Man, I wish I was better at getting these sorts of articles up in a timely fashion, but here is a hoping that it’s better late than never. . . .
Part of the reason I wanted to write about this show – beyond the fact that I loved the readers, was interested in the topic, went to see it with a cadre of great people, or that I just like the format – was because it placed so well in my itinerary that day. It got sandwiched between three other great shows. I saw it after running through Columbia College’s MFA senior show which happened to open the same night as SAIC’s MFA show. The work in both places was really good. Though I’m going to go ahead and be biased here and link to my favorite. (That’s an artist I hope to get an interview up with sooner or later.)
Then after the show I was swept away to see Justin Purcell’s show.
So it was good seeding on the Chicago Story Collective’s part. And also, it’s just amazing how much work is vying for our attention in Chicago. It makes for a humbling reminder as to how hard one needs to work to get fans. In Chicago, you’ll always be competing with some really great shows, shows you’d not knock anyone for choosing over yours. I don’t want to get too schmaltzy here but, that my friends so strongly support and encourage this kind of thing when they could be anywhere else at any number of other events, well that’s a kindness worth trying to live up to.
So yeah, thanks to everyone whose come to our last two shows. We try hard to put something unique up that’s worth your time, and will continue to do so.
As to the HSHS show I don’t have critiquey things to say. But I have thought about its dynamic as a show proper and would like to share some of those thoughts.
When Janna and I started feeling Here’s the Story’s format out, I really wanted to have themes. She fought hard against them, “I don’t care about theme, what I care about hearing – is the best story. And Dan, I’ve done this sort of thing before, themes will just happen organically. You’ll see.”
Ultimately she persuaded me for those reasons as well as others. But I still like themes. One of the things I like about the Moth having themes is that I think it forces storytellers to think, and thinking leads to rehearsal.
Janna’s right when she says themes sometimes lead to people not telling their best stories. And she’s right when she says it keeps people from telling the story that’s on their heart.
So what the Chicago Story Collective did to circumvent these issues was to go out and find people whose best stories fit a theme. I think it’s absolutely the way to go and I hope to emulate that in the future. We don’t have any plans of having the main show ever be themed, but we have lots of show ideas that don’t fit into that strict format, for instance Journey to the End of the Night.