Well hello good people of the Americas! I’m back from the UK and it was an amazing trip! Given that Jeffrey and I were completely wankered the entire time, I don’t remember much. I’m kidding. I hardly drank because I was too busy shagging sexy British storytellers. Well… that’s not true, either. My trip was actually rather wholesome. Oh well. READ MORE
SpeakeasyDC and DC Shorts are excited to announce the return of Speakeasy Shorts. In its third year, SpeakeasyShorts is a unique competition invented by SpeakeasyDC and DC Shorts that brings together the two art forms of live storytelling and filmmaking. Get the details on telling your story, joining a film team and more. READ MORE
We need your help! We are currently exploring themes for our upcoming season. If you have an idea, a topic, or theme to for a show-- we would love to hear it. Tweet us @SpeakeasyDC or use #SEDCthemes to share your suggestion. READ MORE
Here is a look at the teams as they enter the final stretch. The race continues to shift as we enter the final stretch! And everything could change with "Free for All for $500!" This is a big one! SpeakeasyDC SUPER supporter/volunteer Joan Susie will contribute $500 to the team that raises the most funds between now and the Closing Party. Every dollar teams raise from their current totals could earn you a $500 bonus. With the race as close as it is, $500 could leap-frog teams over all the other competitors. much as the teams over all the other competitors. Please RSVP today for the Closing Party and Silent Auction May 18 at the Boardroom, 1737 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009.
On a tough series of climbs #TDT2014 teams are rallying forward. From brunches to U-street Gala's find out what our teams are doing to get themelves over the top.
Week three brings more excitement as the Tattle Tales continue to DOMINATE the competition. Other teams are hot on their heel. Kratos and the Enforcer brought in nearly $500 with a single event. They have a bit more work to do but with moves like that in their back pocket it is still very much anyone’s race to win!
Week 2 is rapidly coming to a close, and we're ready to give out another prize to this week's highest donor, which will go to Rosie Tong, with a $250 donation made to the Tattle Tales! Rosie has won a $25 gift certificate to Mad Hatter, which pairs nicely with the $25 gift certificate that he son John Tong won on Monday he's the captain of the Tattle Tales who remain solidly in the lead. Read
We are starting the second week of Tour de Telling and the Tattle Tales are holding firm on the lead with $1960 raised so far! And that means that they are once again the recipients of this week's prize, provided by this week's Tour de Telling sponsor: Mad Hatter. The Tattle Tales will receive a $25 gift certificate to Mad Hatters, to add to their $25 gift certificate to Lillies that they won last week.
The first week of Tour de Telling has been really exciting as the teams start to schedule their events and the trash talk heats up on Facebook. The best part has been the donations just flowing in, and we wanted to take a second and reward the week's highest donor with a prize! Anne Thomas, a member of the Tattle Tales is our highest donor in our opening week with a donation of $500!! That was not only a great kick start to her team's success, but to the whole race as well. Thank you for your donation Anne!!
Former Board Member, Storyteller extraordinaire Jeffrey Brady reflects on his experience with Tour de Telling You are invited to meet Jeffery and learn all about Tour de Telling at the launch party April 2nd, 7pm at Acre 121 (1400 Irving Street NW near the Columbia Heights Metro). Please RSVP via Facebook here or non Facebook users click here. Here's what Jeffery had to say about his experience as part of TdT READ MORE
Bring out the cigars (or your hipster e-cigarettes), it's time to celebrate! Our new Program Coordinator, Ben Thomas, just started today, and he's already making fun of me. Good sign? Not sure, but I'm optimistic. We were incredibly lucky to have so many talented and smart people apply for this job. Ben was our first choice because he seems ready to help us take over the world (as is our secret master plan, obvi). READ MORE
We are SOOOO sad to see our beloved Sheri Macatangay leave, but she's off to start an exciting new life in San Francisco. Sheri was the first person to take the position of Program Coordinator at SEDC back in April 2012. I am lucky that she was the first person to take this job, because it was also the first time I had ever had an "employee" to manage. She handled my trial-and-error method with grace and patience. She learned the job quickly and embraced the mission and the community with enthusiasm and sincerity. Read more
SpeakeasyShorts is a new type of film competition – a collaboration between filmmakers and storytellers. Eight filmmaking teams have only 5 days to write, shoot, edit-and screen a film based on stories from eight local storytellers. The kicker: none of the teams know anything about the stories before they are presented. Read more
I sat down with John Tong and my good friend Jessi Baden and we got to hear lots more about his romantic failures, his childhood fame, and his love of karaoke, among other things. Listen to his live perforamance then sit in on our conversation. You can subscribe to the Speakeasy Storycast thru iTunes, download the Stitcher Radio app, or add this link to your RSS feed http://speakeasystorycast.com/rss. To bring a SpeakeasyDC show and/or workshop to your town, email email@example.com.
I told friends for the past 2 years “I want to do a one woman show.” I had a vague idea about what I wanted the show to be about, but I wasn’t clear on how to approach it. Do I come up with a theme first? Do I cobble together the stories I’ve already done and see if there is a natural story arc? Can I use stories I’ve done before or will people get bored? I received all kinds of advice, but I have learned that for me there is only one way that works: I have to start writing. I just have to do it and see what comes out and then seek lots of feedback. Read more
I heard my first go go beat in 1996… at a Jewish summer camp. I’m not kidding. I was a counselor at a Jewish summer camp (Habonim homies – holla!) and, at this camp, we have a ritual after almost every meal. As the dishes are collected, everyone starts to sing. But we don’t just sing, we shout and stand on the chairs, pound on the tables, and stomp our feet. It’s a kind of organized mayhem. In this particular year, there were threespeakeasy gogo4x6 guys – Benjie Porecki, Doug Silverman, and Matt Selig – who would start pounding out a go go beat on the tables. When I first heard it, I was like, what is that? I didn’t know it at the time, but I had fallen in love with go go. Read more
Guest post by Jess Solomon
For the past two weeks I’ve been having those “How did I get here?!” moments. I imagine it’s the gut reaction most builders of things have when speakeasy gogo4x6they reflect on a nearly finished work.
We are a few days out from opening night of Crank & Groove: A Go-Go Love Story and instead of looking down from the perch of the director’s chair I find myself sitting in circles with the cast; rather an ensemble of brilliant Go-Go practitioners, griots and lovers of the music and culture. My teachers. From the very beginning, this production has been rooted in collaboration, improvisation and a little scrappiness. Read more
Episode #46: Karen Lee tells a true story about a crush gone awry. Hear more
The topic of this month’s open mic show is perfect for September – because isn’t the start of the school year really a time for renewal, upheaval and radical change? Read more
Guest post by Lisa King
Holidays are the worst right after you get divorced. Everything reminds you of traditions you don’t have or places you don’t go anymore. My ex wasn’t a big fan of turkey dinner, so for Thanksgiving, I would cook a prime rib roast at his parents’ who lived about 15 minutes away. Family and friends would gather for a day of watching the Macy’s parade, football, and eating. Read more
Episode #45 of SpeakeasyDC’s podcast features a story by and conversation with Elissa Laura about a teachable moment with her over-protective father. Read, hear & watch more
Our first ever Tour de Telling - our virtual bike race fundraiser - kicked off with much fan fare and fun at April’s Second Tuesday show at Town. In addition to a bake sale to support the teams, each team gave a 60 second pitch for support. There were costumes, there were props, there was even flying candy. The efforts of the teams paid off – in less than 48 hours the teams have raised a combined total of more than $1600! Read more
April 9th is the National Arts Advocacy Day and on that day, we will let the Council members know that we need them to increase the Mayor’s budget for the arts. SpeakeasyDC has applied for eight grants this year and has yet to receive any funding from the city despite the fact that we were one of five nominees for the 2012 Mayor’s Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts. Read more
Episode #44 of SpeakeasyDC’s podcast features a story by and conversation with Katy Barrett about trapeze lessons and chimpanzees. Read, hear & watch more
Episode #43 of SpeakeasyDC’s podcast features a story by and conversation with Mike Kane about two art students who go head-to-head on the basketball court. Read, hear & watch more
Much like crabs, there are many ways to prepare the meal, but at the heart of it is dropping a living creature into boiling hot water. Standup and storytelling preparation is much the same. Read more
Some of the contributors for Sucker for Love, The Book, were asked “If you were going to send a Valentine’s Day card to SpeakeasyDC, what would it say?” Read more
“How’d rehearsal go?” I asked my husband as he walked through the door.
I looked up. “Well, what?”
“Well…it went fine. Except that since you weren’t able to go they had someone else read your story.” Read more
Episode #42 of SpeakeasyDC’s podcast features a story by and conversation with Renata Lana. Her story is about taking up a surprising new hobby in the midst of her pending divorce. Read & hear more
Last we left our heroes, they were introduced to the stage, decided what to do with the microphone and either talked the audience down from their applause or let the silence work its subtle, powerful magic. Not a word of the routine has been spoken. If all goes well, this is the apex of the crippling terror that you will feel. Read more
Much like babies and pizza, much of the difference between stand-up and storytelling is in the delivery. Some differences are subtle, such as cash or credit being the preferred method of payment; some are substantial, like the difference between 18 hours of indigestion and 18 years of financial and emotional responsibility over another human being. But unlike the delivery of pizza and babies, to which I have only been a spectator I have a decent amount of experience in the delivery of both stand-up and storytelling. Read more
In November 2012, we tried out a new idea: to pair filmmaking teams with a storyteller and give then five days to make a film inspired by their story. Thanks for our talented storytellers and the participation of some of DC’s finest filmmaking teams, the event was a huge hit. The filmmakers talked about how challenging and fun it was to have a true story from which to build a script. Storytellers got the chance to see their stories interpreted in a new way, through a different medium. Read more
I give to SpeakeasyDC because of Amy Saidman.
In case you don’t know, Amy is the Executive/Artistic Director of SpeakeasyDC. She’s also often a stage manager, a catering manager, a director, an administrative coordinator, an emcee, a grant writer, a teacher, a volunteer coordinator, a mediator, a (somewhat reluctant) blogger, and a general pick-up-the-slack-er. Read more
Episode #42 of SpeakeasyDC’s podcast features a story by and conversation with Vijai Nathan. Her story is about a young Indian girl’s efforts to break into show biz at her all-white elementary school. Read & hear more
I once read about an experiment (somebody else read it and told me about it) where five gorillas were placed in a metal cage with a cement platform in the middle of it. Above the platform were bananas. Any time one gorilla climbed the platform to get the bananas, the others were administered an electric shock. Soon, anytime a gorilla would head toward the platform to get a banana, the other gorillas would swoop in and give the offending gorilla a Cesar-style beatdown. Read more
I give for the love of three things that SpeakeasyDC has and perpetuates: authenticity, diversity, and community.
I give because I value the authenticity that SpeakeasyDC brings to entertainment. Because the storytellers get up and tell their own stories – funny stories, poignant stories, weird stories, true stories. I value that truth, unvarnished, frankly because it is rare. And I so admire the guts of the tellers to get up and share their truth. Read more
I believe Speakeasy is successful because of its vibrant community. This community includes the talented tellers, hard-working staff and instructors, willing volunteers and an appreciative audience. Read more
Some high school friends and I began writing a book back in the mid-90s about casual humor called “We’re So Serious about Comedy, It Isn’t Funny.” We’re still waiting to hear back from some publishers. We had dissected all comedy into what we called The Four “C”s of Comedy. Those Four “C”s are content, context, timing and delivery. Read more
Why do I give? SpeakeasyDC asked me to write a few words about why I give to them. There is more than one way to give to an organization. Read more
Why do I give to Speakeasy DC?
Because I can’t imagine being without Speakeasy DC in my life. Because when I buy tickets for a Speakeasy DC show, I know I’m going to be seeing some of the best storytelling anywhere in the country. And because this organization has done more than any other to invite you and me to dare—yes, to dare!—to make great art out of our lives. Read more
First off, I don’t fancy myself an expert in either standup or storytelling, so find a few grains of salt to go with this article. I do, however, fancy myself an expert in knowing and dissecting the difference between two things that I am approximately average in. Take that with your choice of spice. Read more
I went to film school so I know a little something about the moving pictures. I work in television, so I understand how it all works. The writer weaves a tale. The director has a vision (and takes some liberties), and in an unspecified amount of time, the director comes back with film that loosely resembles its original script. SpeakeasyDC Artistic Executive Director Amy Saidman called me in October and told me about a new partnership with the DC Shorts. The idea was simple: you tell a story on stage. Read more
Stop everything you are doing right now — put down the cupcake, stop sexting, turn off the kitten video and go straight to your calendar to put a big bold note on Sunday, January 6, 2013 to GO TO SPEAKEASYDC’S TOP SHELF AT THE 9:30 CLUB. This show is going to be epic! Read more
First of all, it should be noted that the Three Beer Rule ONLY applies to stage performances. The formulas for talking to pretty girls, dancing at weddings and religious conversations with ex-girlfriends and/or family members are much different and constantly in flux. Read more
Beer image courtesy Rodrigo Menezes, Wikimedia Commons
I decided to celebrate my 30th birthday by having a panic attack and moving to the Midwest thus beginning my three-year self-imposed prison term. Upon retrospect, I should have just gone to Georgetown Cupcake. Read more
We didn’t win. But, it’s ok, because we’re all champions. No really, it’s ok. I mean, we knew it would be hard to beat out our competition: Art Enables, FotoDC, Life Pieces to Masterpieces, and Post-Classical Ensemble. In the end, it was Art Enables who took the day. Hard to beat a group that gives adults with developmental disabilities resources and support to become visual artists and exhibit and sell their work. Read more
I’ll admit it. I’m excited. I’m excited that we are a finalist for the DC Mayor’s Arts Awards in the category of Innovation in the Arts. I was over-the-moon the day I got notice of our nomination. And on that day, I thought and said to others (with earnest sincerity), “This is awesome. I don’t care if we win. Being nominated is enough.” But dammit, the closer we get to the actual awards, the more I’m fantasizing about walking on stage to accept our award and making a grand speech. Read more
We need YOU! Yes you, you gorgeous people with fascinating, sweet, hilarious, and unbelievable life experiences that you want to share on stage in front of a room full of strangers. Read more
In my last column I talked about going to my boyfriend’s family reunion and the way we used story to connect with his family.
Well, while I was having that revelation about the power of storytelling, I was also having another revelation. Read more
I’ve grown as a performer.
The irony of this is that it was a failure, not a monster success, which allowed me to realize this. Read more
When I heard Speakeasy DC was looking for blog contributors, I asked Meredith if I could whine about my insecurities surrounding my stage anxiety. “Mike Kane already does that” said the Meredith inside my head (it’s cool, Mike and I are friends. Kinda). Then I asked if I could write about what goes on inside my head during a performance. “Sure, but it’s not like anybody will read it” said the Mike Kane inside my head. And it’s not like I’m a professional storyteller or anything – will that matter? “I don’t care. Now get over here and change your daughter” said the wife inside my living room. Read more
You could feel the same kind of electricity in the air as right before the best concert of your life–the one that had you camping out all night just to get a ticket. It was July 10, and the show’s theme was Band Camp: Stories about Music, Raves, and Rock & Roll. Read more
Have you ever had a credit card bill that was due at the end of the month? And rather than logging on to get an idea of the damage you’ll be facing, you panic and just decide to ignore it? Like, you literally sit down, launch your web browser and start typing in the URL for your credit card’s website, then delete it and just head to Facebook instead? Read more
If there were an emoticon to show me jumping up and down, I’d use it. (Would you know what I meant if I said JUAD?). Why? Because we have so many jump-worthy things in the works for the next few months/year. For starters, we are a finalist for the DC Mayor’s Arts Awards! (This is when I break dance on my head with a sassy cross-legged finish). After three prior attempts, we are finally getting this recognition. Mark your calendars for September 13 and plan to be at the Lincoln Theatre in your best Academy-Awards-outfit to see us (possibly) accept an award. Either way, you should come because we will either want to celebrate our win or we’ll need support while we commiserate our loss. Read more
I was talking to a fellow storyteller this weekend who said she was thinking of launching a new open mic in Washington DC.
Her reason: she felt like all of the open mics in DC are too high stakes.
Interesting. Read more
I’m telling a story at a wedding on Saturday.
I mean, on stage.
Oh, there will be alcohol there, which means I’ll crush as many beers as my feeble stomach will tolerate and then I’ll regale my table with sob stories of high school rejections and the scars that remain. That happens at every wedding I attend. But I’m talking about the story I am going to tell on stage. Read more
When I signed up for this summer’s Capital Fringe in December, I was confident in my script for my solo-show “McGoddess.” After all, I had already performed it three times in the DMV and a full week with a director at a theatre in Ithaca, N.Y., so I knew that I had worked out all the kinks and it was perfection. Read more
If you’ve ever attended a SpeakesyDC open mic, you know that feeling when the emcee says, “okay, coming to the stage is a first-time storyteller…” It’s a feeling of excitement, dread, concern and suspense. Will they be awesome? Is this person the new storyteller that everyone will be talking about on the way out of the show later that evening? Or will the nerves of this first-timer get the better of them, make them a fidgety mess, and tell a boring story that brings the show to a halt? Read more
This past weekend, I attended my boyfriend Chris’s annual family reunion for the first time. Over the course of a day and a half I met more than 70 members of his extended family.
Um, Overwhelming Anxiety, party of one, please. Read more
I am continually amazed by how many adults–I’m talking about grown-ass people over the age of 30 here–say things to me like, “I don’t have any stories,” or, “I only have one good story.” Read more
Whether Stories Were Dark or Light, the June 12 Speakeasy Felt Oh-So-Right
Let’s face it: SpeakeasyDC audience members are a highly evolved, super intelligent, wildly complex group of people. So it’s only natural that the audience would relate well to a show on the theme Jekyll & Hyde: Stories about the dark and light of human nature. Read more
Since the moment you read the first word in this blog post (yes, the word “since” just 15 words ago), Sunday, July 22 just got a few seconds closer. And that means that the run-through for SpeakeasyDC’s open mic just got a few seconds closer. And instead of spending every waking moment honing this “story” of mine (and I put “story” in quotations because calling my yard sale piece a story at this point would be like calling the new Katy Perry concert movie a “documentary.” I mean, yes, it’s in the theaters, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves) I’m sitting here wasting my time counting the number of words between “since” and “just.” Read more
Once upon a time I had a fantastic idea. And I mean FAN-TAS-TIC. I’m an idea girl, but this one was particularly genius. While going through the after-school activities offered at my daughter’s elementary school, I thought it would be a lot of fun to offer a storytelling class; to get the kids up on stage telling stories while they were still so uninhibited. We’d spend several weeks working on the different aspects of storytelling and getting the kids comfortable on stage and using a mic. And then, at the end of the class we’d do a real Open Mic for the kids. Maybe at Town Danceboutique, the wonderful space where SpeakeasyDC hosts its monthly open mics. Read more
Her email came on Saturday.
Subject: Confirmation & Next Steps for Aug 14 Speakeasy
The email came from none other than Stephanie Garibaldi, SpeakeasyDC’s Director of Education. And she minced no words in her opening lines of the email:
Congrats! Read more
“Mama?” ONE whispers. “Look over there!” I turn my head to see dozens of fireflies, strung like tea lights in a tree. She leans into me and sighs. “Will you tell me a story?” Read more
Storytelling, whether in a social situation or on stage, is interactive. Not necessarily call and response style interactive (usually), but there is a give and take between the teller and the audience member that is an important part of the experience. Read more
I did two shows in two nights this past weekend. I did Vijai Nathan’s birthday show at Fan-Freaking-Tastic on Saturday, and, to my knowledge, Arlington, Virginia’s first storytelling event: Story League’s show at Bus Boys and Poets in Shirlington. As expected, both shows were so much fun, all of the performers were awesome, and the world is beautiful and filled with flowers and puppies. Read more
I was at a small party a few weeks where I didn’t know many people. Soon after we got there, my boyfriend and I sat across from another couple – we’ll call them Bill and Karen – who, upon initial observation, seemed funny and interesting. Read more
There’s two questions I get when I tell people I do storytelling. One question: “What is that?” The other question: “How’d you get into that?” Read more
One of the best feelings in the world, to me at least, is when a story finds you. You’re people watching at a concert, and you see drama unfold, or you find yourself in a situation that’s not what you expected, and if you’re a storyteller to any degree, you recognize the material being presented to you. Read more
On Friday the 15th, I’ll be in a SpeakeasyDC show called “Second Story: A Night of Fabulous Works in Progress.” Those of you have read my stuff before know that I don’t think anything I do is fabulous, so I don’t want to focus too much on the latter half of the name of the show. No, the part I want to talk about is “Second Story.” Read more
I’m about to say all the wrong things. Read more
1) Your listener responds with nothing more than monosyllabic noises during your story.
Most people can’t resist adding their own feedback, whether it be little phrases like, “oh no, she di-int!” or a question like, “Wow, so what did you do??!” If the responses you’re receiving are more like droning sounds of “uh,” and “mmm,” or “oh,” these are not good signs. Read more
I firmly believe that anyone can learn the basic tenets and principles of storytelling, especially social storytelling. And I also firmly believe that with practice anyone can get to the point of being a proficient, if not highly entertaining social storyteller. However, at the same time, I also believe some people seem to be more natural storytellers than others. Read more
10.) The relief you were expecting to feel as you bowed to the applause of a sold out crowd doesn’t surface. Instead, the feeling spreading through your gut is more reminiscent of childhood ice-cream-in-the-dirt sadness. You trudge back to the dressing room s-l-o-w-l-y, taking comfort in the fact that your wonderful friend made you so many cookies that if six fall in the dirt, you’ll still have six more to binge on. Read more
I’ve been talking about social storytelling in this space for the last two months. In my first column I talked about how the idea for this column came from a class that I’d been trying to develop with my fellow teacher Joe Price. And I think in many ways the format has worked really well – being able to explore elements of social storytelling in detail each week has been really fun and interesting for me. But the format lacks one of my favorite parts about teaching – interaction. Read more
On the night of your performance at a Speakeasy 2nd Tuesday, one of the folks working there will bring an appearance release and put it in front of you. If you sign it, you are giving SpeakeasyDC permission to record you while you perform your story. Read more
We’re not evolved for performance storytelling. For most of human history, when you found yourself standing alone on a flat surface and a dozen expectant eyeballs on you, well, that’s usually when you could expect to be eaten or stoned to death. There’s a reason the stage can feel like a trap. How many audience members can you take out with that microphone stand? (No more than five or six, I figure, before the rest swarm you.) Read more
To me, one of the best uses of social storytelling is dating.
When I was actively dating, I always had a couple of go to stories “in my pocket” to pull out for a variety of circumstances. Read more
How did you get involved in SEDC and how has your association with SpeakeasyDC impacted your business and/or your life?
At the invitation of friends, I attended a SpeakeasyDC Open Mic in early 2007 and became an instant fan. Read more
I work on a reality television show. And every time we pitch a story to the network, their first question, without fail, is always “what’s at stake?” What’s at stake if the character doesn’t succeed?
That’s what makes stories interesting. Read more
Better Said Than Done had our last big show at Jammin’ Java on St. Patrick’s Day. It was a challenge, coming up with a theme for that holiday that wasn’t all about being Irish, but I think we found a good one. “The Luck of the Irish,” luckily, was a big success but, more importantly, a fantastic night of stories. Read more
Expectations ran high through the audience as small-but-mighty SpeakeasyDC leader Amy Saidman stepped up to the mic to kick off Tuesday’s show on “A Hero’s Journey: Stories about Tests and Quests.” With a theme like that, people figured that in addition to hearing smart, funny, and surprising true stories, they were bound to hear stories that were also powerful, moving, and perhaps even life-changing. They were not disappointed. Read more
Guest post by Carol Scott
When I decided to tell a story to 130 of my closest coworkers at our annual all-staff retreat, I knew one of two options could happen. Read more
Everyone tells a bad social story from time to time. Everyone. So there’s no sense in trying to pretend that’s not going to happen to you, or use it as an excuse to never tell a story. But you CAN be prepared with some exit strategies: Read more
“Mama? I had ANOTHER DREAM last night,” my 5YO tells me. She paces the bathroom where I’m applying my face and peeks up to take in my response. I nod my head, motioning for her to continue. “I don’t know if I should tell you because this time it was REALLY BAD…” She likes to prepare me for the worst. It’s one of the ways I know she hasn’t really been “dreaming.” Read more
A few weeks back, Amy Saidman wrote a very poignant piece on the importance of truth in storytelling.
Funny enough, I had my own Mike Daisy moment not all that long ago. Read more
How did you get involved in SEDC and how has your association with SpeakeasyDC impacted your business and/or your life?
I worked with Amy on a short-term project with the US Peace Corps in the summer of 2011. She told me about her plans to revamp the Speakeasy Storycast, and I offered to help in her any way I could. I love meeting all the storytellers, and finding out how sharing their personal stories has changed the course of their life. Each interview is different and facinating, and I’m thrilled to be sitting in the room as Amy interviews them. We always have a good time. Read more
Guest post by John Tong
If you are experiencing a general sense of panic before your Speakeasy DC performance, then let me tell you it’s all going to be okay. Earlier, I wrote about my bombing on the Speakeasy stage and I thought if I had a time machine what would I tell myself. This is a collection of some advice I found using the internet. I am not otherwise qualified to dispense advice regarding performances. Read more
As I’ve talked about, finding a story in an everyday experience is often just a matter of looking carefully for details, and then using those details to create a frame through which to view the experience.
The following story is an example of an experience that could either be retold as “Ugh, security was slow at the airport today”, or as more of a story. For better or worse. Read more
After an embarrassingly long hiatus, I’m thrilled to report that we have been working on new podcast episodes. By “we”, I mean me and our new producer, Emily Friedman (who you may hear on WAMU from time to time). By “hiatus” I mean…. um… almost exactly two whole years. Sad, I know… but let’s not dwell on the past because the future is looking bright and exciting. Read more
When I was asked to contribute on the topic of “stage fright,” I tried to put myself back in those shoes of waiting for my name to be announced right before hopping on stage to tell my story.
Then I vomited all over those shoes.
Oh, I can write on stage fright. Read more
Guest post by "Dumb Mom"
I am performing in a live show.
Go ahead and scream, I’ll wait.
I screamed when I found out too. Read more
Do think your story through before you start as much as possible. Just do a mental check to make sure it has at least some of the basic elements of a story, and that it goes somewhere. Read more
I recently told a story during SpeakeasyDC’s Story Showdown and on opening night, not a single person showed up specifically to see me. I mean, there were the Speakeasy regulars who show up to every event, who I have gotten to know well, and it was great to see them and all, but they didn’t come out to see me. Read more
This is the biggest thing successful storytellers have in common with seasoned baseball players: they understand that there is no crying while performing. Sure, you can tell a story that’s so compelling and touching that you make your audience members cry–that’s fine; in fact, more power to you, if that’s how you work it, bringing the emotionally-connective heat. Read more
Last week I talked about good ways to introduce your story in a social setting. What I didn’t say was that not all methods are created equal. The truth is, there are good ways to introduce a story, and bad ways to introduce a story. Read more
Walking into Town the night of the Open Mic (now called Second Tuesdays), I already knew that I was performing first. Stephanie Garibaldi, the show’s host, had called me the night before and asked how I would feel about it.
How would I feel? I would feel terrible. I would feel like you had no faith in my story and you were putting me up first in order to get my story out of the way. That’s how I would feel. Read more