon code SU47H to get 67% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until August 13th. Here’s the link:
“Cat and Mouse” is also available in the collection – Cats of War I.
No change of plans – “The Scent of the Crime” is still in queue for an August 26th release…
William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest publication “Obsolete”, can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri