Attack Birds


This time of year the red-winged blackbirds become very territorial and will dive bomb people as they walk along the Grand River — Which is awesome!

I regularly see grown men shriek like schoolgirls as they run for their lives.  Hilarious!

Yup… pure hilarity… until it happened to me.  Then it was terrifying. 

As the bird made pass after pass by my head, I became convinced that my 85 gram attacker was sure to carry me off and feed my dismantled body to a nest of baby birds. Thereby fulfilling my new destiny as just a another part of the food chain.

I survived though. And I had a great idea.

Public speaking & stand up comedy can be terrifying.  And it can be difficult to simulate that feeling of terror while rehearsing and preparing. Unless you have an army of angry birds at your disposal.

So to prepare for my latest event, I walked alone rehearsing my set out loud while being dive-bombed by red-winged blackbirds.  I practiced staying focused on delivering my material in the middle of adrenaline, surprise and terror.

Here’s the take away.

1 - Don’t be too quick to judge next time you see somebody walking alone talking to themselves while being dive-bombed by birds. They might not be crazy. They might just be rehearsing.

2 - Find a distracting or maybe even terrifying environment to rehearse for your next thing.  It’ll drive your material deep into your psyche and “the stage” will be much easier.

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Video clips from the performance I referenced in this story are available here.

Thanks for letting me share.

Aaron Sorrels - The Unemployed Alcoholic

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