On Yawning

Are you already yawning while reading this?

If you are speaking to someone — in a formal or informal setting — and they keep yawning in response, are you insulted that they are tired and not paying attention?  Or are you in some way complimented that someone is showing you the back of their throat?

For much of my life, I took a yawn from someone as an affront that I was somehow boring the point of my interest, and if a student dared to loudly yawn in class, that was of even more concern that I was losing the accrued interest of a topic I was divining to share.

Then I met a good, and ancient, friend, who happened to also be an excellent stage director — and professional theologian — who taught me my thinking was wrong.

A yawn is a compliment, he argued — a good thing — and you should work a room, and conversations, to get that open mouth staring back at you.

Continue reading → On Yawning

Practice Tips and Techniques from John "Jack" Malmström

If you’ve been playing a musical instrument for awhile, and you’re feeling a little stale in your practice, here are some tips that might encourage you to keep pressing forward to improve your technique.

Continue reading → Practice Tips and Techniques from John "Jack" Malmström

Organizing the Boles Blogs Network with the Paper Notebook Technique

Before there was the Boles Blogs Network, there was just Urban Semiotic and planning articles was simple. Either I was writing an article for Urban Semiotic or Go Inside Magazine — not too difficult. More blogs were added — three, here, four there, then three more — until the 13-blog strong Boles Blogs Network was created.  Across the network, we cover all the niches of living. By the time we hit that magical number 13, I had a problem — no good way to keep up with knowing when I hadn’t written an article for a blog in a long while, and what I was planning on writing for any given blog.

Continue reading → Organizing the Boles Blogs Network with the Paper Notebook Technique

The In Situ Strings Stretch Technique and How to NOT Stretch Your Guitar Strings

As a burgeoning — bludgeoning? — Bending Blues Guitarist, I am shocked, SHOCKED!, by the bad advice and the rotten technique I witness on the internets, and on YouTube, demonstrating the wrong way to properly stretch a new set of guitar strings.

Continue reading → The In Situ Strings Stretch Technique and How to NOT Stretch Your Guitar Strings

Acting in Slow Motion Creates Perpetual Momentum

One thing amateur actors lack is technique.  Sometimes trying to embed a foreign technique into a new actor can be a challenge.  One of the most important techniques any actor must have is the innate ability to control time and space.  A good actor can speed up time or slow time to a crawl.  Speeding up is easy; slowing down is hard.

Continue reading → Acting in Slow Motion Creates Perpetual Momentum

Keeping Ahead with the Hemingway Technique

For the longest time, I had problems with writing. I would start writing and keep writing and writing until I absolutely could not think of anything else to write. The next day, I would sit down to write again and I still had nothing to write. I would just sit there staring at what I had already written and would have no clue how to continue.

Continue reading → Keeping Ahead with the Hemingway Technique