By Robert Hudson Westover
The Vast Estate (and me!) are very pleased to announce that the Lord Westover Twitter account, @lordwestover, has over 4000 followers, or Lordiacs, as I like to refer to fans of His Lordship.
So, you may ask, why did I start the Lord Westover Find Your Inner Nobility performance art piece?
It all started many, many years ago when, as a young Trog, I was introduced to a woman who changed my life. She gave me a gift that has sustained me throughout my life for which I am eternally grateful. This gift was an awakening of something we all have within us: our inner nobility.
A high-born Russian countess (for real), this woman, Olga C Morgan, was uniquely qualified to take a very rough-hewn character and make him into someone who would lead a productive and useful life.
It could have so easily gone the other way (really easily!)
|Unidentified Trog (believed to be this Steven Tyler person)|
Attempts to congratulate His Lordship upon hearing
the news of the growing followers of @lordwestover Twitter Site
Since Olga’s passing I find myself constantly drawing on the wisdom she imparted to me to guide decisions, shape my behavior and most of all, to provide me strength. I now realize this noble teaching, this framework of higher life ideals, can be used by others to help them overcome their own life challenges and ignite the spirit of inner nobility that burns within.
And it can be funny, too!
As an artist, I sought out an array of ways to bring this noble awareness to others. Then it hit me! Why not use comedic (that means funny) performance art? What better way to see the impact on fellow Trogs but to actually witness it! (Of course, Lord Westover is not a Trog, obviously.)
I started with a Nobility Oath based on Lowell’s Be Noble quote and created the character Lord Westover to administer it. I then recruited others (seriously, I did) to play the roles they most thought brought out (or didn’t!) their inner nobility.
We “opened” our first “performance” at the Jon Stewart Rally on the National Mall (that’s Washington, DC, not the Mall of America.)
The impact went far beyond our expectations. I named our performance art piece Find Your Inner Nobility and it received national attention with many wanting to take the Nobility Oath!
Later that year I then created a blog and developed the Ask a Lord column taking “questions” from both “noble” and “trog” alike. The timing could not have been more appropriate for shortly thereafter the horrific Tucson shootings of Congresswoman Giffor, her staff and bystanders, shined a white-hot
spotlight on the growing incivility taking hold in our national discourse.
That year, the Washington Post asked readers to submit their one minute “State of the Union” address. Lord Westover’s speech, addressing incivility, was one of only three to be posted by the newspaper and by far received the most hits.
Our next installation (of sorts) was to take the concept of Inner Nobility to a medium most familiar now to American audiences: the reality show venue. We called it American Monarch (yes, I know, it congers up so many amazing images!) and created a ten minute “sizzle real” and a “promotional” trailer.
At the same time both comedic and profound, I think Find Your Inner Nobility breaks new ground and goes to the core of why so many of us want to be and do good things (really, most of us do).
Discovering one’s inner nobility has very little to do with the bling (well, not entirely) and societal positioning (ok, maybe not entirely) that Lord Westover possess. It has everything to do with the intrinsic desire we all have in us to be noble as we best understand what nobility means to us.
Here’s to four thousand more Lordiacs!