(new here? read this first.)
Hi, it’s Casey, and never in my life have I been afraid to perform in front of a crowd.
I started in drama and theater when I was in fifth grade, our group performed for my elementary school. I was cast as Captain Hook in Peter Pan. A singing Captain Hook. I remember an especially rude sixth grade boy coming up to me in the library and saying “you didn’t actually pay money to do that crap did you?” Well the truth was my mom paid and I would have her pay again, because I liked doing it and I didn’t see his rear end up there doing anything theatrical.
My love of drama and performing continued through Jr. High and High School. I played Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird I performed in a very watered down performance of McCavity from “Cats” (which is where I met my first real boyfriend) and in high school I ended up in Arsenic and Old Lace and Much Ado About Nothing. I played a role originally written for a man in both plays. (I was Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare holds my heart, it’s one thing to learn Shakespeare with the knowledge of iambic pentameter, it’s entirely different thing to memorize a the lines of a chronically drunk Shakespearean character.)
A partner and I even made it to the Utah State Drama Competition my Junior year with a scene from Baby with the Bathwater, the only problem was that by then I really was a bit of a drunken Shakespearean character in real life and instead of heading South to where the competition was being held, we drove North…to Idaho. Sure we missed the competition and our chance at fame, but we had some excellent pancakes in Lava Hot Springs.
I miss performing, I have taken to karaoke since it’s really the only chance I have to use all those skills I spent so much time learning in my younger years. I have on my life list to perform on stage again. And it will happen. And you’re all invited.
I am Daniel Incandela.
Talk about a frightening image. This conjures up a lot of anxiety. Public speaking.
Here’s my take on public speaking. I hate it, but I rarely turn down an opportunity. It’s painful, stressful and scary – but I’ve always managed to make it.
Those of you that know me would probably say I’m quiet. That’s mostly true. I like efficient communication. To-the-point. Blunt, even. It doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot to say.
I’m also okay with silence. It drives people nuts so I try to be aware of that. I also like awkward, so there are some opposing issues here. I’m far from perfect.
And standing in front of others at a microphone is a challenge.
About a year ago I delivered a keynote presentation on Museums and Technology in Wellington, New Zealand. I was honored to be asked but scared to death. I had done lots of other conference presentations but never as ‘the’ presenter. I couldn’t turn down a trip to Kiwi land, but…
I knew this might be my only opportunity to deliver a keynote so I wanted to go big – either with a major meltdown or a major victory. Honestly, as i walked to the podium i didn’t know which it would be. That was a scary walk.
I’m most happy during major challenges. I enjoy testing myself, growing, learning and achieving.
I researched the sh*t out of this presentation. I researched what other museums were doing. I researched NewZealand. I researched popular culture. I researched presentations. I wanted go big.
I wrote in Indianapolis. I took my son on walks and practiced my presentation. I wrote on the long flight. I wrote on the beach. I practiced in my hotel rooms. I arranged and rearranged. I wrote and rewrote. I PowerPointed (do I hear gasps?) – but I hate PowerPoint, so they were more like graphic elements. I didn’t fly 7000 miles to read stats, bullets or quotes. They would have to hear me talk.
And talk I did. Probably for 65-70 minutes. It felt like 5. It was a leap of faith.
My presentation in Wellington ranks as one of my proudest moments. On the topic of museums and technology, I managed to work in a personal video introduction from Kiwi IndyCar driver Scott Dixon, several Flight of the Conchords references, a nude body paint video and a lot of quiet sense of humor. Everything just clicked.
As I walked to the podium I told myself this was it – a moment to rise, an opportunity to be proud, an experience to remember. I left to the applause of 300+, a polite grin and memories that will last forever.
Here’s to more microphones in life.