Chicago has a vibrant storytelling community. Some evenings there are three live lit events to attend and/or participate in. Each has its own vibe and approach.
I’ve told a couple of times at Here’s the Story. HtS offers a potluck, several featured storytellers and several walkups. Stories should be memorized.
Last night I told for a standing room only crowd at Story Lab. Held in the back room of the Black Rock Pub, this show has six storytellers plus a story told by the host. Storytellers gather a couple of weeks before to get feedback on their stories, with time to revise before the big night. Stories must be true, between 7-10 minutes, and don’t have to be memorized.
What does it take to be a storyteller? First you have to think of a story you want to share, craft the arc of emotions to convey and decide which details stay and what go. It’s important, IMO, not just to read, but to perform and draw the audience in.
I enjoy doing the storytelling and deciding what to say. But it can take a lot of time to revise and then to rehearse, so I’m not sure how many more I’ll do. However, I know the producers and the host of another popular show and may want to tell there….