When Dan Boyd suggested that I meet him at Stoop-Style Stories, I said, “Sure, I’ll be there!” It was about ten minutes later when my worry started to kick in:
“I don’t know where this place is, how will I get there? What if I’m not cool enough? Or what if it’s super awkward to go up to strangers and ask if they’re Dan Boyd? It’ll be dark. I could get struck by lightning. Or kidnapped by goblins.”
To at least muffle the voice of my worries, I brought a friend. Goblin crisis averted.
Before Stoop-Style Stories, I had never been to a storytelling show, so I had no idea what to expect when I waltzed into Rosa’s Lounge. What I did find, as the evening progressed, is something that regular storytelling audience members will take as a matter of fact: this is a ritual.
I’m not talking about the sit, stand, kneel type of ritual, but more of an offering. A storyteller is offering up themselves, their story, and their experience to the audience, and we as an audience have a responsibility to accept it.
At Stoop-Style Stories, the tellers offered up their stories, and somehow each one sounded like an adventure (yes, even the STD testing).
As a first time audience member, I was stunned by the respectful silence given to each teller.
The stories enveloped me with their courage and their character so while sitting at that little table sipping my Coke, I forgot to fret about blue-haired internship bosses who were probably cooler than me. I discovered just how little I knew about the city in which I grew up, and somehow my lack of life experience didn’t heap on top of my worry pile.
And that in and of itself was magic.
By the time Dan Boyd sidled up to my table and made introductions, I was eager to hear the stories of the people closest to me and to tell whatever story I could think of. Because the thrill or the mediocrity of the tale wasn’t what was important, rather the magic is in the telling.