TEDx

These people deserve the credit for my TEDx Talk

No one does anything alone or in a vacuum.

There’s no such thing as DIY. Even something you think you “did” yourself has been helped and shaped by forces seen and unseen for decades, if not longer.

I wanted to acknowledge the people who made my TEDx Talk better:

  • Angeline May and the whole TEDx West Chester Team

  • My mom, of course. Her journey of awakening (that I chose to go on with her through her diagnosis and death from ovarian cancer) irrevocably altered the course of my life

  • Leah Ollman for every little thing, including listening to the talk at least a bazillion times

  • My TEDx coach, Ryan Hildebrandt at Viral Message Lab

  • Primoz Bozic, my business coach, for suggesting I reach out to Ryan when I got the invite to speak

  • ALL the friends and acquaintances who agreed to be interviewed on loss and grief as I put together the script for my talk

  • All the friends who set up events that gave me the opportunity to practice my talk, helping me bridge the gap from relying on my script to a fully memorized performance. Big shout out to Nercy Sullivan and her team at Alchemy Space in NYC who threw the first such event at her beautiful hair salon in NYC. Her “yes” gave me the courage to continue asking for help with practicing my talk

  • Alex Kipp of Muse Public Speaking for the hours of rehearsals and laser-focused work on my performance

  • Nicki Richards for the invaluable vocal coaching and crucial tip about getting the songs into the right key

  • Amy Wolter for a new and different kind of performance coaching this time ‘round

  • My life coach, JP Morgan for the reminder that I don’t care about polished… I care about moving people

  • Dr. John Sharp for early advice on the TED process and everything other kind of life advice

  • Katie Anderson of MEND Tailoring for the style

  • Rob Mounsey for helping me make Bright Nowhere (aka The Death Album) the incredible piece of life-changing, culture-shifting, award-winning music that it is and will be and for making me a better musician

  • Carol Annibale for keeping me and my team organized and for planning all the events and travel

There’s no way I could’ve created a talk this good and this powerful on my own. No way. Never ever.

I didn’t do any of it alone. Thank goodness! I am so grateful for all of these human beings.

Am I willing to torpedo my TEDx talk?

Today, during my weekly call with my life coach (yes, I am a life coach that has a life coach) we talked about what I want to create with my TEDx talk that is happening this Thursday night, November 8, 2018.

Here’s a bit of what we talked about and what we created in our conversation … 

What is possible if I completely open my heart and give my TEDx Talk from my most vulnerable, raw place?

If I were to completely open my heart and be as vulnerable as possible, here is everything I fear.

I’m afraid I’ll …

  • completely lose my way in the talk

  • get so overwhelmed by the memories and emotions and sadness of caring for my dying mother that I can’t go on with the talk

  • not be able to sing

  • my singing voice will be off-pitch and sound horrible

  • run out of time (TED only gives you 18 minutes maximum to give a talk)

  • etc

At this point in my preparation process, my talk is polished and well-rehearsed (to the extreme). I’ve given it to 15+ groups of people as of today. I’ve rented rehearsal spaces to work on it and even had a friend get me into her school auditorium to give me the chance to practice on a big stage (beyond the time I get during our dress rehearsals).

But polished and well-rehearsed is not what connects to people’s hearts. Polished and well-rehearsed does not change lives. It is impressive. But I don’t give a shit about impressive. I give a shit about liberating everyone around loss and death. 

Am I willing to lean into my emotion so much that I risk the whole thing crashing and burning? Torpedoing the whole thing because I am so in touch with the emotions and feelings of that 4 year journey with my Mom from diagnosis to death?

I am.