Braverman's Blog
Terry Braverman and Company

Carpe Temporus Punctum

“Boldness has genius, power, and magic to it. Begin it now.” – Goethe

Carpe Temporus Punctum  In Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography, he recalls his first, and unscheduled, step onto the stage: “I remember standing in the wings (offstage) when mother’s voice cracked and went to a whisper. The audience began to laugh, sing falsetto, and to make catcalls. The noise increased until mother was obliged to walk off the stage. When she came into the wings, she was very upset and argued with the stage manager who, having seen me perform before mother’s friends, said something about letting me go on in her place.

Making an Impression

At my workshops, I talk about one of the ways to develop a humorous perspective, which is to ask yourself, if you’re in a crisis or embarrassing situation, how would someone else react if they were in your shoes (a favorite comedian, famous person, etc.). Who would be better to ask that question to than a master impressionist like Rich Little?

A few years ago I interviewed Rich for a feature article in my newsletter, and he recalled a time when he used his talent to avoid a potentially dangerous encounter: “Once I was confronted by a bunch of thugs who I thought were going to beat me up. It was in south Florida and I was pretty scared, but within 15 minutes I had them laughing. I was doing my whole act and they were applauding! So I turned that around, I don’t remember exactly how. I think I went into Louie Armstrong. But it was scary. They didn’t know who I was, but when I started doing the impressions they lost their incentive to beat me up.”

The Compliance Choir

Much resistance can emerge when attempting to implement new company guidelines. An employee at a local department store generated an answer to this problem that not only reduced costly errors but showcased the talents of some store clerks. This person happened to be an aspiring singer, so she created a “compliance choir.”
They sang the new guidelines over the store’s sound speakers just prior to opening the store in the morning, and recorded the lyrics on cassette so each clerk would have one to listen to in the car or at home. Employees were not only hooked on the catchy tune, which they hummed throughout their work day, but they caught the message as well. The company estimated a savings of 15-20% with the musical tutorial.

Unrestraining Order

Today we are all afflicted to some degree with SDS (spontaneity deficiency syndrome). It is appalling in our society how much we miss merry-making opportunities by censoring our own spontaneity. “Well, I’m trying to find time to be spontaneous,” a harried business acquaintance once muttered.

Indigenous people tend to release their emotions and heal what ails them in the moment, through singing, dancing, chanting, and wearing wild costumes. How many of us would feel comfortable doing that in front of our families? We have largely suppressed or forgotten spontaneity in the maze of our busyness, our plans, our rational thinking, and our control mechanisms.

Freedom Rings Hollow in the U.S.

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” – James Madison

What is it that I value most in life? Freedom ranks in the top three. It is the primary reason generations of immigrants have flocked to America to pursue their dreams with minimal encroachment. It is sad to witness the slow yet steady erosion of those freedoms. A recent report confirms the decline…

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