You may ask yourself, why a story night? Maybe you don’t, but I’m telling you anyway.
Several years ago I wrote a short essay called “Jane.” It sat on my blog for years and years, just sitting there doing nothing. I thought it was a good story, but I didn’t really have any way to get it told elsewhere.
That remained the truth until one day someone exercised poor judgment and asked me to talk in church. I designed my whole talk around that story, emphasizing some point no one who was there remembers today. They still remember the story, though.
A few years back I got hooked on podcasts, so much so that I decided to try my hand at doing one myself. I had another story I was working on, but didn’t like how it was turning out. I was commenting on recent news, but not really offering anything new. So I went back to “Jane,” led off the entire operation with that story. It’s the one people still talk about most.
Among the podcasts I enjoyed the most were This American Life, The Tobolowsky Files, Snap Judgment, to some degree the Vinyl Cafe and finally The Moth. It’s that last show I probably enjoyed the most, because of the live storytelling.
Within the past few years a former coworker and I began talking about having our own storytelling night here locally. I never quite knew how to make it happen or where to begin. Neither did she, so we let it sit.
Then the Field’s End literary organization decided to do “Story Slams” on Bainbridge Island. In case you don’t know what a “Story slam” is, it’s essentially a competition where people get up and tell five-minute true stories. The Moth uses the term and so does Field’s End and other organizations. I don’t know who invented the term, but it looks like no one has trademarked the term.
At any rate I attended and participated in two slams on Bainbridge and had a great time. I learned a lot from telling my story and hearing others.
Recently Josh Farley, who has been running a Trivia Night in Manette for a few years, finally pinned me down and got me committed to hosting a night of our own. If you’ve seen the poster you know what’s up. Check the “All about” section for the rules and how to enter.
So, why storytelling? I’ve been telling people for years that it’s probably one of the earliest forms of entertainment in the history of humans. Secondly, if the conspiracy theorists are correct and one day all the power shuts down, then much of our entertainment will be what we can do in person, like sing or dance. Storytelling will also be a big part of the mix.
Storytelling events also connect us to people we might not otherwise know. We hear their stories and our beliefs about issues, lifestyles and life’s triumphs and mistakes becomes something human. If we’re not careful, storytelling makes us empathetic.
Finally, it’s fun. You shouldn’t miss it.
I also have plans to add a couple of twists to our first storytelling night. You’ll have to be there to see what that’s about.
So even if you don’t think you have a story to tell on October 2, come join in the fun anyway. You’ll hear great stories, enjoy some tasty food and beverages from the Manette Saloon and hang out with new friends.
Our hope that night is to record all the stories and then repost them here on what will be known as the Spill Your Guts’ Guts podcast. That title, by the way, comes from the “Jane” story.
And then one day, when we do it again, you might have the notion to tell a tale yourself. However it works for you, you are welcome. And however you tell it, I look forward to hearing your story.