Thank you all for such a sweet night of storytelling yesterday. I wasn’t sure anyone would show up because of the power outages and falling branches but a bunch of you walked in at the last minute and we had a full show. It warms my heart to know that FGS members will risk getting run over by flying garbage cans to get to Roy Street 🙂

We had a lot of funny and touching moments and I’m grateful the folks who practiced their stories had an audience to tell them to. Dave K told a beautiful story about a life spent living out of hotel rooms, He brought me back to all the years I spent on the road doing comedy. No one believes me when I say comedy was the loneliest job I ever had. But Dave knows. He wasn’t a comic but he knows the toll it takes on your family and your soul to be living out of a suitcase. If you ever open the mail one day and find that you’re a lifetime member of the Marriott Platinum Guest Club you might want to rethink your career path.

Susan told a great story about what it’s like to ride the bus in Seattle. It reminded me of how wonderful it is when someone tells a story about the little things in life. You don’t have to sail the seven seas or pull a nun from a burning building to have a great story. If you’re willing to slow down and notice all the things going on around you, you can get a great story just from missing the bus one day. Thank you, Susan, for showing us that stories are everywhere.

Robert’s story of going through all his savings to make sure three people he loved got medical care was a wonderful example of how sharing your story can be more powerful than sharing your opinion. MIke’s story of visiting Disneyland with his daughter during a rough time in his marriage probably made my son wish I had taken him to Wild Waves every time one of my relationships was floundering.

Ginger reminded us of how special grandparents can be and also how important it is to never drink tap water in Taiwan. Zoe told us about life lessons she learned from a summer internship in a NYC theater where she got to see some of the greatest actors in America audition for roles. Chris told us how she finally got a house of her own and then her parents moved in. I love how we’ve gotten to know Chris’s parents through the stories she’s told at FGS over the years. If you come to our shows for a while you slowly get to know our regular tellers through the stories they share. It’s a kind of relationship I’ve never experienced anywhere else. Sometimes I run into people from the audience around town and they always ask about some teller they remember from the show. They want to know how they’re doing and if I know them. If you’ve ever told a story at FGS and wonder if anyone remembers, I want you to know that people do.

Bill and Chad both told heartbreaking stories of how they managed to navigate difficult relationships with their mothers. Talking about parents can be hard because the audience will always wonder what the other side of the story is. Bill and Chad put a lot of thought into their stories and both of their stories felt fair and honest. Not only did it take a lot of vulnerability and courage to share those stories it also took a lot of restraint to tell them in a way that allowed us to feel some of what their moms must have been going through in those years.

Kevin let us in on his feelings about commitment and then at the end introduced us to his fiance. Congratulations Kevin! David T told a difficult story about the near-death of his son and how they both had to go through their own individual recoveries. Lance, one of our new regulars, told a sweet story of how his marriage of 40 years began with the question, “So, what’s your zip code?”

To close out the night, I asked our special guest storyteller, Maryanne Moorman, to tell a story I heard her tell a week earlier with the folk band The Go Janes. Maryanne is one of the best tellers I know. She has a warm southern accent and a way of describing each scene that makes me wish I’d been taking notes. I can’t do justice to her story here but I can say it involved a hot Miami Christmas, a young boy’s surprising wish, and her Appalachian family putting on tin hats and singing Feliz Navidad. Trust me, you are so sad you missed that story.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the show last night and supported all the tellers. Whether you ever decide to get up and tell a story or not, I appreciate everyone who gets off their couch, drives to Roy Street and helps me create a place where we can share all the things we’ve lived through.

I’ll be at Maryanne’s open mic next Thursday if any of you would like to join me. I won’t be telling a story. I’m going because there’s a fellow who weaves storytelling and magic together and I can’t wait to see how he does it. Click the link below for more information:

https://www.maryannemoorman.com/upcoming-live-events

If any of you would like to tell a story but want to take a workshop or just get some feedback first, I highly recommend going to the workshop on the other side of this link:

https://www.meetup.com/Fresh-Ground-Stories-Storytelling-Workshop/

It’s run by one of our regular tellers and is always the first place I think of when I’m working on a story of my own.

I also just discovered a new story open mic in North Seattle that I want everyone to know about. I told a story at their first show last week and had a great time. The show runs on the 2nd Thursday of each month so it’s a great place to practice a story you want to tell the following week at FGS.

https://www.meetup.com/North-Seattle-Storytelling-Meetup/events/257291067/

That’s all for now. I hope everyone has a great holiday. Our next show is Jan 17. The theme is “Fed Up – Stories from the end of your rope.” I’ll get the invite out as soon as I can.

The recording of Thursday’s show came out fine so let me know if you want a copy of the story you told. Some tellers already emailed me and I’ll be getting the audio out to them as soon as I can. I only give audio to the people who told stories and it’s only of the story they told. Most of the stories we hear at FGS are very personal so I never give the audio to anyone but the teller.

See you next month!

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com

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