Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt gave Lou Gehrig the clap?

Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt gave Lou Gehrig the clap?

 

Whenever I plug-in my microphone to podcast, I feel like this.

On some level, I believe that a lot of people who talk with the hopes that others will tune in and listen feel like this…or we want to feel like this. We want to feel confident…we want to soak up that spotlight…we want to know that we have a few strangers’ ears for a few minutes and their attention. Whether or not a speaker gets any or all of that is often beyond their control, but in an ideal world, I’d like to believe that every speaker gets a moment like this first glimpse of Hoffman as Lenny Bruce.

Don’t get me wrong – most of us who step up to a microphone will never say anything nearly as profound or impactful as what Lenny Bruce did with his career as a comic. Hell, most of us won’t even approach the charisma and cutting that Dustin Hoffman’s impression of the comic evoked. But we hope we can…or at least, we hope that we can cause a glimmer, a glimpse, an echo, or a shade.

Hell, by the end even Lenny Bruce himself was hoping he could land the sort of audience appreciation that his younger self was warranting.

But I don’t feel that it’s an accident that the fist time we see this brilliant speaker in this underrated movie, its in this cocksure hero pose. It’s a stance that declares “I have something to say so shut up and listen”. It’s a stance that uses the light, the platform, and the crowd to stoke its own mystique. Through the course of this film – and throughout his real-life career – Lenny Bruce challenged people’s ideas of what comedy was, and what society itself had turned into – and he did it all with observation and a keen choice of words.

Look at an image like this and tell me that the person it depicts doesn’t seem like he has something important to say.

So I keep such feelings in mind when I podcast – be it on my own show or someone else’s. I know that there’s nothing I can say that will contain the wit or the impact of what Lenny said, but it doesn’t stop me from trying. It’s a desire to be that cocksure and that much a point-of-focus that keeps me driven. It spurs me through every show that’s hard to plan and every spot that has me struggling for words. If for even twenty seconds it allows me to feel like this, then it’s all worth it.

After all – don’t we all want to be in the spotlight for a few minutes? Don’t we all want to be listened to?

 

Here’s three more from LENNY for the road…

 

are there any

L + H

blah blah blah

This series of posts is inspired by the “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” series at The Film Experience. Do check out all of the awesome entires in their series so far