Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How Does She do it?

I spent three years in "Witch" training with Millie, and never did she pull a punch. In her wilder days, she'll tell you how she didn't pull any physical punches, either.

She imparted a lot of advice over time, and it sometimes was tough to take, to put it mildly. I went home after some classes, feeling emotionally raw and frankly ready to tell her where to get off. Her delivery could be less than gentle, but, too often, it was on the mark.

One piece of advice she imparted, which I still remember(partly because she reminds me of it, every now and again), is "Ad-lib here."

Let me explain....

Whereas the general advice for survival is, "Think before you speak," Millie counterintuitively suggested I leave space for just winging it, and she included all topics and situations in this statement. I can tie myself up in knots about what to say next, who is going to be offended, etc. and so on....hence, "Ad-lib here".

It makes sense, because a person can get into trouble whether he/she agonizes and then measures out words, or dumps them indiscriminately in a gloppy pile. At least, in the latter situation, the individual has let off steam, and the trouble caused makes for an entertaining story over drinks at some later date.
(Sorry, I'm not providing personal examples just yet....this blog isn't THAT far along!)

Anyway, having one's life story seems like a cross between those situations. Millie took a chunk of her colorful life and just let it all out on paper: the depressing, the violent, the racy, the emotional, the exciting and all the rest. Then, the director took Millie's material and SHE labored over how and what to present. Who had the harder job is debatable. Is it more difficult to open up a pivotal chapter of yourself for presentation, or to coalesce the years covering someone's life-changing transition into two hours or less?

I suggest you see the movie and decide for yourself.

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