Our next show is April 15th. Come tell a story about leaving, finding, or creating a home. You can define home as broadly as you want.
Did you run away from home at 15? Did you find your first true home at 45? Maybe you made a home for other people when you realized no one was going to give them a home but you. Have you ever found a place where you feel you really belong? How did it happen?
It wasn’t until about 10 to 12 years ago that I started taking off my coat when I went to someone’s house. That’s weird, right? I think it was because I wanted to make a quick exit after I said something funny. I figured there was no point staying after the big closer. Why else was I there, right? Someone remind me to bring that up with my therapist next month.
Anyway, if you want to tell a story, don’t forget to practice 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 also have to be pretty clean in both language and content. 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 are two I highly recommend:
Both are run by experienced tellers who have told many times at FGS. I’m also happy to help with stories. Send me an email at email@example.com and we set up a call.
If you want to tell a story at the show, email me as soon as possible so I can get you on the list.
I send out the Zoom registration link to everyone in the Meetup group on April 12. You must register for the show in order to attend.
After you register, Meetup will send you a link to the actual show. Each link is unique to the person who registered so you won’t be able to share it with anyone.
If you know someone who wants to attend but isn’t a member of the Meetup group you can share the registration link with them. That way they can register and get their own unique link to the show. Sorry if that’s confusing. Email me if you have any questions.
Feel free to RSVP on Meetup if you want their automatic reminders, but I’ll be sending the registration link to everyone in the group regardless of your RSVP.
We only have 100 spots in each show (98 actually since me and my assistant each take one spot) so the first 98 people to register for the show will be the only ones who can attend.
Before I get to the wrap-up I want to let everyone know there are links to workshops and a Seattle Times article on FGS at the bottom of this email.
Big thanks to everyone who came out last Thursday for the show. We had a great mix of new and regular tellers. As much as I want to get back to our in-person shows, I’m so grateful that we’re now getting new tellers from all over the world thanks to Zoom.
Tracey started off the show with a story that only she could tell. It included foreign coins, missing toes, humid hair frizzies, a benign tumor, and a class in Taiwan for children with learning disabilities. Somehow she wrapped it all up with a lesson in trusting your spidey sense and the importance of letting go of being right.
Yousaf told us about a time when he spent the last few months at his job trying to get a parental leave policy in place for a coworker who just had a baby. If you’ve ever had a new baby and a job at the same time you know how important parental leave can be. Thank god there are people like Yousaf out there who will take a risk at work for others. It’s not easy convincing management anywhere to give people more paid leave and sometimes it can affect your career just by asking. In Yiddish, we would call Yousaf mensch. In Hebrew, we would call what he a mitzvah.
Paul B told a story that I’m sure will end up on The Moth or Risk! or some other national podcast. It was about letting go of the guilt he’d been carrying and figuring out how to forgive himself. Paul raised the bar for honesty and vulnerability that night and made me wonder what stories I’ve been afraid to tell.
Bridget’s story had me really wanting to meet her husband one day. He got her a surprise skydiving lesson for her birthday. Who gets someone a skydiving lesson without asking?! I told Bridget afterward that for her husband’s birthday she should get him a cliff diving lesson. If he survives he has to come tell the story.
Behnaz had us all cheering for nerds at the end of her story. It turns out she kind of likes them and may even be one herself. It also turns out that, based on certain data we calculated, plotted, and peer-reviewed during the show, that she might be the 57th smartest person in Iran. You’d have to hear the story to understand that but I have complete confidence in my data.
Marte’s story of asking her parents for help paying for college when she was 30 turned out to be a tender realization that asking for help was probably the first truly adult thing she had done in her life. Marte doesn’t know this, but the next day my son asked me for help. I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been in the audience that night. Thank you, Marte for showing my kid there’s no shame in asking for help.
Rhonda, a first-timer from Tucson, closed the show with a powerful story about watching her daughter work through addiction, and what it felt like to not be able to save her. I know from the comments people posted afterward that Rhonda wasn’t the only one in the room that night who has had to watch someone they love battle addiction. Rhonda, thank you for having the courage to tell that story. I know parts of it are were still raw. You will tell this story again one day and there will be even more people in the audience who need to hear it.
Thanks to everyone who joined us and supported me and the tellers that night. We’ll be back next month with a new theme, “Home – Stories of leaving, finding, or creating one.”
Email me if you’d like to tell a story on that night. The show is on April 15. I’ll get the invite out as soon as I can. In the meantime, check out the workshops, a book, and an article below.
Here is Paul Barach’s memoir of his pilgrimage through Japan. I have a copy and so should you.
Just a quick reminder that our next show is coming up on the 18th, which is a week from this Thursday. We still have a few spots open if you want to tell a story. The theme is “Gut Check – Stories of facing up to something”
Here’s a beautiful story I just heard and want to share with you.
Tomorrow there’s a Workshop run by one of the best storytellers in Seattle:
This Thursday North Seattle Storytelling is holding their monthly show:
If you’ve been coming to FGS for a while you know that we’ve had a number of tellers share their mental health stories at the annual NAMI Washington fundraiser. I shared my own story at the first event in 2017 and was a story coach for them in 2018. It’s a wonderful show and I was proud to be part of it for those first two years.
If any of you have a story about your mental health journey or how caring for someone with mental health issues has affected your life you can apply to be in the show here:
RECOVERY IS REAL, AND WE’RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT IT IN THE REALEST TERMS!
Director Susan Fee, and Assistant Director Kacie Rahm, both accomplished storytellers, will once again lead this powerful event. If you are chosen for the 6-person cast, you will receive individual and group coaching in a supportive environment with fellow castmates.
NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
You do not need to have previous storytelling or performance experience to be considered for the cast! So don’t be shy – submit your 2021 Brainpower Chronicles Questionnaire, and be a part of NAMI Washington shining a spotlight on the intersection of mental health and the arts! Deadline for questionnaires is March 31, 2021.
That’s all for now. Let me know if you’d like to tell a story at our March 18th show. If you can’t make it to a workshop, I’m always available for help over the phone.