Tom is one of my favorite storytellers. This is his story about going to work for the first time with his grandfather at the Royal Banana Company.
This is a very interesting story. A number of us talked about it afterward and everyone had different reasons for laughing. Some of us laughed at the story and some of us laughed because of how Sarah told it. And some of us laughed because of our relationship to pranks. I love stories that people end up talking about on the way home. Thanks Sarah.
Tim is one of those people you want to thank but don’t know how. He’s saved lives and done what he could to make things right in the world. His scars run deep and his job now is to heal. The only way I know how to thank him is to give him a place to tell his stories and to keep reminding him that he’s an inspiration not only for what he’s done but for what he continues to do every day as a husband, father and friend.
First kiss, first day of school, first time you stared death in the face. First times, they’re the beginning of one thing and perhaps the end of another. First day sober? First day single after ten years of marriage? What happened on your first time?
October’s theme is First Times. First time anything. (well, there could be kids in the room so, you know, use some clever euphemisms or something) We want to hear about the first time you did something or maybe even the first time you didn’t do something. That’s cool too. You know these themes are intentionally broad so you can interpret them as you wish.
Important thing to remember: Stories revolve around something physically happening. Try to remember that as you develop your story. Feelings and memories are fine but they must be tied to something actually happening to make it a story.
Go now to the couch, curl up with a glass of wine, cup of tea or votive candle holder full of scotch. Whatever gets your juices flowing. Say the story out loud. Say it again out loud. Practice it a bunch of times in the car, the bathroom or walking around the lake. Then bring it to the show October 25 at 7pm. Put your name in the hat and cross your fingers. See you there.
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Every now and then we get a complaint from someone who feels that the stories at our show are not up to their standards. We had one a few days ago on our Meetup site (the complaints are always online, never in person) and I’m responding here due to space considerations.
I would like to remind everyone that not only is this an open-mic it is also free. If you are disappointed in the performers you are more than welcome to leave at any time. We are here not only to share stories but also to learn how to tell them. The only way you can get better at telling stories is by failing over and over again until you get it right. That is the nature of the art form. In fact, it is the nature of any art form.
There are a number of shows around Seattle that feature professional, or semi-professional, storytellers. Ira Glass was just at Benaroya Hall. The Vinyl Cafe is coming to the Paramount in December. A Guide to Visitors has a show every other month at The Theater Off Jackson. There are others if you look.
Though I remind the audience before every show we want stories with a beginning, middle and an end we still get folks on stage that are trying to figure that out. That is fine. Open-mic is where you are allowed to do that. As long as people don’t go over their time limit I am not going to embarrass them by yanking them off stage. As long as I feel you are doing your best to tell a story you will get the same respect as everyone else.
If you think are our show is a waste of your time then you should go find a show that makes you happy.