Pivot presents at Pecha Kucha

Now that the adrenaline has dissipated, I can take a moment to write a few words about my Pecha Kucha experience. Would it be telling if I just left it at… wow!

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Using the law as a catalyst for positive social change, Pivot Legal Society works to improve the lives of marginalized communities.

Ok, I’ll say a little bit more. And I’ll begin by acknowledging one source of inspiration for this piece of writing. Carson Ting rocked the stage at PKN with a visual feast of his drawings and designs. His presentation was focused on “transparency”. He made a powerful case for not only sharing the end result of one’s creative process but also revealing the process itself. The process of creating a drawing, painting, poem, sculpture… or a six-minute pecha kucha presentation.

So here I go.
When I received the invitation to speak at PKN, I was totally elated. A great opportunity to talk about Pivot’s work in front of a thousand people and in such great company. Immediately following the elation, came a rush of panic which I experienced every time I thought about the day when I would take my place on the stage at the Vogue. Lucky for me, I had tons of supportive people to help me keep it real.
I am not known for my brevity and so trying to describe Pivot’s work in such a short amount of time felt near impossible. And let me tell you, there were some very VERY shoddy versions of that talk as I toiled over what to say. Versions that were too ranty, or too intense, or too disjointed, and always way too long. I ran a few ideas past my colleagues and I could tell by the look on their faces that I didn’t quite have it yet.
It has taken years, but I have finally realized how to really get my creative energy flowing. On any given rainy day in the month of April, if you spent enough time in Strathcona/DTES/Gastown, you could have seen me with earbuds in my ears, walking around in deep thought, muttering to myself and stopping periodically to make notes. So there you have it, that’s how I write. I have my best ideas when wandering randomly around the city, listening to music and starting into the clouds. I covered a lot of miles getting this one ready for the big day. 
So once I had the words down on paper, I had to tackle another personal challenge. I am pretty emotional about the issues that I work on and so I had to practice this one a lot. Learning the words was the easy part. My struggle is to let go of some of the emotionality of it all. I thought after so many years I would be a bit hardened. Turns out, not so much. So practice, practice, practice until the lump in my throat is gone.
I am thrilled to report that April 28th was a great night and I loved every minute. When I arrived, I saw my Pivot peeps sitting in the front row who always stoke me up. I sat down next to Sean Heather and we immediately started discussing where the nearest exits were and how we could make a break for it. Little did I know, Sean would present right before me and bring down the house with his charm, passion, Irish drinking songs and his companion on the bagpipes. A tough and awesome act to follow.  But I did it and it was nice to see all of those hours of deep work turn into what I hope was a strong message of conviction and possibility.