Amanda Stern (in the NYT) has some realistic advice for authors, poets, aesthetes and pretentious knobs facing their first public performance (likely in the Borders reading/conference/craft room), including:
- Do not prepare with vocal warm-ups, neck rolls or the Japanese Suzuki Method of stomping.
- Do not refer to the surrounding space as the ''mise en scene.''
- Do not ask if there is Kabbalah water in the V.I.P. room.
- Be polite to the computer-geek girl who wants to discuss her novel-in-blogs.
- Do not engage the sociopath lurking in doorway.
- You're not going to just read, are you? Have time to learn banjo?