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greg dahlen

Alumnus, academy of achievement

TEDCRED 50+

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If you were to do any artistic performance for people what would it be? If you also wrote it what would it be about?

Would you do standup comedy? Sing? What might you write jokes about, or songs about? Or act? What might you write a scene about?

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    Mar 14 2013: Interesting question Greg, which may bring out the creative artistic persona of tedsters:>)

    I performed on stage, from the time I won a talent contest singing, at age 9. I sang in weddings, funerals, choirs, school and community theater productions, etc., throughout my school years, and then went on to act, sing, dance in professional musical theater as an adult. Although I still sing in choirs now and then, I think the "performance" stage of my life has ended.....although ya never know!

    That being said, your topic reminds me of a GREAT project started by a high school theater director, and it became so successful, it was taken "on the road" and subsequently played out in several schools. The students, wrote and performed short one act plays about challenges they faced....drug use, alcohalism, mental challenges, bullying, abuse and violence in the home, eating disorders....etc. etc. After the performance, there was a discussion about the content of the play.

    So, I guess if I were to be involved with performing again, or writing, that is the kind of project I would like to participate in. It's a great opportunity for the writers, performers and audience to address the issues that face all of us in our world.
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      Mar 1 2013: Okay tell us some of the funny things that happen in a typical day.

      What do you write poetry about, tell us some more about your poetry, what style, length, etc.? Do you ever read your poetry in a public forum? Here in Los Angeles I have attended a number of poetry readings, one I went to was held in a laundromat! People washed their clothes while poets read. I also went to one that was held on a train, we took the train down to the Watts Towers and people read aloud on the car whilst traveling, yes some passengers were not part of our group, hope they enjoyed the poetry!

      Please see above about "open mikes." Do you have them down under?
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          Mar 10 2013: well, it's up to you. My experience is that if you "give it away," share your thoughts out, new, interesting thoughts come in to fill their place. Maybe you can write it funnier than you think, also. There are some funny writers, I remember my dad was a big fan of Erma Bombeck, a columnist here in the states. If you write it and it doesn't read that funny,don't worry, I'll enjoy it anyway.

          Do you wish you could do art in public, or does it not matter to you? I find performing in any way very gratifying, I suppose I consider these TED conversations a kind of public performance. Very often here in the states I've called in to talk radio shows as an audience member and talked on the air, I suppose tens or even hundreds of thousands of people listening to my voice (some of these hosts claim even millions of listeners). That for me is a major turnon. What is the state of talk radio in Australia?
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    Mar 20 2013: ..
    It would be and be about "invalid happiness".
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    Feb 23 2013: Nobody will possibly invite me or pay for my artistic performance. But if they did, I would read poetry.
    I already wrote some, and they are about small moments and feelings of life in pain and joy with profound connections inside. They are private but if loved, they would travel and sit inside your hearts leaving enough space for everything in the world. They will claim nothing but serendipity.
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      Feb 26 2013: Pabitra, here in the United States, we have "open mikes," mikes meaning microphones, for example in coffeehouses, people sign up in advance and then perform whatever they wish, whether reading poetry, singing song, or other performance. They don't get paid, but they do get to perform. Apparently you don't have "open mikes" in India?
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        Feb 27 2013: Hi Greg! No I don't think we have 'open mikes' like you described in India. That's an interesting thing. In India there are places like Montmartre, where people gather to enjoy free and spontaneous expressions of art, like painting, singing, recital etc. But these places, despite being vibrant, are crowdy. I have never thought of performing there. I did recite poetry when I used to do theater, but that's not my own poetry either.
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          Mar 10 2013: Pabitra, apparently "crowdy" is bad? In what way?
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        Mar 10 2013: In a way that it's not an audience really. Poetry requires minute attention and a crowd is not supposed to pay that.
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          Mar 12 2013: wonder if it could be an interesting challenge to try to get a crowd interested in poetry of small, minute moments? I'm sure it could be done if one were a good enough performer. One doesn't have to read for that long, ten minutes or so.

          I think it's real gratifying to perform for an audience, that you get something you can't get any other way.
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        Mar 14 2013: In your part of the world there is a tradition of speaking poetry and Sarah Kay's name comes to mind. Or may be Suheir Hammad. Both featured in TED. But they had an audience not a crowd. Morever, both Sarah's and Suheir's poetry are like pamphlets, powerful messages. I am very doubtful if very personal, fine and dark poetry can ever pull a crowd into an audience. Can you imagine Cohen performing in a crowd?
        I remember to have performed reciting (not reading) a piece from my own poetry in theater, where I acted in a role of a convict going to be hanged next day. It was intense and very personal. But again the mood helped and it was a good audience, not a crowd.
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          Mar 14 2013: I bet I could do it Pabitra. Probably one would have to perform in a more dramatic, actorly way, making one's voice higher and then lower volume, taking some dramatic pauses, making dramatic eye contact then dropping one's gaze, actions that would grab the crowd's attention. As I say, there is something gratifying about performance, something you can't get anywhere else.
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        Mar 15 2013: I am happy for you. I absolutely understand the challenge and the gratification. My wife is a professional actor and theater artist (I did theater for 10 years myself). The smell of spirit, rustle of costumes, the lines, the intensity of the emotions and the anticipation when the lights came on and the the stage was taken are all too familiar for me. I still remember the darkness that was where people waited as I was lost in theatrical space.
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          Mar 15 2013: Well, you understand that I was talking about how one could read intense, intellectual poetry to a boisterous crowd and keep their attention?
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    Feb 22 2013: Piano

    Write? I would write about how beautiful the "teachings" (as opposed to the divinity) of Jesus are, and how it is impossible for him to have died on a cross unless he was lying (which, I have discovered after practicing doing as he said to do, is really truth.)
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      Mar 10 2013: So, do you believe Jesus was advocating self-sacrifice? Are you into self-sacrifice?
      What sort of piano do you play?
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        Gail . 50+

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        Mar 10 2013: I don't believe (after researching pre-KJV texts) that Jesus died on the cross. His message was the opposite of sacrifice in any way. It was about abundance and safety through manipulation of thoughts and emotions, and in this way we bring into our realities what we want.

        For example: All that you ask is answered and all that you ask for is given (not in supplication! That shuts off the creative power). This is better understood by saying: If you don't like what you have, look at what you are creating (asking for).

        Jesus never spoke of sin, hell, or damnation and he never called himself the only begotten son of god - but taught that we are all equally powerful children of the same "abba" ("sugar daddy") - as an understanding of his teachings through the ancient texts makes obvious. Those parts were lost in the KJV translation (1611). His message is the same one that Quantum physics is starting to point to, and I suspect the reason why xtian churches are so angry about it.

        I am certainly not into self-sacrifice. Me??? LOL. More like the opposite. LOL (longer this time) ! Why would I sacrifice when I can manifest what I want - from safety to an out-of-print book to free world travel. I will certainly not refuse to use (sacrifice) my powers just because so many either don't know that they too are powerful, or as is the case in my new neighborhood, because my neighbors believe that such activities are the equivalent of devil worship, so THEY sacrifice themselves in willful ignorance while they get angry at those like me who see charity (as it is currently understood) as being very uncharitable and christianity as something entirely different from its savior's worldview.

        I have a 6' grand piano with a rich bass sound. Good for the classics, but not for rags, both of which I enjoy, so I have a built-in synthesizer that I can use for different musical sounds - from harp to honkey-tonk. (Pull a lever to prevent the hammers from hitting the strings)
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        Mar 11 2013: The piano - complete with the synthesizer attached was something I "manifested". It was a gift that came only after I spent 2 weeks manifesting daily. After 2 weeks, I "knew" that it was already fulfilled but not yet in my living room. 10 days later, it was in my living room. It took longer because of the time for the dealer to install the synthesizer.
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    Feb 22 2013: I would do this if i could sing like these guys.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABnKnC5qSJk

    A Capella
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    Feb 22 2013: How about Morris Border dances at farmers markets? If I knew how to paint plein-air, I would have no problem doing it in public.
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      Feb 22 2013: Don't know what Morris Border dances are, but offhand they sound good. What are they?

      How gratifying would it be for you to do one of these activities in public? Enough that you'd learn how to do them, or perhaps you already know the dance?
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        Feb 23 2013: You should look for a youtube of Morris Dancing. You could look up White Ladies Ashton (the name of a Welsh flower or town, I think) or Fanny Frail.

        Actually, it's more like I would do them for the fun of them rather than because performing itself would be a motivation. It is just that these art forms tend to be done in public and you asked about art performance.
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          Mar 2 2013: so basically there's no more fun for you in doing something in public than doing something in private? That's a little hard to believe, Fritzie, it has to change the experience to do something in public, doesn't it?
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        Mar 2 2013: It changes the experience to do something in public, but some things many of us do for ourselves. An audience may be irrelevant or may even subtract.
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          Mar 10 2013: What do you think of the saying, "The more the merrier"?
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        Mar 10 2013: I think it applies to some things and not to others. More of something is not necessarily better.

        I have one dog. I don't think more would be better.
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          Mar 14 2013: But more of an audience? I think of TED conversations as a public performance. If you and I were sitting alone in a room talking, Fritzie, well, I don't think I'd enjoy it as much as talking to you in these public spaces. It feels good to me to think my ideas are affecting more than just you. Don't you feel the same way?
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        Mar 14 2013: I am happy at the possibility of helping someone, or several people, think differently or more carefully about an issue that interests them.

        There are other conversations I prefer to have in private.