Re: Ozzfest meets Jr. League (long)

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Posted by Maureen on September 14, 2002 at 04:38:22:

In reply to: Ozzfest meets Jr. League (long) posted by Angi on September 13, 2002 at 18:18:09:

Hi Angi,

GEEZ!!! I truly feel for you.

That is the sort of experience I place squarely on the shoulders of
the host or hostess. Sounds like the guest there had no idea what
you were there to do and what it was about. Sounds like they just at
some point made the decision to make the best of it...their best
turned out to be your worst.

I have a few similar experiences with stress reduction and arts and
wellness workshops. At one, the hostess wanted to have a stress
reduction and relaxation experience for her 15 book club members who
are all pretty high powered, high achieving, corporate type women who
live in their heads 24 hours a day. The 6th or 7th women to enter
the room that day announced to all of the women present that she
had "researched" on her computer some designs and symbols they might
want to paint on their ceramic plates. She had made 15 copies of
each picture...had brought along some tracing paper and some cabon
paper for them to transfer their designs. She had determined that
they would each want a picture depicting women who appeared
powerful. So, she said, that they could all relax now and enjoy the
painting...LOL!!! As each person came in she began to organize them
all and hand each of them the supplies and pictures she had brought
in and gave them each very specific instructions on how to use them
and what to do...including asking me for help if they couldn't get
the picture she brought centered on the plate where it should
be...she had decided. When everyone arrived and sat there like good
children hell bent to get an "A+" in this relaxation experience, I
told them to pass everything they had been given by their book club
member back to her with a heartfelt "Thank You!!!" And promised them
that as soon as this was done, we could begin the experience in
ernest. It was the craziest thing I had ever seen in my life...these
type "A" women trying to organize to the tiniest detail a stress
reduction and relaxation experience. I did a guided fantasy to take
them to a "safe and peaceful" place. Gave them instructions on how
to complete their plates and left. Hadn't planned on leaving. But I
knew when I was wasting my time. When I returned to the host's home
the next week to pick up the plates to glaze and fire, on the plates
was exactly what I expected...Their picture of "A safe and peaceful
place" on most of the plates looked exactly like those drawings their
book club member had brought along for them to use. The hostess had
not done her prep work, though I had spent 1/2 telling her what her
guest would need in order to "get there" and "be with" the experience
she had planned for them.

I think some alcohol would have helped significantly this group I
worked with.

When people are just too drunk to be sensible...though they probably
will stain well...I begin to roll up the tent. A drunk can have a
name put on her boob in henna that can lead to lots of explaining and
fights if it is not the same name of the mate she is going home to.
And what seems like a good place for a henna design under the
influence can cause a lot of problems at the office the next week.
And never will the cause of the problem be attributed to the quantity
of alcohol they consumed. Most likely, it will be attributed to how
messy and ugly henna stains/designs are.

A lot of the women in that book club signed their children up for my
Ceramic Art Camp after that. Each said that they could see how their
child could really benefit from learning about ceramics. But it
really wasn't anything they themselves would be interested in doing
again. Each wanted their child/children to do a plate during the
camp sessions so they could hang them up on the wall next to their
own. After all, for them, this could be about nothing more than
having plates made.

All of that to say, don't trip over an event when the participants
clearly have not been prepared in advance for what you are there to
do. Teach the host/hostess what they need to do to prepare their
guests in advance. If there is an opportunity for you to fill in the
gaps and inform and prepare the folks there so. If not,
do your thing the best you can and pull up tent before it gets too
stupid. When the smile leaves my face, I know it is time to go. And
my smile would have disappeared when the first boob hit the
table...LOL!!!! It is perfectly alright at any event to determine
in advance what body parts you will do and which ones you will not.
It is also alright to pull the plug when you have gone over your
timeframe and have had enough. And, if it is a difficult gig that
you are being asked to stay at longer, don't hesitate to increase
your fee for any and all time extra that you are being tortured for
pay. That is something that you can negotiate up front or on the
spot when being asked to stay longer than the original contract.

Bottom line...GEEZ!!! I feel you...

It will probably be really important for you and the person who
worked with you to debrief on this one. Share your experiences with
each other thoroughly and get it out of your system. I've got that
image of those boobs with hearts on them in my mind right now and I
wasn't even there...:-)

And, no I don't get that request from women 50 and older at
all...never...ever...Of course, my 50 and older folks are drinking
tea and listening to relaxation music on my turf. That is probably
the difference.

But...sans the alcohol intake, what it reminds me of is when I sold
body jewelry. GOD!!!! I saw more people's pierced tongues, pierced
boobs, and pierced navels than I ever wanted to see or needed to see
since I didn't do piercing or put in the body jewelry. I was just
selling the jewelry. But folks really seemed to like showing off
those piercings!!!



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