This week I gave the visionary address at the CBI West Coast Medical Education and Research Grants Breakthrough Summit. They’re teaching storytelling as a vehicle for medical education, and I was invited to be the expert on storytelling,
For the six weeks leading up to the conference I prepared material, practiced, and worked on speaking points. Unfortunately this cut deeply into my drawing time.
It’s incredibly difficult to slice one’s time between day job, speaking, writing, and playing a little ukulele, while trying to put in the hours necessary to acquire a new skill.
When I started out as an entertainer I understood that it was to the complete exclusion of other extra-curricular pursuits. I gave up all the weird things I like to study to focus on learning music and storytelling. I don’t regret it one bit. My success as an entertainer has been phenomenal and I’ve enjoyed a tiny bit of notoriety, but as I’ve always said, “I’m less interested in what I’m doing now as I am in what I’m doing next.”
That’s not to say I’m going to explore drawing to the exclusion of all other things. My focus on drawing is as a supplement to my writing and storytelling, to create a more full-featured package. But, that does mean buckling down and concentrating my efforts, and giving up performing, at least until I have acquired enough skill as a visual artist to satisfy my needs.
At times it seems overwhelming, trying to do so much with so little time, and I wonder about men of history who accomplished so much in their lives, and how they could possibly have done it all. Benjamin Franklin was a politician, writer, inventor, musician, polyglot, scientist, and so much more.
The lens of history has a narrow depth-of-field, and I need to keep in mind that Franklin lived for 84 years. He didn’t do it all at once. I’m sure he put a pause on his kite-surfing (really!) while he learned to play the glass armonica.