Author - Artist - Voice Over Actor

Category: ToastMasters

The Missing Marathon Speech

Recently, I did my third speech for Toastmasters.
My wife and I are members of Toastmasters 4 Writers in Burbank, California – District 52.

My second and third speech were connected because what I learned from giving the second speech would be applied to the third. The Second speech was about my family, especially my grandfather, James Shaw, who was from Ireland and came to America. There are many great stories I could tell about him and his life. When it came to telling the third speech I chose to focus on him as a Marathon runner, especially winning one in Belfast Ireland.

But as I began to do research for this speech, I was finding more questions than answers. On top of that there wasn’t a lot of recorded history about the 1909 race, and that the first Belfast City Marathon didn’t happen until 1982.

So this speech began as much about learning the truth about the race as it was about my grandfather winning it.

A big thank you goes out to John T. Glover who wrote the book HISTORY OF NORTHERN IRELAND MARATHON RUNNING for helping me locate the facts.

2020 the End is Nigh

At the start of the year I had great 2020 Vision (go back and read the blog) – that vision had such great plans for the year ahead…

It didn’t go at all as planned (for none of us). Even before Covid struck, on the second day of the year I was told I was being laid off from my job which I had for 10 years.

So I was home, and soon my wife would be working from home as well. I truly believe that to be a blessing.

A family member is in the hospital (praise God not with Covid).

That all said, the year wasn’t all that bad for me. Being home most of the time allowed certain things to happen, or things for me to discover, that I wouldn’t have if the world was still going as it had a year ago.

I had already planned to take Voice Acting Classes, by the end of that first class I was determined to make Voice Over as part of my career. I soon found other classes and workshops I could do online that I wouldn’t have been able to do previously. Joined Toastmasters, got back into college courses, and became an Improv actor.

With 2021 about to start, I am confident that there many blessings that came to me through 2020 even as stressful as it was.

What is to come next, I am not entirely certain but am Determined to grab hold of each and every blessing that is to follow.

God Bless you all. See you in the new year.

Tales of Yesteryear Told in Future Tense

The year 2020 hasn’t turned out the way any of us had planned it. But looking now my 2020 Vision from the beginning of the year and isn’t all that cloudy.
Along with being an artist and writer, I had begun training to become a voice actor for animation.
Things may have slowed down some, but they haven’t stopped. I’m still writing, and am regularly doing artwork for books by Airship 27 Productions.
I continue taking more classes towards my acting career.
At my wife encouragement I have joined a local chapter of Toastmasters – Toastmasters 4 Writers. What could be more perfect.
At a meeting nearly a year ago, before I officially joined I did an Impromptu ‘Table Topics’ speech which I won, and it set off my Determination to become a Voice Actor.
This past Saturday (August 8th, 2020) I gave my first speech. An ‘Icebreaker’ speech they call it, introducing myself to the group.
As I wrote my speech I began to realize the moment in my life that set me off on the road to being an artist, writer, and now actor. It all began with ‘Old Time Radio.’

What follows is my Toastmasters Icebreaker speech, entitled:
“Tales of Yesteryear Told in Future Tense”.
(Points to those who know what two radio programs that is a reference to.)

Tales of Yesteryear Told in Future Tense

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