“Acting out of character” is one of those phrases that can mean completely different things depending on who says it to you. If your parents say it, you’re probably about to get a lecture. If your life coach says it, you’re probably about to get a gold star on your vision board. I like it when the same words could be cause for celebration or shame.

This month, we’d love to hear a story about a time when you acted out of character, either in a good way or a bad way. Were you a straight-A student who stole a car? Did you break a promise once that you still haven’t forgiven yourself for? Maybe you were the shyest kid in school who somehow worked up enough courage to ask your crush for a dance at the prom. 

What did you do and what were the consequences? Did you end up never doing it again or was it something so good that you promised yourself you’d do more of it?

I hope you bring that story to next month’s show on February 17th. Remember to practice your story out loud on as many people as possible and time yourself when you’re doing it. All stories have to be under 8 minutes. Stories can be as short as you want but not over 8 minutes. If your story goes long, someone else who practiced for weeks might not get a chance to tell. Stories also have to be clean in both language and content. Send me an email or give me a call if you have any questions about that.

The rest of the rules and guidelines are below:

Workshops are a great way to get feedback on a story you’re working on. Here is one I highly recommend:  https://www.meetup.com/Fresh-Ground-Stories-Storytelling-Workshop/

Here are four short articles by one of my favorite storytellers with all kinds of good advice on the kind of stories we’re looking for at FGS:
https://jeff-simmermon.medium.com/?p=cc29027b8cd8
https://jeff-simmermon.medium.com/how-to-structure-a-funny-story-d1730535f81b
https://jeff-simmermon.medium.com/this-is-a-boring-shark-attack-8-rules-for-fascinating-storytelling-3b9d2bab6dca
https://jeff-simmermon.medium.com/this-ice-cream-will-heal-your-heartbreak-how-to-find-your-storys-north-star-b818f50250ab

I’m also happy to help people with their stories. Send me an email and we can set up a phone call.

This is the best book I’ve ever read on personal storytelling:

Here is a short piece by the author of the book on what questions to ask yourself when you start working on a story (it’s about halfway down the blog post): https://mailchi.mp/104f63f44a5a/you-should-be-able-to-answer-this-question-before-ever-telling-your-story?e=a4dd06ea14

We’ll be on Zoom again unless the indoor mask mandate changes. Now is a great time for our out-of-town tellers to share more stories with us!

I’ll send out the Zoom link to everyone on the Monday before the show which is February 14th..

I hope to see a bunch of you on the 17th!

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com