I was asked for a recap of the Lambda Finalists reading event last Friday, April 24, so here it is.
The reading took place at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. I had no idea what the venue was going to be like because, I’m ashamed to say, I’ve never visited. It was a comfortable space, and with the exception of some…ahem…explicit artwork on the walls (think Maplethorpe), it was like any other art gallery. We had a good-sized audience—large enough to deem it a good turnout, but small enough that it wasn’t overwhelming.
There was a wide array of writers, from fiction and nonfiction, novels and anthologies, poetry and biography. I was impressed with just about all them, and I’m flattered and honored to be counted among them.
I was a bit nervous stepping up to the podium, but I got into it well enough.
Then, a strange thing happened. I began to edit my story in my head as I read it. I would get to certain points and think, “I could have worded this better,” or “This sounds repetitive.” You’d be surprised how quickly things can go through your head, even while you’re performing.
Take note: That is a very bad thing to do. Do not edit your work while you’re reading it to an audience! When you do this, you lose confidence and this becomes evident in your voice and body language. You must read your work as if it is a masterpiece. That bit of advice is akin to “never let them see you sweat.”
Of course, I should practice what I preach. I need to work on that.
Anyway, it was a really nice evening and I’d like to thank the people at the Lambda Literary Foundation for including me in the reading. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, there’s going to be a reading at the West Hollywood Public Library on May 15.
Now I need to gear myself up for the awards ceremony on June. That’s a whole other ballgame.