January’s theme is “Fed Up – Stories from the end of your rope.” I don’t know if anyone else has had a rough year but 2018 was a tough one for me. Death, heartache, existential crises, physical injuries, ghosts from my past rising from the grave. All of that was nicely packed into the thing we call, appropriately, The Year of the Dog.

You know what I think would make a great start to 2019? A show where a bunch of us tell stories about how we got to the end of our rope and managed to crawl back up. I know at least a few of us managed to do that because we’re still here. We’re still rolling out of bed, getting out of the house, and showing up at Roy Street once a month.

I was going to use this invite to tell you a story about the time my dad saved my life by giving me a used recliner. Right now, though, I can’t figure out a way to make it funny. And I want to make it funny. Or at least more lighthearted than it feels. I have to figure out a way to explain my responsibility in the story without sounding bitter. That’s a big part of personal storytelling for me. If I’m still blaming other people for something that happened it means I’m not really over it. It means I haven’t let go of my anger yet and found the good thing that came out of the pain.

This is one of the reasons FGS is so special to me. We have a little show here where we get to see people who have lived through some crazy, painful stuff and come out the other side with a new perspective and maybe even a bit of gratitude.

So I’m going to keep the story I’m thinking about to myself for a while. When I finally tell it I want it to be something my dad would be proud of.

I hope a few of you do have a story that you’d like to tell about how you got to the end of your rope and somehow climbed back up. We’ve all gotten fed up, wrung out, and beat down. How are you still here? What was the moment when you looked up from the ground and decided to work your way to your feet and keep going? I bet a lot of people in the room that night need to hear that story.

Remember to keep your story clean and under 8 minutes. Here are the rules and guidelines for telling at FGS. I update them a few times a year so even if you’ve read them before it’s always good to take a look now and then to see if there are any changes.


If you want to workshop your story before the show, this is a great place to do it:

I hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday.

See you on the 17th