So, my friend Angela and I have been plotting and planning to start our own live lit/storytelling series called That's All She Wrote, it has a website and everything. Over the past couple years I've read my work at numerous live lit venues in Chicago, but I'm nervous about running my own series in a way that makes me think terrible, negative thoughts. This is probably going to be a boring post, but it's mostly to make me feel better during those moments when I think I can't possibly do this, which is most of the time.
I haven't really blogged a lot about the readings I do, I'm not sure why. It's the only thing I feel really, truly proud of these days what with my career being so far down the toilet I'm pretty sure it's being processed at the water reclamation district. So here's a big impressive list of all the venues, with hyperlinks embedded so you can click through to them and be thoroughly impressed. Maybe someday I'll get around to writing a "performance" resume, or something like that. Until then, here's a big old list:
Story Club - where I got up and read my own work in front of people in late 2010, for the first time since college. I purposely picked a 300 word piece that only took me a minute to read because I was nervous about reading in front of people. I've since read there countless times, and was made a Featured Reader along with superstar Johanna Stein in early 2011 (March, I think.)
Story Lab - where storytelling superstar Scott Whitehair included me in the debut show (along with Ms. Angela of That's All She Wrote) in January 2011. It was a ridiculously good time, and made me want to do as much storytelling as possible.
Essay Fiesta - where the musical and comedic Keith Ecker and Alyson Lyon meet monthly in a local bookstore, get people to read, and raise money for the Chicago chapter of 826.
This Much Is True - one of the funnest storytelling shows in town, and I had an unbelievably fun time reading the story about visiting my high school boyfriend's farm. It was one of the best nights of my life.
Tuesday Funk - an offbeat series that combines nonfiction and fiction of all stripes.
2nd Story - which, all told, took about 3 years for me to get to perform in. They did get my story podcasted though, which is fancy.
SKALD - an annual storytelling contest run by Don Hall of WNEP Theater and WBEZ, and hosted by Steve Edwards, which is very fancy.
Mortified! - one of the funnest shows around, in which participants read from journal entries and other ephemera that was written prior to turning 21.
The Moth - at Martyr's, where I won the February 2011 slam with my urinary tract infection story, and at the Haymarket, where I did not win, but it was still fun.
The 2nd Chicago Moth GrandSLAM - hosted by Peter Sagal of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, which is extra fancy with a side of smart.
The Paper Machete - a weekly live magazine where writers and comics read pieces related to the week's news, and I talked about the murder rate in Chicago in the summer. It was a real mood lifter.
Real Talk Live - a show that's really about poetry, but I snuck in anyway and read at the open mic. Nobody said anything about it. Also, I was lured by the wordtastic wiles of Roger Bonair-Agard, who I had just seen perform at This Much Is True, and really REALLY wanted to see him perform again, and maybe even get the chance to speak to him, and he was handing out flyers to RTL, so...
Stories from the Bottom of the Glass - a one-time show put together by the aforementioned Dana Norris, where I went serious and told the story titled "Me and Luke."
Massmouth - Boston's answer to The Moth (although I think the Moth is opening in Boston pretty soon, if not already) I went to a show in Jamaica Plain because I was visiting family, competed in a Massmouth storyslam, and got the second worst score. I told the same story 2 nights later at the Moth in Chicago.... and won. Draw your own conclusions.
So that's like... 14 different venues that I've performed in since the fall of 2010. Some of them (4 of them) I've performed at more than once. I say this to make myself feel like I can actually make my own show work, and that even if it doesn't work for some reason, it will all turn out okay in the end.
And, AND.... this Thursday I'm CROSSING STATE LINES to tell stories at the Acorn Theater for a show called Adult Education. So by the time we launch That's All She Wrote, I will have performed at 15 different venues.
So.... so that's my version of talking to myself in the mirror before the big show, or the big sell, or the big presentation, or the big boxing match, or whatever it is that people need to talk to themselves in front of the mirror for.
Wish me luck.