Archive for May, 2013

Storytelling Show this Saturday

Posted on May 22, 2013. Filed under: storytelling | Tags: , , |

Best Storytelling Show

My storytelling troupe, Better Said Than Done, recently voted the “Best Performing Arts Company in Virginia” by Virginia Living Magazine, is celebrating our 2 year anniversary this Saturday with a storytelling show and contest.

Details below, or you can always find upcoming storytelling shows here.

Better Said Than Done is celebrating our two year anniversary in May with a storytelling contest. Join the storytellers you chose as your favorites, for a night of true, personal storytelling – to the death! Okay, really, they are just competing for cash prizes. But come out and vote for your favorite story of the night.

The Art of War: Competing, Fighting, and Winning
Saturday, May 25th, 2013
**The Auld Shebeen
3971 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA
7:00PM Show
Doors Open at 6:00PM
$10 Tickets Available at the door (Cash preferred)


Storytellers include: Noa Baum, Kevin Boggs, Jason Conner, Dustin Fisher, Cara Foran, David Supley Foxworth, Jennifer Luu, Anna Marie Trester and Michael Zhuang. Hosted by Jessica Piscitelli Robinson


**For parking and entry info, and more about The Auld Shebeen, click here.


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Best Performing Arts Company 2013

Posted on May 14, 2013. Filed under: Press, storytelling | Tags: , , |

My storytelling troupe, Better Said Than Done, was voted “The Best Performing Arts Company in Virginia” by readers of Virginia Living Magazine.

I am so excited. It shows what you can do with two years of effort.

Here’s a little more about it, plus photos of the magazine:

Or just pick up a copy of the Virginia Living Best of Virginia 2013 Guide, out on newsstands now.

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Thoughts on The Shipping News

Posted on May 13, 2013. Filed under: Books | Tags: , , , , |

Last week I finished reading “The Shipping News” by E. Annie Proulx.  I realize I am about 15 years behind on that trend, but a friend lent me the book and I remember hearing it was supposed to be good.  And it was very good. I highly recommend reading it.

The reason I wanted to write about it, as opposed to the many, many books I read and don’t blog about, is because I thought the style of writing was so unique that it seemed worth mentioning.  The book is about Quoyle, a 30 something man with a pretty unsuccessful life that he’s been a bit of a bystander to.  A series of events occur and he ends up moving with his aunt and two daughters to Newfoundland, where the way of life is a bit different.  Then his life changes.


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Musician and Storyteller Hayes Carll

Posted on May 8, 2013. Filed under: storytelling | Tags: , , , , , |

Last week I went to see Hayes Carll in concert at The Birchmere.  He’s kind of old school country. Musically, he reminds me of Willie Nelson more than anyone in “country” these days.  I love him, however, for his lyrics, which often remind me of the Smother’s Brothers, on some of his funnier songs (Like “She Left Me for Jesus” or “One Bed, Two Girls, and Three Bottles of Wine”), though he has some real beauties as well.  The opening band, The Warren Hood Band, was an Austen bluegrass/rock type band.  Check them out. You heard it here first.

I honestly don’t go to a lot of concerts, partly, because I am old, partly because, like Glenn Gould, I feel like I get better sound out of recordings than you hear at lives shows, and partly because I often feel like there isn’t much point when all musicians often tend to do is sing the songs I already know.  Obviously, I generally like the kinds of musicians who don’t put on big, splashy shows.

But I will go see a select few musicians who I know will be great, like Ani DiFranco (adorable and bubbly) or Tori Amos (usually makes me cry). Question my musical taste all you like, part of why I go back to see them perform is I get something more out of the experience than just being in a crowded concert hall, in an uncomfortable seat, listening to music that would sound better at home.

So it was with Hayes Carll in concert.  In his case, in addition to putting on a great musical performance, he cracked me up with his stories.  (more…)

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This Year’s Stories

Posted on May 7, 2013. Filed under: storytelling | Tags: , , , , |

I just realized I haven’t updated my videos since January.  I have told at least one story a month since then, for Better said Than Done, as well as at some other storytelling venues.  Here are the videos and a brief description of what’s kept me busy this year.

I told this story for Better Said Than Done’s “15 Minutes of Fame” show. It’s a new version of a story I had told six years ago. I think it’s gotten better, now that I have a bit more storytelling experience under my belt.  Watch the video here.

In February, I told two stories. This first one was for a fundraiser for Reston Nature House.  It’s a story about trying to run my first marathon. Watch that story here.  Then I did my usual Better Said Than Done storytelling night at Epicure Cafe.  This one was for “Road to the Altar,” and is all about the dumb advice you get as a single lady.  Watch the video here. Strangely I mention a marathon in that one too.

The March storytelling show was all about being a geek.  Watch my story about comic books here.

And finally, a few week’s ago, I told about the part of “The Princess Bride” that changed my life.  Here’s that video.

I am hosting the May 25th Better Said Than Done storytelling show and contest.  It’s our two year anniversary, and promises to be a fantastic show.  If you like storytelling or are interested is seeing some amazing storytellers compete in a contest to the death (more like to the pain!), then come on out to the show.  Details about “The Art of War” here.


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Storytelling Teacher, nay, Coach

Posted on May 5, 2013. Filed under: storytelling, writing | Tags: , , , , , , , |

I am so behind on blogging. The good news is, it’s because I have been so busy! I have been writing, and working, and storytelling.  Lots of storytelling.

I am going to, in the next few days, I think, get around to sharing videos and notes from my last few storytelling shows, but wanted to take a moment to talk about what I will be busy with next Saturday – teaching.  Specifically, teaching storytelling.

My storytelling company, Better Said Than Done, has been offering storytelling workshops for over a year now.  I do share the responsibility of teaching with three other wonderful storytellers, so haven’t lead every workshop, but have been involved in quite a few at this point and I love it.

Better Said Than Done StorytellingOne of my students said to me, “You are not really teaching so much as coaching” and I thought that sounded perfect.  In our workshops, we do offer notes on structure, tips on character building, and general guidance from our years as writers and storytellers, but a big part of what we do is listen to the students, listen to their stories, and then help them figure out what they are trying to say.  It’s the part I love best, because it is always new and exciting, especially for the students, who get to have that “aha moment” when it finally clicks – “that’s what I meant!”

You don’t always get those moments, on your own, as a writer.  So it’s nice to help others find those moments. It’s great to help people discover something that might have taken them a long time to figure out or that maybe they would have otherwise missed.

I am teaching one more workshop, on May 11th, before I take a break to deal with having a baby, and other pressing matters. I already have a four week workshop lined up for September, and am excited for that to start. I am sure the newborn, due August 1st, will be able to take care of herself by then.

If interested in signing up for my last storytelling workshop for a while, read more about it here.  And hurry up and register, because it’s less than a week away!

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