Author, Speaker, and Humorist
“Nutty with a Dash of Meat” Jeanette Levellie here, with some funnies from court reporters’ actual records, to emphasize the importance of choosing your words wisely–unless you’re looking for laughs. These quotes are taken from a book entitled Disorder in The Courts by Charles M. Sevilla and Lee Lorenz, copyright 1999, W. W. Norton and Co.
ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan! Read More →
Hi, Pamela S. Meyers here with more tips on marketing your
The release date for my historical romance from Summerside
Press, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (LFYLG) is fast approaching.
April 1st will be here before I know it!
My friend who made my book trailer for Thyme for Love is
hard at work developing a trailer for LFYLG, and he came up with a fantastic
idea to have me personally introduce the story at the beginning of the clip. In
addition to the romance, the story centers on the Rivera building which was
built in 1933, the year my story takes place. The building is featured on the
book cover and is now an historical landmark. Anyone who has ever visited the
town will immediately recognize the building.
We decided that I would start the trailer standing in front
of a current day color picture of the Riviera and then seemingly step back in
time and be standing in front of a black and white photo of the building taken
from approximately the same spot in the 1930s.
Of course, a real studio is the ideal locale for recording
this type of thing, but since neither of us has a studio, we created a mini
studio in my living room by hanging a green sheet on the wall. We then attached
the camera to a tripod, and brought in all the lighting we could find. I stood
in front of the sheet and gave my intro, then donning a cloche hat, a style
from the 1930s, I took a step as I transitioned into the 1933 setting. Ed will
use special software to add the two shots of the building behind me.
I only had about four or five sentences to deliver and I
quickly learned it’s not that easy. We did about 20 takes before we got one we
felt would work well. Each time I flubbed the lines or forgot to put on the hat
as I transitioned to 1933, we had to restart. When I thought I had it mastered I
started switching the last names of my heroine and hero. Of course we laughed a
lot which made taking so many takes a lot easier to swallow.
Along the way I learned some things that might help you if
you are game to try this.
- Have a good camera. I don’t have a video camera
that is strictly for video, but I do have a small digital camera that takes HD
- Use a tripod to keep the camera steady.
- Use cue cards. I printed my script on a sheet of
8.5×11 paper, and we had it on an easel at eye level, but I had to shift my eyes to
read it. I ended up adlibbing, which worked until I kept giving
my heroine the his last name. He had to hold up a sign with her last name
written on it so I wouldn’t flub it again. In retrospect, I’d tape the dialogue
to the tripod underneath the camera. If you do this and have longer dialogue, a
third person to hold cue cards next to the camera is strongly advised!
- Lastly, have a lot of patience and a sense of humor. We had to do a
lot of takes to get it right. Check out the video of my outtakes at the link below . We did
have a lot of laughs, which is always good medicine.
You can access the short video of some of the outtakes at:
Sherry Kyle here writing from my laptop in California.
Have you had a good laugh lately?
I’m not talking about a slight chuckle, but a good ‘ol belly laugh—the kind that makes your stomach hurt and the tears roll out of your eyes. There are certain friends and family members that bring it out of me. My husband is one of them. I love his sense of humor and how he can brighten my mood. Who makes you laugh?
I’m so glad God loves laughter. He wants us to enjoy life.
Psalm 126: 2-3 says,
“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, 'The LORD has done great things for them.' The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”
John 10: 10 says,
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Philippians 4: 8 says,
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
It may seem strange that I'd write a post on laughter for a writing blog, but writers need a little humor in their lives. We all know this business is tough and how important it is to keep it all in perspective.
Have a great day . . . and laugh often!