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.