I am excited about this. Not everything is simple, but in the middle of it all is a feeling that is. A feeling which, I’ve found–when I’ve had some courage and commitment to listen to it in my life– has brought me to the brightest places. Uncanny conversations, relevant exchanges, revolutions of friendship and creative adventure, answers, treasures, remedies and the very best surprises seem to come with more ease when I have some willingness to follow an interior sense of home. This is a feeling like joy, like recognizing something new that looks somehow familiar; like part of my own story that I remember with affection. Like I remember where I come from, sometimes I remember where I’m going.
To be sure, it is work sometimes to follow (let alone hear) this internal sense of direction. But I keep trying, and sometimes the directions are louder than others. Like now. Like with this event Dan and I are making with and for our friends (those known, and yet-unknown : ) ). It’s a good challenge to bring it into being, but in the middle of it all it is a deep happiness . . . a feeling of yes and joy and of-course that makes me feel like it is the nicest idea in the world for us to gather people ’round to listen to and be delighted by each other.
One of the things I like about Dan, and a reason I want to host this series with him, is that he is as delighted by people and their stories as I am. We know way too many wily and inspired creative thinkers in this big-hearted city to keep you to ourselves, and so it seems only natural to give you all a platform to delight in each other. Lots of Chicago people do a wonderful job of this already . . . the folks at Essay Fiesta, This Much is True, and Stories at the Store, Write Club and The Encyclopedia Show (just to name a few) bring folks from Chicago’s array of creative communities together to listen and enjoy, and you should go see them all!
Every event is a little different, and ours is too. Our focus is unscripted, embodied story . . . the kind of old-timey theatrical storytelling that is practiced under porch lights and on street corners and by firesides. By people who have a truth to tell . . . whether through fact or fiction . . . street minstrels and traveling salesmen and sacred clowns. Medicine women and camp-counselors and good dads at bedtime. Solo performers in sold-out Broadway theaters, envelope-pushing, sex-positive performance artists, stand-up comics and drag artists and elementary school teachers and your grandma whenever someone was bored or fussy. Professors. Ministers. Actors. Doctors. Writers. That person in your family who keeps the generational and cultural stories alive by telling them. You.
So I am excited. To bring together good souls who create and question and teach in this great city. For no other reason than to listen to each other. To tell some truth. To be delighted. That feels like home. : )
Our event in May is an open story-swap and potluck. Everyone is invited to tell, and we will hear as many stories as we can for the two hours that we sit on the stage in the beautiful 773 theater and eat dinner. At our events starting in June, we will offer you five people that we’ve invited as featured tellers, and five open slots that anyone who wishes to, can fill.
Much love and high hopes to see you on May 4th at 7:30!