“I can’t think of anyone better to teach a course on reading your work to an audience. Loren Rhoads is an introvert who has mastered the art of making extroversion look easy.” – Dorian Katz, contributor to Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues and author of Popper’s Shopper
I used to be terrified to speak in public. In fact, I was scared to raise my hand in class, even to speak French in my French classes. I took a D in one of my required university journalism classes because 80% of the grade came from giving a presentation. When forced to speak in class, my heart would pound so hard I was sure I’d have a stroke. I never knew how loud my voice was, since I could barely hear it over the hammering in my chest.
As I began to get published, I’d agree to read at release events but would back out at the last minute. It was awful. I let people down because I was so frightened.
Eventually, I forced myself to read in public. Once I saw a videotape of myself talking to a crowd, I realized that no one could see how terrified I was. It helped even more when I watched a local slam poet read — and the manuscript shook so much in her hand, I wondered how she could see the words. If she was that nervous, then it was okay for me to be, too.
I’ve been speaking in public now for 22 years. I’ve read in bars, bookstores, cafes, kindergarten classes, and on the radio. I’ve spoken at book festivals, writers’ conferences, and cemeteries. I’ve hosted open mics and readings, told stories and given awards. I’ve performed while coming down with pneumonia, recovering from laryngitis, and suffering from morning sickness. What hasn’t killed me really has make me stronger. Performing in public has finally stopped scaring me to death.
I’ve learned some tricks that can help you get over your fear. I would love to pass them on. During this seminar, I will show you how to:
1) Prepare your work to be read aloud
2) Rehearse enough but not too much
3) Overcome the jitters
4) Correct when things go wrong
5) Set up your own solo readings
6) Emcee group readings, and
7) Most importantly, promote your events so people will come.
If I can get over my terror of speaking in public, so can you. Contact me for more information about setting up this seminar.
This class debuted at San Francisco’s Writing Salon in July 2012.
“I’ve had the pleasure and opportunity to work with Loren Rhoads as both a contributor to her wonderful magazine Morbid Curiosity and with her as a contributor to an anthology I edited. In both cases, we’ve done readings. Loren is an amazing host/emcee. As a reader, she knows how to grab the audience’s attention with her selections and with her reading style.” – Dana Fredsti, author of Plague Nation and five-time contributor to Morbid Curiosity
Loren Rhoads was the editor of Morbid Curiosity magazine for ten years, during which time she hosted annual release readings that drew as many as a hundred people. She’s read at bookstores from Elliott Bay Books in Seattle to Borderlands Books in San Francisco to Stories Bookstore in Los Angeles. She’s performed at the Hypnodrome in San Francisco, the West Hollywood Book Fair, a Death Salon, an Obscura Salon, and read at six World Horror Conventions and three World Science Fiction Conventions. She’s performed on podcasts and radio shows on college stations, pirate radio, and even KFOG and NPR. She’s set up and hosted group readings, solo readings, release events, fundraisers, open mics, storytelling events, and addressed two book clubs.