"When I was ten the war caught up with me" performed Manchester Town hall

"True Stories with Grant Whisky" at Manchester Town hall with 400/500 audience and two big screens showing the performance so all can see it well.

It was from the beginning a decision to tell this story from the eyes of a ten years old me, and do not relate how I see it now with knowledge not even from what I learned a year later.

Another big decision was to add to it a part about "now" and link it with "holding hands" with the past: that leaves all with a warm feeling and also a non told but important second message.
I changed the publication date in memory of 70 years commemoration of survivors.
Asking Advice
Toastmasters to whom I told this story in my different clubs (it was each time from a project Manual speech), and asked advice, all gave me very useful advices.

Where should I stretch to hold the suspense longer, where should I change my face and make more pause, for example. Joanna Yates, producer of Spark London, helped me a lot to shorten and cut from my long initial beginning where I talked, for this story at least, a lot more of my cousin.

Telling it some other time, perhaps I could add back as different blocks can be taken out usually and added depending of the circumstances. But this story I told so many times that I learned it as is, and last year as I went to give a keynote in AYR, West of Scotland, I met two young women on the train and told them the story. It went so easy and they were fascinated.


In French, a big speech of F. Hollande

Hollande à Verdun at the 100th anniversary of one of the most bloody battle of last century
Speaking of Europe and solidarity.

Some of the phrases the press underlined: "Let us love our country but be ready to stand behind our common house, Europe"

He had many important phrases in this great speech I'll have to listen again, translate them, perhaps see if there is any translation available already in English.

Europe is a culture, a way of life, a sharing of experience!

Do not let those who use our mistakes, problems that come on the way, to disunite, with hatred and no vision of past or future. (that is what I remember not word by word)


My Toastmasters journey: some photos in an album

Toastmasters journey photos album - a long journey
got wiser, got fatter too!

It begun with an Online Photo Group I did administer very actively for six years: found workshop leaders that did teach and explain something new every month, then commented on the added photos. Towards the end, 2500 members in the !Afterclass! photo masterclass name, as we were allowed to add photos also after the monthly theme closed and another class begun. I realise just now, how much I learned at the time and how many photographers from all over the world met and come to know a lot better.

TM Julie Kertesz

From then to now, I went to visit many Toastmasters clubs, told stories in public, made audiences laught at 77+ gigs,.

Now, ten years later, finally, got to have two toastmasters clubs:
Lewisham Speakers a bus drive away (member now in 8th year)
Firebirds Collective from living room but contact with Toastmasters around the globe (just passed 1 year)


Julie STANDS Up, 5th July 2013 the first public screening

The image chosen for the poster of Irene's documentary.

Will add the movie or link here. About 14 minutes documentary film from many hours film taken at many location through the last six or seven month.

For me it is also a great example, how one can make a story from bits and after deciding on what one wants to show, take out all that does not 'belong'.

I was stupefied all along by Irina Fernandez dedication, all helps she got when she needed a second and all the demands she put on me.

Some, I did not accept easy, but I do understand now.

That is what Irene wrote about on the International Documentary film website - blog.
Called: Julie StandsUp

Director: Irene Fernandez
14 minutes

A short portrait of Julie Kertesz, an 80-year-old woman who decided, in her late 70s, to take up stand-up comedy. Originally from Hungary and a French citizen, Julie Kertesz moved to London 5 years ago.

Julie’s stand-ups not only defy preconceived ideas about ageing but also communicate the power of creativity as a means to deal with the past, present and future. Her journey became a path of self-discovery, empowerment and self-realisation.

Here the trailer with bits from many films shown.

Goldsmiths Screen Doc Festival July 2013: watch the trailers! from Washington Calegari on Vimeo.
The MA Screen Doc group presents 16 international documentaries from 4th to 6th July 2013.
Free entry. All welcome.
LGO2, New Academic Building, Goldsmiths College / New Cross / London / SE14 6NW
Smaller version:


Discovering a new voice, a new story: reinventing yourself

Telling her story with authenticity, simplicity, openness, 
well it seems so but it is very creatively done!

"Give voice to the story only you can tell" she tells us all."You have the ability to reinvent yourself!" Lidia Yuknavitch finishes.

I don't remember! I Remember... 3 poems

Record your speeches! Record your stories! Record even some poems you love as here.
Revisiting them after a time it is rewarding. Interesting. Instructive.
At least to yourself. Perhaps, even to others.

I do not remember! Heltai (translated by Julie Kertesz from Hungarian) Yet, he describes so well all that...

A humorous translated poem that liked it so much, that it was worth translating and telling it in my Reading project at my Toastmasters club, together with two other, more sad poems about Remembering.

Just decided to add those too here. "Morning" is also translated from Hungarian, and the poet remembers his walks holding hands. It is perhaps the saddest one as he finds no one any more to hold his hand other then in memory.

Morning: I remember... Erdelyi. "To live is great, to live is good. When someone holds your hand."

Remember, Rossetti : this was the first ever English poem read in English by me. I was adolescent when my mother offered me a collection of bilingual European poems, one page translated to Hungarian, one original. At the beginning, I did not know yet English but this sound so great! I come back to it again, after learning at age 26, and from time to time. Still like it a lot.

In fact, I begun with Rossetti's poem and finished with "I do not remember". From the saddest to the funniest.

It was in my second year at Lewisham Toastmaster's club, one of my first's Advanced manuals.
Very naively, I believed, reading will be easy. It was not. Aside for the poems project which I enjoyed a lot, and the history (Kennedy's speech in Berlin) I had so much difficulty to find my texts, and deliver them as needed, that it was the last manual I finished before my Advanced Gold, a few years later.

Some speech projects give you little worry also I did many reading a whole book about the subject and yes, it would be a good idea to make a note and write about projects and books I did buy for them, study for them. No one controls how we do a project but more we use it to learn, better results it gives for us. I do hope, with the REP new education program that will arrive, we will be able to add and discover online new material for each.

Fun and serious, a wonderful authentic speech by J.K. Rowling

Failure leads to discovery - those who never fail, never live and never learn that they can rise up from the rock bottom. With personal stories, humour and authenticity, Rowling Commencement speech at Harward is an example to look, listen, study. Follow.