The BEAUTIFUL VIEW from just off-stage . . .

In the past I studied acting in college and worked professionally as an actor for years. (Aside from my degree in Sociology).

There was a lot of satisfaction in this job, from many perspectives. And similar to my life now, back then, I also enjoyed challenging myself to be a better me. For that reason I will always be thankful for the holistic foundation acting gave me.

One of my favorite things about being an actor was the camaraderie of this profession . . . especially in the theatre. (More than film or TV work.)

In theatre school I remember sitting just off-stage, where I couldn’t be seen by the audience, but where I could still see the action on stage.

dancer in the wings

Often I would just be smiling. Sometimes I even cried.

It was a feeling of being overjoyed.

Being part of this family of actors.

Being privy to the inner workings of how we were telling our story on stage.

Being aware of how, as a group, we were contributing to a kind of profound and fun communication.

This week I had the pleasure (and honor) of being a presenter, in a workshop, at a forum with Kingston General Hospital. The forum was the Primary Health Care Forum with a focus on “Engaging Patient in Health Links: Focusing on What Matters”.

The first half of the day we were together, as a group of, a few hundred people listening to key speakers.  The second half of the day our group, KGH, and seven others, had the chance to give two workshops each.

It was an amazing experience!

The day itself was interesting and informative. It was interesting to see the perspective of people in primary care approaching the huge, complex task of conceptualizing and managing patient-centred care.

Particularly special (to me) was our KGH workshop, “Engaging Patients and Families”.

There were five of us. Some Patient Experience Advisors, like myself, and others who represented the executive perspective.

Our presentation gave me that same great feeling that acting had – especially with the group.

We each had around 12 minutes to contribute to our overall presentation – with some time to answer questions after.

We met in advance of our presentation so we could know what our individual contributions were and also to learn the over-arching message of our presentation. Each of us contributing a layer or nuance to flesh out the bigger message.

It was amazing to sit at our presenter table and both present and listen to other’s parts.

It was just like being on stage.

It was the same feeling of being part of something special.

The same feeling of doing your part in sharing a story.

That same . . . smiling – just off-stage – feeling.

It especially reminded me of my theatre days because we repeated our presentation twice in the afternoon. Two matinees!!

And again, as in theatre, our individual presences, although all great, came together culminating in something bigger than what any one of us could have said individually.

Curtain call for Daryl Bell, Angela Morin, Glenn Outwaite, Eleanor Rivoire and me.

Thank you for the opportunity to be part of something heart-warming and informative . . . and fun. If I enjoyed it this much, I assume our audiences must have enjoyed it too.

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