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Talking TED with Vicci Martinez

Count on being exposed to inspiration Thursday and Friday in Tacoma

Vicci Martinez will share her dreams and inspire yours at TEDxTacoma Friday. Photo courtesy of the Paradigm Agency

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The notion of "ideas worth spreading" is a broad one, but it's one that will be explored when TEDxTacoma comes to the Theatre on the Square. TED, of course, standing for "technology, entertainment and design," these speaking engagements always draw a wide range of presenters with divergent backgrounds, all talking on one given topic.

When I spoke with local singer-songwriter Vicci Martinez (of the entertainment portion, naturally) almost two months ago, she still hadn't quite ironed out what her speech would cover. Connectivity being the overarching theme of this year's TED talk, there are any number of directions to go, especially for Martinez - who notably spread the idea of herself, one might say, as a contestant on NBC's The Voice.

"I woke up yesterday and sort of realized what a big deal these talks are," says Martinez. "You can't just get up there and try to bullshit your way through something. ... In trying to figure out what I wanted to talk about, I realized that it started to make me stressed and anxious. Everything in my life, I try to make it as great as it can be, really live in the moment and all of that. The opposite of that is getting stressed and anxious about anything else.

"So, I think I'm going to try and focus on that, as the way I work through things," says Martinez. "Figuring that out, it changed my perspective on everything that I was thinking about in my life - my career, my job, my home, everything. You start to take a few steps back and put yourself in the right now. If we can do that more often, I think that's when we can move those big mountains that you want to move."

Returning to the broad spectrum of interpretations that can be taken from the idea of connectivity, Martinez is approaching this subject from a totally different place than I would have. From her perspective, it comes down to personal and interpersonal connections, of being alert and immersed in the here and now. Coming off of The Voice, the interim time has been a whirlwind for Martinez.

"That's actually kind of what I'm talking about," says Martinez. "These situations can be so awesome. You dream of them. 'I want to travel around the world for my music, or for my job.' Or, the opportunity of meeting a famous person whom you've been inspired by, or getting your music on the radio. All those things are, obviously, huge goals. I realized, while it was happening, this quick jolt of 'Yes!' Then, it was just on to the next, and when is the next thing gonna happen? How do I get to this point, now? I realized that I wasn't allowing myself to really soak it all in. I think a lot of us do that. You're find yourself at these areas in you life that you've worked so hard for, and you never get to enjoy the moment, because you're so worried about the next moment.

"Those two years go by so fucking fast," says Martinez. "Everyone has a story of the first time they heard their song on the radio, and mine was me in the car with my band, and we were driving from Sacramento. I'm hearing it, and I just looked at everyone and sort of said, 'And now what?' In the movies, it always flashes to the band accepting its award, or on tour with Elvis. What happens now? Do we flash forward?"

Other speakers at TEDxTacoma include radio host Bob Rivers, Lively web developer Adam Argyle, and community organizer Milenko Matanovic. Get connected.

VICCI MARTINEZ AT THE SWISS, 9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 27, 1904 S. Jefferson Ave, Tacoma, $15, 253.572.2821

VICCI MARTINEZ AT TEDXTACOMA, 3-9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 28, THEATRE ON THE SQUARE, 915 Broadway, Tacoma, $79, 253.591.5890

See Also

Vicci Martinez took her warrior spirit to national television and emerged stronger than ever

Vicci Martinez

New Tour Dates

Thursday, 2/27-The Swiss in Tacoma, WA

Friday 2/28-TedX at Theatre on the Square in Tacoma, WA

Sunday, 3/2-Festhall in Leavenworth, WA with Austin Jenckes and Cody Beebe & The Crooks

Thursday, 3/27-Club 939 in Boston, MA

Friday, 3/28-Rockwood in New York, NY

Sunday, 3/30-Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT

Monday, 3/31-Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA with Mutlu

Tuesday, 4/1-World Cafe Live (Upstairs) in Philadelphia, PA

Monday, 4/7-20th Century Theatre in Cincinnati, OH

Wednesday, 4/9-Schubas in Chicago, IL

Thursday, 4/10-KS95 Event at the Varsity Theatre in Minneapolis, MN

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Visual Edge: Becky Knold at Salon Refu

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