Published by The Advocacy Committee of the
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Stand Up and Tell Your Story

The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) , October 10, 2008


On the second Tuesday of every month, SpeakeasyDC organizes an open-mike night in the upstairs lounge at Station 9, where folks like me tell their stories.

At the monthly sessions, speakers sign up ahead of time and have up to seven minutes to tell a story. Before the open mike, all speakers have to call story coach Stephanie Garibaldi and tell her their stories. She offers feedback and helps shape and improve the story. Each month there is a theme. This night's theme was "Rock Bottom: Stories About Falling Flat, Bottoming Out and Bouncing Back." Without going into detail, my story involved my first day at my first full-time job, an outdoor staff meeting, an unfortunate choice of seats and an impressive amount of bird droppings.

"I think the best storytellers connect with their audiences, and connect with their story," says Speakeasy director Amy Saidman. "They connect with the images in their own head, and they're telling rather than reciting."

"The traits of a good story -- for me, there are two key elements," Saidman says. "Something has to happen, there has to be an event that unfolds, and it has to mean something."

Subjects Covered: personal storytelling, storytelling festivals

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