Host Garrison Keillor answers your questions about life, love, writing, authors, and of course, A Prairie Home Companion.
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May 16, 2010 |
I am taking a public speaking course in college. I recently saw you give a speech in Jacksonville, FL. I am wondering about the rhythm of your delivery, the perfectly placed pauses and slow tempo is this something that you worked on developing, or did it just come naturally?
Palm Coast, FL
There's nothing natural about standing on a stage in front of a couple thousand Floridians and talking to them about your hometown in Minnesota. In real life, Amy, I talk very little, and so a performance like that one is completely unnatural for me. I'm a writer, don't you know, not a comedian. What I am trying to do is to channel the voices I grew up with, namely my Aunt Eleanor's and my Uncle Lew's and various others, and do a condensed speeded-up version of kitchen talk as I recall it from long ago. My people didn't listen to the radio. They talked and told stories. They amused themselves through the Depression and dust storms and wartime by sitting around a kitchen table covered with oilcloth and drinking weak coffee and nibbling on caramel rolls or banana bread and talking a blue streak. Whatever cadence I have in my head is something I inherited.