A year ago

A year ago, I was interviewed twice by two different journalist from The Guardian. One article appeared in February the other in June as they put it off to appear on a long weekend.

A year ago I won the Silver Comedy Newcomer 2012 contest.

A year ago, a photographer working for the Guardian came to the Comedy in Tooting, and took a hundred photos.

Alas, the photographer Martin Godwin who took wonderful images there, http://www.martingodwin.com/# never send them to me, even if he has promised.

A year ago my Standup Comedy was in boom and, yes, I was only at the beginning. I have now 60 gigs behind me, and lots of friendly faces and laughter.

A year ago seems so far!

Yet, because it I was invited to contribute an essay in a book (to appear in September) and I was interviewed last month for two TV stations (4 and Sky News): I was invited to give the keynote in Scotland end of this March at the festival of Creative Ageing.

I am not finished yet.

Who knows, perhaps something will happen this year so I will be able to say a year from now "a year ago"...


That woman is a success

First Printout 1978
I found this on a postcard in Washington DC, in 1989. It is also, after I recopied it to a terminal of Vax mini and formed centre and printed on a printer very far from the building the terminal was, my first computer printout ever. Aside from it, I still love and believe in it. Read or not, it is still on my wall at the entrance of my apartment.

I am not sure, I have the compassion it speaks about, but other then that I do believe it is the measure of success and try to leave each situation better then I found it and find serenity. At the age of 79 now, I did discover even more then then at 45, the "talents and strength" of my own. In fact, we never stop growing and discovering: perhaps this is the biggest strength.


from 9 years : Tree and branches

a slideshow of my new set called 'tree and branches' that I created from photos taken last 9 years
of course, I have taken many more, even if those were not the ones usually preferred (I take a lot more people) but sometimes I am just enchanted by what I see or want to convey a special feeling.


Flickr, stats - can it be true?

I have been member of Flickr now for 9 years. How the years go fast!

I joined, when it was yet in beta and in Vancouver, so I can add through it pictures to blogger. Later, I created a group "People Reading" still very active, then another "Never too old" that I do not know any more and finally a group to learn about different aspects of photography, !Afterclass! in real a Masterclass, a Workshop of photography.

In Afterclass, year after year, every month we had a new animator, leader, specialist, teaching us and making us to add our pictures to go a bit more outside our comfort zone. Only the three latest month did I stop looking for and finding yet someone else to lead a new monthly workshop.

Meanwhile, I added pictures daily to my Flickr website (joyoflife or julie70) arriving at about 53 000 pictures on it. I know that. What still is stunning me is the flickr statistic that says, each day more then 1500 people is viewing my pictures. Each day!
Could it be really that in total more then 4 million people had visited my photos?
This one was taken today. Already, so many today - and it is still morning!

Some days, I see a peak going to 3000 or 4000 visitors, even if the pictures I added are seen only a normal 2 to 30 times. From where arrive all the others? It seems in Web there is a short head and a long queue, formed by those who come and look at a specific image.

The web and the flickr are huge places to make us known, make our creations live a long full life. Weather I have or not (not) any financially gain from it, what an exposure! What a pleasure! No expo I would put my pictures could gather so many viewers to show what I have taken and convey my view of the world around me as Flickr, and also the video places as Dailyvision, youTube, Vimeo do. Some videos (even some diapo made from photos) uploaded there have been also viewed 30 000 times!

I am still in awe of the exposure some of my creations achieved.
And all, after the age of 70.


Who is 'Julie Kertesz' ?

While one can not discover who I am, really, just by a Google search, it is interesting to looks what comes up when one looks up: Julie Kertesz

I am not sure why, but the Brighton Dogstar's comedy gig video, one of the firsts gigs I did (now up to 60) comes first. Some other appear on the next pages. But before, I called myself : Julie70 that probably gives yet different search results. Then comes my Flickr images website, even if there are around 2000 day after day visiting my photography.

Then on the first page I found some others, blogs I write day by day and true stories I told. And of course, the TV4 interview. This one, 45' condensed to a final two minutes.

This morning, on the first page I also discovered an interview from 2010 as blogger and photographe by the 'Little London Obervationist' I enjoyed it a lot, also as she added many of my pictures choosen by her, to all I said answering her questions.

They interview me, I think, after it was announced :Amateur photographer and silver surfer Julie Kertesz has been announced as the winner of the Culture24 Museums at Night 2009 Flickr competition :Julie Kertesz wins Culture24 Museums at Night 2009 Flickr photo
One of the latest, from a year ago is from the Guardian (my second in this journal)

Also from the Guardian, a few month before: Brian Logan's interview in Guardian, a year ago: still one of my favourites!
Just before I won the Silver Comedy Newcomer in Leicester a year ago.

Another interview, I find interesting already on my activity as blogger:

As remains also another article written about my activity a bit later.
This article 'at age of 77 a life of inspiration' in the 'Global Voices' 
has been translated to 13 languages! From 2011. Oct. 27

Last, it was translated in my mother language: Hungarian !

And of course my two "signature true stories" on video told live
One at Spark London Canal Cafe Theatre determined me to discover comedy,
The other at Manchester Townhall the story of a ten year old girl
True Tales - Julie Kertesz - YouTube
Julie Kertesz shares stories on the theme of 'family' at Grant's True Tales event held at Manchester Town Hall (UK) on 8th October 2010

One of the latest: Management Today-18 Jan 2013
Seven ways to build rapport with your audience
By Julie Kertesz
Do you want to inspire and motivate your audience when giving a ...


Spark StoryTelling at Canal Café: Roadblock

Theme: Road block
Were you happily taking one path in your life when suddenly everything changed. What got in your way? The Law, Love, family or health. How did you deal with this? Was the struggle the making or breaking of you? 
These are stories of the unexpected when the route ahead turns out to be different to what we expected.
Location Canal Café Theatre, we will tell our personal stories in front of a fee paying audience in a real live theatre at the Canal Café the 4th March, this time, many Toastmasters from the Area 59 clubs
If you live in London or not too far, you might want to come and listen, see us telling our stories live on stage.  
Book early to secure your seat they are fast gone.
Spark Stories - 4th March 2013 at 7:30pm 
Venue: Canal Cafe Theatre, Little Venice, London, W2 6ND, UK


At the Chocolat bar

25 April, 2010 at the Soho's Chocolate bar, that I told my first time in a restaurant "I was ten when the war caught up with me."

I met there and listened to Radcliffe. He recently told: "Julie is a natural. I looked at the audience. They were completely in it. That old lady was before them but they were with the ten years old kid following her all through the story."

Well, something similar. I can not remember word by word.

Yes, being with audience, friendly faces but more and more turning them to friends, and telling from my life, does come natural to me. But crafting a story to keep the audience in it, takes a lot of craft, thinking, experimenting.

Not all so natural, as the result seems to be.

Because some from Grant's were present at the Chocolate restaurant bar, (happy I did not know and did not think as a test) they invited me to go to Manchester with the same tale.

Manchester, 300 - 400 the townhouse was full. Will I be able to tell as natural to so many? I found that more audience gives me even more energy!

I will tell the same tale a little modified beginning and end, to adapt to the different audience, in March, at the Jewish book week.


Friends, not strangers!

I woke up this morning, writing  in my head the essay that I have to finish until the end of the month for '70 things to do after 70'.

And a sudden realisaton.

I had always been silent, closed and invisibly gray among strangers, but I exuberant, open, outspoken with family, pals and friends.

With Toastmasters, I felt immediately "in family"; in the theater telling my stories, I always found one or more friendly faces, and with the youths in the comedy clubs, I'm talking before I go on stage here and there. and have good contact, already before starting they become my pals. 

I'm never in front of strangers!

The love, warmth and friendship that I offer them, they they give back tenfolds.

Yes, it is good to walk alone at dawn along the seaside, it is safe to read, study or create stories in my bed, but what a hight to be before a loved audience, friendly and accepting me as I accept, them. What a joy !

Listen, learn … then lead: Stanley McChrystal on TED.com

Listen, learn … then lead: Stanley McChrystal on TED.com

a wonderful example of good speech with lots of great storytelling in it
his book is out - tomorrow I get it from Amazon


Last year

Awards 2012
Those awards and some more are from last year, Toastmasters club work, Comedy Contest at Leicester Comedy Festival or an open mic evening winner, storyteller at Edinburgh festival and so on.

No award for what seems to me my best accomplishment: organising a Personal Storytelling Ongoing Workshop that finished with a great showcase giving many a lot more self confidence, beside knowledge of 'how to".

This year, I will begin to tell longer stories and gigs and give key speeches and also write, and for sure with more humour each time, as I learned 'how to'. Combining dramatic better with humour.


Storytelling is wired in us! - From Presentation ZEN

This is from the blog of the author of The Naked Presenter, see my note on it in this blog.
Pixar Studios filmmaker Andrew Stantongave a good TED talk about a year ago where he states that one of the key aims of any good story is that it must make the audience care. "Make me care," he says.
 If you research the advice of famous directors and screenwriters of today and of years gone by you will find this is a common refrain: You have go to make the audience care. 
Presentations in all their many forms are never just about transferring information alone. We are emotional beings, like it or not, and to connect and engage people to the degree that they will care enough to listen to you, you have to evoke in them some kind of emotion. The TED talk is well worth watching; the storytelling lessons in this short talk are many. 
On the TED stage Stanton does a great job of getting the audience's attention and engages them immediately with a relevant short story in the form of a joke, a joke that gets a big laugh (strong emotional connection). Then he transitions quickly into the first part of his talk. "Storytelling -- (pauses as audience laughs again) -- is joke telling," Stanton says. 
" We all love stories. We're born for them. Stories affirm who we are. We all want affirmations that our lives have meaning. And nothing does a greater affirmation than when we connect through stories. It can cross the barriers of time, past, present and future, and allow us to experience the similarities between ourselves and through others, real and imagined." 

Below I highlight some of the more salient points Stanton makes concerning story.

Below I highlight some of the more salient points Stanton makes concerning story.

• Make the audience care.
The greatest story commandment of all says Stanton is: "Make me care. Please—emotionally, intellectually, aesthetically — just make me care." But how to make the audience care? This is the most fundamental question of all. There is no single answer, but all the story tips Stanton touches on in his talk go some of the way toward answering this important question. Obviously one important aspect is having empathy for your audience and trying to craft your story and design your content always with the audience in mind.

• Make a promise from the beginning.
Very early on you need to get the audience to believe that this story is going to go somewhere, that this will be worth their time. "A well told promise," says Stanton, " is like a pebble being pulled back in a slingshot and propels you forward through the story to the end."

• Make 'em work for it.
You don't have to beat people over the head with your message, nor do you need to always make your message painfully obvious. This is not about being vague or unclear, but it is about letting the audience work on their own a little to figure things out. "... the audience actually wants to work for their meal," Stanton says. "They just don't want to know that they're doing that. That's your job as a storyteller, is to hide the fact that you're making them work for their meal. We're born problem solvers. We're compelled to deduce and to deduct, because that's what we do in real life. It's this well-organized absence of information that draws us in." As Stanton says, don't give them 4, give them 2+2 and let them figure it out.

• Story is about change. No change, no story.
"We're all learning all the time. And that's why change is fundamental in story," says Stanton. "If things go static, stories die, because life is never static." Anytime we get on a stage to speak we are talking about change. I think of change in two ways. First, the content of every good presentation or story addresses a change or some kind. Second, an effective presentation or a story told well will create a change in the audience. Sometimes this can be a big change and sometimes it is quite small. Too often, though, the only change the presenter creates in the audience is the change from wakefulness to sleep.

Construct anticipation in your story.
In a great story (or presentation) the audience wants to know what happens next. And more than that, Stanton says, the audience will want to know how it all concludes. In an explanatory narrative a series of actions can establish a narrative flow, and even though this may lack the high degree of tension that you can get with a protagonist struggling with a complication, the sense of journey that is created is something close to anticipation of what comes next. Stanton quotes British playwright, William Archer: "Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty."

• Have a clear theme.
"A strong theme is always running through a well-told story," Stanton says. The theme is often not stated directly in the story but it is the essence or the core idea at the root of the story. Robert McKee refers to this core idea as the "Controlling Idea." If you have a clear sense of your theme or controlling idea, this keeps you from trying to throw too many ideas into one story. For example, McKee says in the book Story that the controlling idea of the movie Groundhog Day is "Happiness fills our lives when we learn to love unconditionally."

• Stimulate a sense of wonder
"The best stories infuse wonder," Stanton says. Everything depends on the context of the presentation, but in most cases a good presentation is a mix of logic, data, emotion, and inspiration. We are usually OK with the logic and data part, but fail on the emotional and inspirational end. Certainly leaders and educators need to infuse a bit of wonder into their talks that inspire people to make a change. A good presentation should not end when the speaker sits down or the class comes to an end.

• Look inside yourself
Where do you find material for storytelling? Draw from your experiences and look inside yourself. Stanton said that this was the first story lesson he ever learned. "Use what you know. Draw from it. It doesn't always mean plot or fact. It means capturing a truth from your experiencing it, expressing values you personally feel deep down in your core."
From the blog Presentation Zen