Let me tell you something - storytelling events aren't just trendy happenings for writers and hipsters. Storytelling events bring people together.
Take my debut last night at WordSalad, a storytelling evening hosted by Lora Cain at The Talking Stick coffeehouse in Venice. After being booked for the show, I did the customary self-promotion - emails, Facebook invite, tweets and more tweets.
Last week, someone posted on Facebook that they wanted to go, but needed a ride because she was temporarily in a wheelchair. Someone else - a total stranger, mind you - offered to give her a ride home after the show if someone else could get her there. One of my awesome friends piped up and offered to pick her up. Problems solved because of storytelling! I love it!
I showed up at the Talking Stick early to set up my video camera and grab a snack to calm my nerves.
And then the people started showing up! A guy I haven't seen since my days volunteering at the Hand to Hand Feeding Project was the first to stroll up and surprise me --
Then one of my high school classmates who I haven't seen since graduation day walked in - cue me saying, "Oh my God!" a million times. She kept telling me I looked like a model - it was fantastic. (I looked really nerdy in high school.)
They were followed by my former boss at my last day job and more friends from The Writer's Junction and other groups around LA. I couldn't have thrown a better Me Party if I tried!
Then the stories began. The theme of the night was "Dad" and I told a story about my wonderful father, complete with visual aids --
And this was where the real magic happened. All of the stories were so different in style and subject, but united by the theme. And as an audience, we were all united by the simple truth that everyone has a story to tell that's worth hearing. The stories we share with each other brings us together and shows us that we're not that different from one another.
My cheapy imitation Flip video camera konked out, so there's no video of my story to share - but that's okay, because there's plenty more stories where that came from. Until the next storytelling event...