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Gardian of the Month: Sara Krueger

Q & A with Sara Krueger, Director of Communications and Engagement for Event Garde.

Q: Learn: What’s your favorite part of learning something new?

A: I enjoy the actual process of taking in the information and then figuring out how to integrate and apply it further into my life. When this happens, I know that I will be able to retain what I’ve learned and put it to good use down the road. This absorption process has changed over time as I continue to expand and refine my learning toolbox. I find that my understanding of something deepens when I reinforce it through different types of methods. 

For example, the way I develop creative ideas is in a constant state of evolution as my relationship to the world around me changes. I love the use of prompts to inform an idea I’m working on. That could take the shape of a song, a poem or maybe a journal entry or memory, a photograph, headline in a newspaper or a painting in a museum. In this research and exploration phase, I try not to confine my thinking. I prefer to play the investigator, collecting facts and feelings until I am able to piece together the bigger picture of what I want to create and enjoy the satisfaction of that magical “aha” moment where everything clicks into place. I ask myself: What would help hit home the theme to the audience? How can I get the reader or viewer to identify with a certain character? Is there a way that I can intensify this specific emotion in the story? I might also imagine how a character would hold themselves - how they might walk, sit, stand, how much distance they like to keep between themselves and others and even how their personal histories (family, culture, location, economic and social status, experiences, etc.) impact the way they react in different situations. I try to pause and relish in the small moments happening around me; a wisp of overhead conversation on the bus perhaps leading to a new perspective about the world. This type of interaction with the environment makes me feel alive.

My personal growth and learning flows out of the parallels I’m able to draw between different ideas. It allows me to think critically about the world. And as much as possible, I try to not dwell on any perceived limitations that might prevent me from expressing a thought or an emotion in the medium that best serves it. I received a formal education in film for instance, but I did not let that get in the way of taking a story that wasn’t working on the screen and giving it new life as a series of poems. It was incredibly juicy to take a leap of faith and work in an entirely different format. And during that project, I happened to discover that poetry is extremely filmic. In fact, it allows you to play with language in the same way you might frame up a shot for a film or edit images together and overlay sound. There is something you want to capture in this one line. A mood. A moment. A sound. An image. Maybe you are experimenting with the relationship between the lines or even how they sit on the page. When I learned this, when I made this new connection between the two disciplines, new options suddenly became available to me as an artist and writer.

It all goes back to the energy and momentum that surrounds learning for me. And as I continue to be open to new experiences, it becomes easier to develop and deliver messages to others that not only transfer to other situations, but also resonate deep within a person’s core.

Q: Network: What’s your No. 1 networking trick? 

A: Probably knowing what conditions I need to create for me to be successful. And when I’m networking, I want two things to happen. First, I like to touch base with a few friendly faces as well as some key individuals who I might be looking to partner with or learn from. Second, I want to allow enough time for spontaneous connections that I might not normally think to seek out on my own. I am most at ease when I can ask questions and focus on what the folks who I meet want to share. I also do best when I’m either in a small group or chatting one-on-one with someone. I am able to engage in more authentic and meaningful conversations, which gives me the opportunity to reach out later on for follow up in a way that feels natural. It is important to forge relationships with people that extend beyond business. That’s how the power of networking really comes to life and makes the potential for future collaborations exciting to consider. When I come away from an event feeling energized by the conversations I’ve had, I know I’m on the right track. 

Q: Transfer: Think about a topic in which you feel you're quite knowledgeable. How could you use this knowledge to better your industry?

A: I received my 200-hour yoga teacher certification earlier this year. The experience taught me about the technical sides of the practice - from anatomy, proper alignment and meditation techniques to the energetic qualities of certain poses. But it also gave me something much more profound. On the mat I came to see how everything in life is a “practice” and that there are always opportunities for change and growth available to you with each new breath. It provided a framework for supporting a new sense of personal wellbeing and calm. I am now focused on bringing these lessons back with me into association space so that others can benefit from embracing a more balanced and gentler approach to living.

Q: Share with us a resource you can’t live without.

A: I adore the surreal short stories of Karen Russell, Aimee Bender and Kelly Link. I like being completely surprised when I turn the page. Without fail, I shift from thinking “what if” to saying “why not?” There simply isn’t enough joy and wonder in the world. And I am thankful that these amazing writers have made it their mission to make us all dreamers again. 

Q: Which adjectives best describe you? 

A: Sympathetic. Creative. Curious. Adventurous. Dreamer. Loyal. Resilient. Tenacious. Feisty. Nurturing. Extroverted Introvert. Wacky. Playful. Spontaneous Planner. Open-Minded.

By: Kate Pojeta, CMP | Sep, 18 2020
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