Don't sell, just share with enthusiasm

I'm writing to wish you a happy new year and to suggest one addition to your resolution list: Make 2017 the year you send more enticing invitations to your events.

I know inviting friends and acquaintances to your shows can feel like you're "selling" to them, which feels awful. Or, with my performances, I can find myself suddenly shy about getting the word out. Next time you're writing that email or Facebook event invite, try this: Entice your guests by sharing your enthusiasm.

But how? Tell your reader what you're planning. A certain kind of art on view? Beer and wine and snacks? Live music? Let people know why you think your event is fun or unique. What are you excited about?

For example, I performed last night in Seattle and after I sent the invites, I realized I could have said: I'm performing the story of how I broke the curse of a family secret. I could have also said: This is a new form of performing for me where I'm not reading and I'm not telling a memorized story. I'm performing without notes—an art form I recently practiced at Portland Story Theater. I might have included the names of the other performers and added: we're all bringing the family skeletons out of the closet with sometimes twisted, sad and funny stories, dance and music. I would love to see you there.

Already my invitation sounds better. I'm not selling it. I'm sharing why I'm jazzed about it. Try this the next time you want people to show up at your show or event. Happy New Year!

Performing at Family Affair at the JewelBox Theater in Seattle. Photo by John Mullen.