April 12th, 2013
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! And as a result, they have unlocked the first prize hidden in the course. This prize was a drawing from among all of the donors to date AND all of the members of each team, to recognize everyone’s role in getting this event off to a great start.
The winner: Drawn at random from participants as of 10am on Friday April 12 is JAMES FARMER! Congratulations James!
But this is just the beginning!
The teams are planning events ranging from house parties, to game nights, to competitive power point karaoke. The race ends on May 18, and which ever team has raised the most money on that day, will be declared the winner and will be showered with prizes. (But the real winner will be SpeakeasyDC as we meet (and possibly exceed!) our spring fundraising goal!)But that’s just the beginning.
And more prizes will be unlocked every week for the duration of the race. Some will be just for donors, some will be just for riders. Some will be for both. Some will be drawings and some will be enough for everyone. The point is, you never know what’s around the corner so give early and give often!
To see the leader board and see where each team is on the course make sure to visit the Tour de Telling website each week.
This week’s prize sponsored by:
April 8th, 2013
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. There’s just not enough money to go around and we could do SO much with more support from the city. And the same is true for other great arts organizations that contribute to the vitality of this city. Councilmember Evans has a proposal on the table for $20 million to go into the DCCAH’s budget this year but needs the support of the other Councilmembers for this to happen. Read More
April 5th, 2013
Episode #45 of SpeakeasyDC’s podcast features a story by and conversation with Katy Barrett about trapeze lessons and chimpanzees.
Though not much of an athlete, Katy is a natural storyteller and passionate about apes and animals. Her collection of “ape tapes” exceeds 44 and, just the other night, she forced me to go into a dog park — with no dog of our own — to hang out with other people’s dogs. A true enthusiast, she’s the only person I know who will say, sincerely, how much fun her government job at the FDA is; and she will talk for weeks about food she’s enjoyed. I’m still hearing about the hummus she had in in February. Read More
March 22nd, 2013
Episode #44 of SpeakeasyDC’s podcast features a story by and conversation with Mike Kane about two art students who go head-to-head on the
February 26th, 2013
by Dustin Fisher
When I did my first standup routine in the summer of 1996, I was afraid to over prepare for fear of sounding rehearsed. I wanted to prepare just enough so that I would seem natural on stage without forgetting anything. And again when I did my second routine over 11 years later. I did the same thing for my first story at the Speakeasy in April 2009. Though that story was successful, I have since changed my approach for one major reason.
In standup, if you forget your place, you just say “Where was I? Ah, fuck it. That shirt makes you look like a fat, asexual beanie baby!” and start the next bit that you can think of. In storytelling, if you forget, you stand there with that blank look of terror until you reach out for any word that might be in your story to just say something and hopefully stop the lights from boiling you alive.
In fact, in standup I have what I call a two-way go (because I have to relate everything to football to make it make sense). I will open with a joke that’s a little more high-brow and depending on the crowd’s reaction, I’ll go down one of two different routes: one decorated with glorified dick jokes and the other with unglorifed dick jokes. There exists no such equivalent in storytelling. Storytelling is more like a 10K. There’s really only one way to go, and if you take a shortcut, people will usually know.
This is why I’ve taken to practicing stories many more times than standup. All the vets told me when I first started standup to perfect my best five minutes. And so I did. Or at least I started to. And it was boring. I had much more fun writing and trying new things. Which is completely allowed in standup, but I found storytelling more challenging and rewarding. But this is a story for another day.
As far as note-taking for storytelling is concerned, I have written on this before, but I’ll recap. There are a few different ways to get the story into writing, and I’ve tried most of them. I started making bullet points, so as to not have a complete script to follow. This enables you to remember each section easier since you can hopefully picture the seven or so main bullet points, but you risk a little consistency in sentence structure and can sometimes lose entire points or jokes. I’ve tried writing out the entire story word for word. This helps to remain consistent, but only if you remember every word. Losing your place will prove much more costly if all you see are paragraphs full of words in your head rather than major bullet points you can grab a hold of. I’ve also tried writing down nothing at all. This is not a technique I favor or recommend, but a recent bout of insomnia has led me to have a lot of time lying down unable to fall asleep. I thought about my story so much overnight that in the morning, writing it out seemed a waste of time.
One similarity I’ve found as far as rehearsing both standup and storytelling is to break it down into digestible bites. Even when I took no notes at all, I broke the story down into four sections while rehearsing the timing and practiced them separately. I practice some sections more than others, just like I do with my standup bits. As long as I can remember the order of my seven one-minute stories, I can usually avoid that boiling light, melting alive feeling. And I make sure to label each comedy bit and each story section with the average rehearsal time. This way I can either figure out where I need to trim for a story or I can reach for a certain bit by the amount of time I have left on stage for standup.
On the day of the show, regardless of standup or storytelling, I cram. I go over and over the words in my head and about an hour before the show, I say my problem sections out loud using the “Adam Ruben technique.” For those unaware, the Adam Ruben technique is to practice saying your story out loud, but while holding your phone to your face, as to look like you’re just making a phone call. So while the rest of the Speakeasy or Hightopps Grill thinks I’m being a douche for talking on the phone, I’m really just overcompensating for being underprepared. Thanks, Adam.
June 4, 2013
June 5, 2013
June 8, 2013
Class: “The Stage Created Memoir” with guest teacher Margot Leitman and Meredith Maslich of Possibilities Publishing
June 10, 2013
Tweets coming soon!