Lenny Ravich
The Joker is Wild

The Joker is Wild

March 25, 2023

Hi Everyone. I’m Lenny Ravich the author of the bestselling book “Everlasting Optimism” and Funny, Inspirational Keynote Speaker in London.

 Since I will be 87 in July I have to take lots of pills. And whenever my doctor gives me a prescription I immediately read the side effects.  The list consists of nausea, constipation and worst of all I have to stop nursing my babies.                           

I’d like to walk with you through the stages of a public speaker’s journey. I use the metaphor of a deck of cards since that is how I experienced my passage. 

Deuce to Ten

I started out with card numbers two to ten which have little or no power. Seasoned poker players seldom make bets on cards of this type. Being a 2 to 10 is when I am making calls and requesting the privilege of speaking before a group and am asked, “Who are you? Why should I hire you to speak before my team?” A good question for which my elevator speech draws an astounding blank. 

I start to perform toll-free or for a nominal fee just to get a name or some exposure, and take the blows and survive the cuts. It’s painful coupled with the feeling of ineffectiveness.   Okay so I finally get hired, perform, and watch people walk out, talk to each other or on their cell phones and fall asleep during my talks. I suffer the humiliation at the meeting planners chagrin and feel like crap, and ask myself, “What went wrong? I’m a loser. Do I kill myself or look for a job at the post office?” (Of which the first option seems the better of the two). Then I go back to the drawing board, make corrections and revisions, lick my wounds and try again.

The Jack

 Failure for a professional at numbers two to ten in a deck of cards becomes nothing more than feedback from the universe. If I continue to get thrown out, land on the sidewalk, get up, brush off the dust and keep moving and if don’t whine and cry and give up I might reach the status of “Jack.

When my son Natti started out in his career as an actor, I asked him to please fail. “Why fail? Am I not supposed to succeed?”” he asked. “You will succeed but to be a true artist, you must get over the fear of failure, and the only way to do that is to fail on purpose and realize that it’s not the end of the world.  Don’t play it safe. That’s the sure road to mediocrity.” He did it and we now joke as we reminisce. 

King and Queen

Even as the Jack I am only allowed entrance to the King’s and Queen’s court on condition. Now people are asking for my business card and taking me a bit more seriously. I currently have the opportunity to perfect my art and craft and gain the power of a Queen and King.

Being King and Queen is cool. It means I am getting a credible name in the marketplace. I’m starting to know my stuff, learn from the successful dominators, read books, attend workshops, and get mentored. Now I’m gaining confidence. People begin looking to me for inspiration and knowledge, and I become quite full of myself. But, as the King I am stuck in my ego. The King, as experienced and as erudite as he is, is not the top of the ladder.

The Ace

Suddenly, as I start to perfect my supremacy, read more, study with the best, I realize that there is a character even more influential than the King and that is THE ACE.

 As the ace I feel empowered and go around trying to impress people with my flair and pomp. I begin to get high on my own supply as a “TOP GUN”. Lots of admiration as well as jealousy are heaped on. I stay in focus, realizing that it’s not about me but rather the giving of value to others and offering to teach and to inspire and coach beginners. Becoming an ACE is reaching a plateau. This status is most difficult to reach and the most practiced specialists fail to get out of this peg. 

The Joker is Wild

However, there is one echelon even above the Ace and that is reserved for the very few. This one who knows that dying is easy and comedy is hard is the “THE JOKER”. The joker is wild and can get away with just about anything even poking fun at the King. The Ace is impotent around the Joker. As a matter of fact, The Joker’s task in life is to make fun of the King in order to keep him out of his ego and, as a result the joker becomes a more dominant figure. I relate this figure to Steve Jobs’ discourse to the graduating class of Stanford University in 2005. His final sentence was, “Stay Foolish.”

As a JOKER, everything I do is accepted as “Oh, he’s just being the Joker and ‘the Joker is wild’.” This journey has afforded me the privilege of being a Funny, inspiring Keynote Speaker in London  

The person coming up from the ranks from the deuce to the Ace could never get away with the antics of the Joker. But even this achievement is not the end of the ride.

 A good speaker will impress you. A great speaker influences your life. A MASTER speaker changes your life forever which I will discuss in my next blog.

If you would like to book a humorous, inspirational keynote speaker for your next event or prefer a private session, contact: www.lennyravich.org

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