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Facing Fear

This weekend I had the opportunity to do that, in spades. As many of you know, I've struggled over the last couple of years with SSHL (Sudden Sensoineural Hearing Loss) and the attendant side dishes, of which life has graciously allowed me generous helpings: vertigo, tinnitus, hyperacusis, and, of course, being nearly deaf on one side.

One of the first things to go by the wayside were a couple of my larger life loves: performing on stage in both scripted work and improv. Both, especially improv, require being able to hear everyone else on stage, tolerating the noise of a comedy club or performance venue, and, ideally, being able to balance and walk straight. All of which left my wheelhouse for some time.

Plus, my brain doesn't work as well as it did before the incident. Not only hearing and balance are impacted by all this nonsense, everything is far, far more difficult. Thinking, tracking, and multi-tasking are all much harder now. I'm permanently dizzy, can't walk and turn my head at the same time (well, I CAN, I just might fall down), am slower in both thought and movement, am basically deaf on one side, and have a constant shrieking and banshee noise in one ear overwhelming much of what I can hear, even with the aids.

Classroom Management or "But He Hit Me First"

On MGT500

The first time I ever stood in front of a class of minors and attempted to share my knoweldge with them I was 16 and I had created a Visual and Performing Arts Service Learning Program that went to a local school and taught the arts to classes that didn't have them. I loved that sort of stuff when I was young, but I was young a long time ago. I was young before Nintendo DS and DVR's and PS3's. This class even took place before Ipod's had touch and anyone new what a tablet or Ipad was, but these kids had no interest in Ronds de Jambe or playing the Recorder. I didn't think of it as a performance but shortly after I started speaking I got Booed.


Like someone on Showtime at the Apollo, or Fozzie Bear bombing on a joke, I got booed.

After that the classroom was lost and kids started giggling and I couldn't get their attention. Their teacher walked in and I felt like I was in trouble. His management skills were a bit different than mine. He lead by fear apparently, (a group of 3rd graders) and he dropped his heaviest book on his table and the students were immediately silent.

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