The Rebel Belle Is All About Bold Self-Expression

My new friend and sister in fearless self-expression is Tuck Self, the Rebel Belle. Born and raised to be a gentile southern lady, Tuck lived most of her life catering to the whims and desires of those around her, nurturing her loved ones while ignoring her own wild dreams, and making sure everyone was cozy and comfy before caring for herself.

Not any more!

Liberating herself from her past conditioning, Tuck is the self-proclaimed "Rebel Belle — a Southern Voice for Bold Self-Expression" and she wants YOU to come along with her to claim your dreams, your purpose, AND YOUR VOICE!

I’ve been enjoying Tuck’s new blog and her email course "The Rebel Belle Guide to Bold Self-Expression: 7 Steps to Discovering Freedom." Even though I’ve only received the first four steps so far, there is some good stuff here!

My favorite step is "A Tissue for Your Issue" where this Rebel Belle gives you a clear, empowering way to work with any issue that is keeping you from what you really want. This process can be helpful in getting to the guts of why you are feeling scared or nervous about speaking or performing in public.

It separates the facts from your own fearful perceptions, allows all those fears and judgments to have their voice, and finally brings it around to creating what you want for yourself through awareness, understanding and taking responsibility for your experience. (Thank you, Tuck!)

As Tuck says:

"Once you are aware of the patterns and conditioning that drive your thoughts and behaviors, once you understand how they create your reality, you can take ownership. And, once you take ownership, you are on the road to freedom. You have the tools you need to take responsibility for your circumstances and get your power back. You don’t just create some of your reality. You create all of it. And, with the Rebel Belle at your side, giving you tips and tools, you are well on your way to bold self-expression — full out and on your own terms."

There are so many fun and helpful gems offered by the Rebel Belle. Even if you’re not from the south and not a "belle," this blog can’t help but get your stirred up and wanting to scream in the streets "Yes, I will have my voice! Yes, I will live MY life!"

Claim your own bold self-expression. The Rebel Belle will support you all the way!



Swoosh Your Way Into A Confident Performance

I wrote this entry a while ago and set it to be posted, but somehow, it just didn’t happen. Better late than never, I guess!


Every now and then, Graham English offers some very cool tips and tools over on his blog.
His focus is primarily on helping musicians and songwriters, but some of the tools he offers are great for speakers and performers of all kinds.

Like his most recent post on Mental Rehearsal. Now, I love mental rehearsal! When I am creating a new show or getting ready for a singing gig, I lie on the couch and rehearse the whole show in my mind. Not only does this help me prepare, it also tends to spark new ideas that I hadn’t considered before.

 But Graham is giving us a technique I’ve never heard of before: The Swoosh Technique. I like the sound of that, don’t you. SWOOSH!

Check it out. Give it a try. Let me know what you think.

The Beauty of the Beginner

She started singing a year ago, this small, shy Japanese woman, and yet there she was.
On stage, singing "My Romance" in an unever, halting manner, with a heavy Japanese accent.

Her voice tended to shake at the end of each phrase. She took breaths in inappropriate places, her phrasing was choppy and crude, and she would slow down dramatically when she was uncertain of what came next.

And I fell in love with her. She was thoroughly engaging, captivating and real.

This all happened last night in San Francisco at Thick Tuesday, a monthly salon/workshop/open mic for singers hosted by my two buddies, Lua Hadar and Linda Kosut, both of whom are professional singers and the "keepers of the flame" of the cabaret community in San Francisco.

Singers of all levels of experience show up for this evening in order to perform, learn and meet other singers. It’s a safe place for beginning singers to start singing in front of an audience and a fun place for professionals to try out new material in a very supportive environment.

What killed me about this 40-something Japanese woman was that her performance of "My Romance" was not only amateur but tecnicially and artistically horrible. And it was deeply touching, romantic and lovely. I was completely captivated by her and her song because she presented herself and sang in such an honest, revealing way.

She didn’t try to fool us into thinking she was a more experienced or mature singer than she was. She just walked up on stage and sang that song the best she could at that moment. And her performance was sweet, touching and mezmerizing.

I know a lot of you feel like I do most of the time. We don’t want to do anything in public in less we’re really good at it. We wouldn’t dream of getting up on stage to perform or speak unless we felt sure we could do a pretty good job. I mean, we don’t want to show what we DON’T know. We don’t want to show off our LACK of talent and skill.

But this beginning singer reminded me, once again, that it’s not about knowing anything or having special talent and skill. It’s all about showing up and being who you are in that moment. Being willing to share whatever you have to give, in that moment, honestly, openly, without pretending.

And if you can show up and be who you are, without trying to be more practiced, more professional, more skilled than you are, people just might fall in love with you.

I, for one, cannot wait to hear this woman sing again. Not because I’m going to be dazzled by her technique, but because I know she will wake me up to the beauty of being a beginner who isn’t afraid to be a beginner. Because I know that throughout whatever song she may sing, I’ll get to hear her and see her as she really is. And fall in love all over again.



A Rose By Any Other Name Would Never Sound So Sweet

Just when I was about to give up hope, a Rose appeared to remind me of who I really am.

That Rose is Lynn Rose, a powerhouse singer, speaker, teacher and all around amazing woman.

I met Lynn a couple of years ago at Mark Victor Hansen’s Mega Speaking Event in Los Angeles where she had the challenging job of singing before this huge crowd of expert speakers and speaker wannabes. She warmed up the audience with her blow-‘em–away performances so that everyone was ready to rumble by the time Mark hit the stage. I don’t think anyone could have done it better. Her voice and her presence were so huge, so enlivening that the crowd went wild every time she appeared.

Well, last night, I had the good fortune to receive another hit of Lynn’s energy and passion. She was interviewed by Tom Antion, a great speaker and internet-marketing guru, on one of Tom’s special teleclasses. Lynn was talking about creating the Wow Factor, or how anyone can be a powerful, captivating presence on stage and off stage. She teaches a 2-day workshop called "Achieving the WOW Factor" which is coming up on Sept. 9 & 10, in Marina del Ray, CA.

As I listened to Lynn, two things happened to me.

One, I was floored by how much her teaching matches my own. Three of her four main points mirrored perfectly the three Power Tools I offer on my “Engage Your Audience” CD and in all the Unconditional Confidence programs. Her envisioning process felt identical to my "Focus on the Fabulous" process.

And her passion and love for this work, well, it so reminded me of me!

Now, I’m not saying I’m being plagiarized. Heavens no! I just think that both Lynn and I approach this work of being and expressing all of who we are from the same perspective. We’re not teaching people techniques and gestures and gimmicks and tricks. Both of us want to offer people the real thing. Real, bone-deep confidence, authentic connection with others, celebration of what is, and the unlimited joy and aliveness that comes when one is fully, authentically self-expressed, on stage and off.

The second thing that struck me while listening to Lynn was how much I needed to hear what she had to say.

I needed to hear what I already knew. I needed to hear it from someone besides me. There was something so uplifting and revitalizing about hearing her talk about what I know to be true. Especially when she spoke about it so well.

I needed to feel her passion so I could feel my own, because lately, it’s been hard to feel it. Doubt and discouragement have been chewing at my throat and whipping me around like a rag doll.

But listening to Lynn speak with such passion and energy, to have her remind me of what I know and love, was such a blessing. I can’t thank her enough.

Listen, you should check out her website. She’s got some amazing freebies in addition to this great workshop she has coming up on September 9 & 10. If I hadn’t already spent my entire education budget for the year, I would be there myself just so I could get a huge hit of her energy.

Lynn only allows 20 people in these workshops so that every person gets a lot of stage time and tons of personal attention. It’s so obvious that she is dedicated to making sure her students get what they came for!

P.S. If you’re not on Tom Antion’s mailing list, you might want to check it out. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite interviewers, and he is one of the most entertaining, take-me-as-I-am kind of speakers I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. And he’s also very generous to his guests.

Page Fright


Ever since I admitted to the WORLD that I was in the process of writing a book, I’ve had Page Fright.

That’s right, not Stage Fright, but Page Fright.

This is when you appear before that blank page and freeze up. There it is, that new Word document, staring you in the face, asking you to perform, to do something brilliant and entertaining and witty and utterly fabulous. And all you can do is stare back, dumbstruck and paralyzed.

It was going so well! Then, as soon as I wanted to post some of my writing on this blog for all the world to see, I started editing what I had to make it presentable. I mean, what I had was so rough, it needed editing.

But in that transition from free writing to "make presentable," I got Page Fright.

The analogy fits.

Page Fright, Stage Fright, it’s all the same thing, isn’t it?

Isn’t this where we get tripped up when we’re about to go on stage and give a presentation or sing a song? Our initial inspiration and joy for our subject, for getting to share what we love, gets squashed by the fear that whatever we present won’t be acceptable, "presentable," or even understandable by our audience.

This is the trick. How can I, we, stay connected to our original "Yes!" or initial joy and inspiration as we take what we know to the stage OR to the page?

Well, the first chapter for my book tells you how to do just that. Well, perhaps I should go back and read it so I can start using what I already know!

But until then, I want to share what I just read on Graham English’s blog about writing. It was so helpful to me in my time of Page Fright.

Johnny Mercer, the songwriter, said he used to write for the waste basket. When I first heard this, it blew my mind. After hearing a 3 minute song that seems so perfect, many people get the impression that it was written the way they heard it — in a short flash of inspiration. And even though we know better, we can be overly critical of work too soon in the process.

Graham goes on with some great pointers for powerful writing. Thanks, Graham!

Speaking of Writing…

I just confessed to all of you that I’m writing a book. In 45 Days.

It’s got me thinking about my willingess to be fearless and authentic in my written self-expression as well as my wild, in-the-moment spoken communication. To tell you the truth, when I get to sit and write and think and review and edit, I’m a little bit more cautious. A little bit less brash.

By no coincidence, since I don’t believe in coincidence, I’ve been turned on to Lisa Wilder’s blog where she has been talking about why she’s not writing.

Like Lisa, I have found it very tough to express myself in writing or any other way when I’m trying to say something that isn’t completely true for me. Or, rather, if I’m writing about one thing but my heart and mind has been taken hostage by something else that is going on in my life.

I feel this responsibility to be the expert, to know what I’m talking about, to understand where all of you are coming from, to be able to offer you support, tools and information that is truly helpful and liberating. I mean, why else would you tune in?

At the same time, I just want to shout at you,
"Stop being so
&%$# scared!
Stop caring what everyone else thinks!
Have your voice!
Make mistakes!
Be bold and wild and outrageous!
Or be shy and timid and quiet, but
speak up any way!
Sing your song, loudly!
Speak your mind!
Express who you truly are!
Stop being so d*&% scared!"

Whew! Thanks. I needed that.

Writing a Book

I’ve become a cliche´.

I, like so many others, am writing a book. I’ve started to organize it here on this blog so you may see a few very bizarre entries with nothing in them. That’s because my book mentor, Andy Wibbels, told me to create the space and structure for this book, and it will beg to be filled.

I think he’s right.

Andy is leading a "Write Your Book in 45 Days" work group which I have joined. In fact, if any of you want a ton of support and a big push to finally write that book you have floating around in your head or scribbled out on cocktail napkins, it’s not to late to join the rest of us crazies.

Either way, stay tuned for new entries which will feature content from my new soon-to-be-released book, "Gimme Confidence, Quick! A Crash Course for Coaches Who Want to Speak In Public But Are Scared Out of Their Minds."

Okay, the title needs work. I’d love your feedback on the content of this material as is it, well, materializes. Let me know what’s great and what stinks. I want this to be the best book you’ve ever read!

Well, at least, a very useful book that really gives you a crash course in confidence.
Not that I believe there is such a thing, but I explain that in the Introduction.