After a series of newspaper articles, about six months ago, I received an email from a company here in Sweden, asking me if I would like to hold a speech about my writing, my life, my charity work and my work with children. It was supposed to take place last November, although things didn’t quite work out that way. Instead, the date was changed. I will be holding the speech at AstraZeneca in Gothenburg on February 29th. I consider this to be a great honor, although boy, am I nervous today.
Many years ago, I ran a theme theatre group for children, teaching them English through theatre, offering them a theme with each show. I have some fantastic memories from that time. I wrote a basic manuscript and the song texts, allowing them to change things just a little. They made their own sets and scenes, their own costumes. We had make-up artists come by to add that little touch. A musician, who goes by the name of Martin Lignell, put music to my texts; A Lesson in the Jungle and William Gray and The Family Next Door. They did their own PR, contacted the local TV stations and newspapers; invited them in to watch the shows. Everything was kept in English. Obviously, some were a little reluctant to open up in English, preferring to speak Swedish. With these children, I spoke a kind of ‘Swinglish’ until they were ready to move over into only English. I helped them at every step of the way, offered advice, trained with the children; was there for them at all times. The only thing I didn’t have to do was to stand on stage with them and act. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have to go on stage. I would always go up, just before the children went up, would welcome the audience and introduce them. Then at the end of each show, I would go out, take a bow with the children; receive a bunch of roses or box of chocolates.
I enjoyed being behind the scene, witnessing magic in the form of song and dance, with bright costumes and cheerful faces. I wasn’t a scene person really. Last year I was in America, knew there would be no ‘behind’ the scenes work for me. It was a little scary. Not when I was talking, of course, but when I was planning and preparing, feeling butterflies in my stomach. I don’t think one ever really gets used to it. Now I am back there again, just two days until February 29th. I am nervous, can feel those butterflies rising up inside, am terrified I might break out in a cold sweat or forget what I’m supposed to talk about. I guess that’s natural really. Deep down inside, I am really looking forward to Wednesday with confidence but still I feel like jelly today.
Hoping your day is a happy one. Attached is the invitation from AstraZeneca. Gavin
Invitation to you as a member of Klubben at AstraZeneca Mölndal
Wednesday 29th February Welcome! Please register for this enlightening breakfast event – 07:30 to 09:00 in Epsilon.Breakfast is served in the Café from 07:15. If you come directly to the lecture, feel free to bring your breakfast into Epsilon. Notification requested by 24th of February. Don’t forget to notify any allergy or special diet.