Join Ze Frank for an in-depth discussion in this video Speaking at live events, part of Creative Inspirations: Ze Frank, Comedic Digital Savant.
(Music playing.) Making things actually does give me a lot of joy. It's the process of creation that keeps sort of a bubble and a half above perpetual anxiety in my life, and it's that feeling of being about 80% complete on a project where you know you still have something to do but it's not finished and you are not starting something. That really fills my entire life, and so what I've done is I started getting interested in creating online social spaces to share that feeling with people who don't consider themselves artists.
We are in a culture of guru-ship. It's so hard to use some software because you know it's unapproachable. People feel like they have to read the manual. So I try to create these very minimal activities that allow people to express themselves and hopefully? (Music playing from stage.) Whoa, I am like on the page, but it doesn't exists, it's like. (Laughter from audience.) Seriously though, try to create meaningful environments for people to express themselves.
Here I created a contest called "When Office Supplies Attack," which I think really resonated with the working population... Certainly something like Ted. It's an incredible group of people and the types of talks that are being given. Also, even when someone isn't particularly great speaker, what they are talking about is like really important. Live presentation, working in a theater or in a room or in a conference room, it doesn't matter, but that it is a little bit of a lost technique and that there is a lot to be learned from that kind of interaction for me particularly.
I definitely go after things that I am afraid of and I had been aware of certain kinds of stage fright that I have had over the years. You know I played in a band for a while so I was pretty comfortable behind the wall of a microphone and loud music. That is you are hiding to some degree on stage when you have all that stuff going on. There is a really wonderful flow that you can get into when you have prepared yourself really well.
And I think that there is-- I mean it applies in a broader sense I think to every craft. Which is if you just spend a lot of time rehearsing what you want to say, even the kind of nuanced ways that you want to say it, and really just spend a lot of time with the material, what that allows you is to have a presence of mind wherever you are to take advantage of whatever is unique in that scenario. So that's the thing that I like absolutely love about doing live work is getting to a point where you know the material is super ingrained with me.
I do a lot of work with slides. So I really like a very rich media experience. That's really fun for me is having lots of slides even to the point where they are overwhelming, like I am not even really showing them for the content anyone. It's sort of this barrage of imagery that is going on behind me. But while I am performing, if I really have it down, there is this awesome flow that starts happening where I kind of know what I am about to say. I am already thinking about it as I am talking but I am also kind of scanning the room.
And if something unusual happens, if a sound happens, if something distracting happens, if a speaker right before me said something interesting, or if there's something in the news, there's this wonderful moment where you can integrate stuff on the fly. And I think in work, just in any kind of work, that there is something that I learned about over- preparation from doing live gigs. I really strive for moments where because I'm over-prepared I am able to capitalize on some kind of connection or moment that I would never have found if I was struggling through that performance.
You know performance in any sort of sense of the word, whether it's a project, a two month project, or a half hour live show.