Another Great Night

As Was Written - April 9, 2016

Mark down April 9, 2016 as yet wonderful night with friends, family and pleasant strangers at As Was Written, the event my buddy John-Mark and I founded back in 2008.

David Jonas read a letter to his son – who’ll be born any day now – introducing himself and his mother in a touching, hilarious fashion.

Natalie McGill took the stage and poked fun at the metro, roommates who need phonetic lessons and nightmare-inducing 3D pictures, sometimes known as sonograms. She’s hilarious, you should check her out.

Ben Sollee dropped in from Louisville, Kentucky with his cello and pipes to show us how good music sounds. After his performance, he sold just about every CD he brought with him. You should get it, too. He’s crazy talented.

Joseph LMS Green brought his booming voice and piercing words to the stage to celebrate the five year anniversary of one of his strongest poems, Break. Then he shared two newer pieces confronting two powerful social issues, the Black Lives Matter movement and teaching consent to kids, specifically young men. He’s been doing workshops for youth, and starting creative writing programs at schools all around the area. Look him up.

Remy took to the stage to sing about metro troubles, arranged marriages, and upper middle class social movements on campuses. He’s hilarious, and crazy talented. You may already know him, as his YouTube videos have been seen by over 100 million people. Check him out.

As Was Written - April 9, 2016

I read a story for the first time in two years. It was a piece I put together exploring the darker side of technology and our dependence on it. It was largely inspired by the BBC show Black Mirror, and Kurt Vonnegut’s short story, The Euphio Question. Look those up, they’re great.

People tend to call our event a poetry show. It’s not a poetry show. We generally feature at least one poet or spoken word artist on our stage, and they’re some of the best in the world, ones who’ve performed on Def Poetry, at the Kennedy Center and the White House. But our show expands beyond poetry.

As Was Written is a celebration and showcase of quality writers. Every show we assemble a lineup of writers who perform music, short stories, stand-up comedy and poetry. We handpick the best we can find, and our audiences have continued to enjoy it, year after year. We’ve sold out nearly every show. It’s always a great feeling putting on these shows.

I’m lingering in the post-show joy, taking my sweet time to enjoy every bit of it. Can’t wait for the next one.

Shout out to photographer, Matt Leedham!

Big shout out to the night’s photographer, Matt Leedham, for the wonderful shots.

A Disappointing Trend, Studied

Some of my work in the first responder world has landed me on a project building an application in the unfortunately ever-growing field of active shooter/threat research, due to the increasing number of events in the last 15 years.

A few articles recently have been interesting reads, so I figured they’d be worth a share:

If you’re in for a longer read, the FBI put together a more comprehensive study of active shooters between 2000 and 2013.

Hopefully all these studies and attention will help us find a path toward reducing and eventually eliminating these terrible incidents.

Value Your Customer's Time

It’s hard to maintain the attention of busy people. At the IAFC, we are asking the current and future leaders of fire and emergency services to take time out of their busy, hectic and often traumatic days to engage in order to make their jobs easier. It sounds as hard as it seems.

We can’t expect for each one to drop everything on their plate and take advantage of the resources we offer (webinars, white papers, SOPs, SOGs, best practices and thought leadership articles, to name a few). There are other ways to go about it.

The Daily Egg put together a resource we all can use to help with our busy audiences.

Automated emails work best for staff hour efficiency, but more importantly, for getting through to our audience, writing helpful, no fluff emails, texts and the like go a long way. Offer the things they can use immediately to improve their job. Forget the exclamation point laden emails(!!!) that are oh-so-familiar to every inbox. Treat every customer you encounter as if you’re speaking with a friend you want to help, but know their day as if they’re as hectic as a Nikki Minaj concert-goer on the front row.

Overall, treating people like you’d want to be treated is how best to handle any scenario, but especially yo this fighting every day to make the world a better place. We do it – and continue to improve daily – and you should too.