I was just contacted by one of the producers of a new podcast called, “Family Ghosts.” He’s looking for true stories from families that have been haunted, in a way, by something that happened to their family in the past. Below is the text I copied directly from Sam’s email:
Here’s a quick breakdown of the Family Ghosts project:
Each episode will feature someone investigating the truth behind a person whose legacy has haunted their family for generations – an aunt who vanished without a trace, a father who turned out to have a secret family, a cousin who absconded with the family fortune, etc. In each episode, we’ll hear the dinner-table version of these stories that’ve been making the rounds for years – and then we’ll dig into what actually happened, potentially altering the narrator’s perception of themselves and where they come from.
I’m looking for stories that can hold a listener’s attention for about 30-45 minutes – so naturally these will have to be stories with high stakes, rich characters, lots of history, and difficult questions at the center. Most importantly, I’m interested in what’s important to the storyteller about getting to the bottom of this mystery – what effect they think it might have on their life, and why. If you want to get a feel for it, the pilot episode is available from iTunes, or you can stream it here: https://megaphone.link/PPY1805389984.
This sounds like a really cool project and I hope some of you send Sam a brief summary of a story from your family that might fit the podcast. Send all your pitches to: email@example.com. Use the same address for any questions you have.
I actually pitched my own family mystery to him earlier today and I’m curious to see what he and his team think of it. I’ll let you know what happens.
Leave a comment here on our page if you do send one in. I’d love to know how many stories he gets from FGS people 🙂
Some more special storytelling events just popped up and I want to pass on the info to anyone who’d like to attend.
The first is a storytelling fundraiser for NAMI that’s produced by one our own FGS tellers, Bill Bernat. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and even though we aren’t partnered with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) we do get a lot of stories at our show that focus on recovering from mental health issues. NAMI is one of the organizations working to make it ok to talk about this stuff more openly so I try to do anything I can to help them.
Naturally, I’m super happy NAMI asked Bill to help them with their first Seattle storytelling show and I’m honored that he asked me and another FGS teller, Jenny Heddin, to perform at this show along with the NAMI tellers. Below is an email straight from Bill with more info.
In celebration of mental health month (May), Seattle’s Great Wheel will be lit green for three days leading up to the NAMI WA premier event: Mental Health Stories: The Brainpower Chronicles.
I have held a series of workshops with six amazing storytellers selected by NAMI. The tellers have been working extremely hard to prepare–it will be a riveting show with a strong message of recovery and hope. I’ll be hosting.
The show is May 20th at 7pm at the beautiful Taproot Theater in Greenwood (Seattle). You can get more information here:
Because it is a fundraiser, pricing is between $50 and $100. For those who would like to attend but would have difficulty at those prices, please call or write NAMI at 206-783-4288 or firstname.lastname@example.org and they will work with you to make it doable.
If this interests you, I look forward to seeing you there!
If you can’t make it to the NAMI show there are two other places to hear some great personal stories in the next couple of weeks.
This Friday, “Something to Tell,” Tacoma’s only storytelling open mic will start at 7pm at the B Sharp Cafe.
Big Tim, who you might have heard tell at FGS, just started running it and he’d love to see some folks from Seattle come down and tell a story. I’ll be there this week along with anyone I can get from Olympia to come with me.
Also, on the 26th, Folklife is happening and I think it’ll be the first time they’ll be doing personal storytelling like the kind you here at FGS and The Moth. David Schumer, FGS’s official doctor, will be telling a story about The World’s Most Hateful Llama. That may not be the actual title but that’s how I always remember it.
Tantalizing Tales Showcase
Fri. May. 26th
8:00 PM – 8:25 PM
That’s all the news from the Seattle storytelling world. If I hear about anything else I’ll just put in on our Facebook page so you can just check there once in a while.
Below are three great opportunities to catch some great storytelling in Seattle.
Next Sunday, David Schumer, one of our regulars, is hosting Seattle Words n Music. You’ll see storytellers you’ve heard at FGS here and in between stories you’ll see some cool musicians. I always enjoy this show and it’s a great way to support the people you’ve seen tell stories at Roy Street.
Click the link below for full description and a short video teaser:
Seattle Words n Music 5
The “Gotcha” show
Stories with shocking twists
Sunday may 14th 7pm
Jewelbox Theatre in Belltown
tickets $12.50 online
The Seattle Storytellers Guild has some really interesting events that I like to attend when I’m in town. You can find their monthly event listing below.
Lastly, the LA-based storytelling show Risk! asked me to send along a request for stories for their Seattle show next month. Risk! is a great podcast and their live shows are always fun. If you have a story you’d like to pitch them read the info below and send one in. It’d be great to hear one of our FGS tellers on the podcast or see them perform at the Vera Project downtown. I copy-and-pasted the email from them below. If you have any questions please email them directly.
Send pitches to: email@example.com
Submission deadline: 5/13/17
RISK! Live Show
The Vera Project
305 Harrison Street
Show date: 6/10/17
Showtime: 7:30 PM
“Theme: Destructive (Stories are not required to fit under this theme. It’s just a jumping off point to help you brainstorm about stories you have. We cast excellent true stories over stories that simply fit the theme but are less compelling.)
RISK! Is a live show and podcast “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public” hosted by Kevin Allison, of the legendary TV sketch comedy troupe The State. RISK! has featured people like Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Lampanelli, Kevin Nealon, Margaret Cho, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, and regular folks from around the world, dropping the act and showing a side of themselves we’ve never seen before. The RISK! podcast gets over 1.5 million downloads each month. Slate.com called it “jaw-dropping, hysterically funny, and just plain touching.”
RISK! is not like other storytelling shows. It’s “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public.” We encourage our storytellers to step out on a limb, be brutally candid and emotionally raw. This is an uncensored show where taboos are tackled and people talk about things they ordinarily might not share in mixed company, but might save for their therapist.
To hear some of our stories, go to http://risk-show.com/listen
For more information about what we look for in story pitches and how to submit, go to http://risk-show.com/submissions and send us your pitch by 5/13/17 to be considered!”
That’s all I got for you. I hope you’re all having a great time in the sun 🙂
Lately I’ve been thinking about how much of my frustration in life has been caused by my inability to let go. Sometimes it’s obvious what I have to let go of, like a relationship or maple bars. Other times it’s pretty subtle. If I want to have a girlfriend then I have to give up a certain amount of control over my life. If I want a job that pays more money I have to give up the low stress life that my current job gives me.
Worse were the times I gave up something because I thought I had no choice. More than once I gave up self-respect to be with someone who treated me poorly because I thought no one else would want me. Ten years ago I gave up writing and performing because I thought I’d never find an audience who cared to listen to what I had to say.
In a world that teaches me to always want more I’m starting to think that clinging to certain beliefs, ideas or people is what holds me back. There are women I used to think I couldn’t live without that I’m pretty certain now that I actually can live without. I used to think I could stay healthy without exercising or eating right. I had to give up that belief a few years ago but when I did I discovered I actually like exercising and I’m proud of all the meals I can now prepare without looking at a cookbook.
The most important thing I’ve given up is my need to look like I have it all together. That may be have been the most damaging thing of all. I had to let go of the idea that just because I was halfway intelligent that I wouldn’t make some dumb decisions in life and have to deal with the consequences. The energy I spent trying to look like I wasn’t fumbling through life was enormous. I guess you could say that I finally had to give up trying to look like I knew what I was doing. Such freedom!
What have you had to give up that you never thought you could? A person? A way of life? A belief system? Maple bars? Seriously, if anyone knows how to give up maple bars I really need to know that.
But that’s the kind of story we’re looking for at our next show, May 25, at Roy Street Coffee and Tea. The theme is “Stories of living without something you didn’t think you could.”
Remember to keep it clean and under 8 minutes. Here are the rules and guidelines for telling a story at FGS:
Practice out loud in the car or in the living room on the cat. Let me know if you have any questions.
I hope to see you on the 25th.