Half an Hour Down, 1 Hour to Go

Posted on February 24, 2012. Filed under: Events, storytelling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

I performed my first 30 minute long storytelling show last week and I have to say I loved it. It wasn’t ideal circumstances, and it was quite a challenge, but it was a good experience and I look forward to tackling what I see as the next step in storytelling, the one hour show.

To back track a little, I was asked to cover for another storyteller at a performance she was supposed to give last week but couldn’t, due to a family emergency. I had six day’s notice to prepare and memorize thirty minutes, so I am afraid I didn’t write any new material. Instead, I took three different stories I had written in the past, created a frame to tie them all together, along with a few changes to the content, and then told them as a set.

I presented my 30 minutes as the essentials of life – work, love, and death. I started the journey with a version of this story I had performed about two years ago for SpeakeasyDC.

I thought starting with work would be a good way to warm the audience and ease them into my sense of humor and storytelling style. The story got a good response, but the next one I told was much more successful, at least as far as the decibel of the laughs I heard. In love, I rehashed the story I had told at the 2011 Sucker for Love show.

It turned out to be a good transition piece, because it started with laughs, where I had left the audience with the first story, and then ended on a somber note, where my next story, on death, picked up. This was a very personal piece I had written for the last Better Said Than Done performance I gave at Jammin’ Java.

I must say, it was really gratifying during this story to see the audience, because there were several people who were just flat out crying. And I know it sounds a little weird to be happy to have made a bunch of people cry, but considering the content of the story, that made me feel like it was a success.

Of course, now I would like to shoot for writing that one hour show. I know I can do it. I just have to finish my novel first!

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