One of the weirdest things I discovered during Covid was how much I missed making mistakes and all the adventures they led to. For the last two years, I haven’t shown up at a work meeting not knowing I had a giant rip in the back of my pants (August 2019). I haven’t offered to spot someone in the gym and then realized I wasn’t strong enough to save the guy when he couldn’t get the bar off his chest (June 2016). I haven’t accepted a gig to do an hour-long comedy tour for a busload of tourists and then find out none of them spoke English (1994). And I definitely didn’t get chased out of town by a shipload of sailors after a show in Astoria, Oregon (1998). 

Now that I’m finally getting out of the house I’m really looking forward to getting back to crafting a life of thoughtless errors and awkward moments. It’s really what I love most about life. Who are these weirdos who think before they speak and look before they leap? They are not my people. On April 21, we’re looking for 8-10 blurters and non-looking leapers to tell a story on this month’s theme, “Bumbles, Stumbles, and Fumbles – Stories of making mistakes.” 

Come tell a story about a mistake you’ve made in life and how you worked your way out of it. Did it teach you something about yourself? Did you keep making that same mistake or did that one moment change your life forever? Here’s your chance to show how mistakes can be great teachers and great stories.

Don’t forget this is your chance to tell a story live on stage! We’re back at our old venue, the Olive Way Starbucks. They might not have quite enough chairs for us because they put a lot of their stuff in storage during Covid. So if you’re able, please consider bringing a chair for yourself.

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. It’s run by two people who have told many times at FGS and other shows in the area:  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

I hope to see a bunch of you on the 21st!

Paul
freshgroundstories@gmail.com