As many of you know, I’m writing a historical novel inspired by family stories my Mexican-Chinese grandma used to tell me: tales of secret immigrants and mixed races, family loyalties and betrayals. I’m also involved in the world of live personal storytelling, and The Storytellers Project recently invited me to share a true story about my search for my ancestral past. Here’s a video of that virtual show on the theme of Home. You’ll see my 9-minute story at 19:34. Warning: In the story, I mention sexual abuse, though not in a graphic way.
If you’re involved in the world of live personal storytelling, as a teller or a fan, then you know the pandemic didn’t stop us but only prompted us to find each other online, thanks to dedicated producers who took their shows to the virtual road. Such shows are part of a support system that has kept us glued together as a community, and helped keep me from coming unglued personally. As we prepare to return to live shows, please allow me to share with you this fun little story from one of our pandemic-era events, the Turbine Arts Collective annual Pre-Valentine’s Show. This story is called: The Hooker Bully.
So, you’d like to see more of this sort of thing? Then you’re in luck! 😉 I’m appearing in a half-hour one-woman show for Greystone Theatre Performances, a series of virtual solo performances featuring a variety of artists at Beverly Hills’ historic Greystone Mansion. Here’s the lowdown:
My Greystone Theatre Performance, Trilogy of Traffic, premieres Monday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m., both on BHTV Channel 10 and live-streamed at http://beverlyhills.org/live. After it airs, you can find the video for Trilogy of Traffic at: http://beverlyhills.org/greystonetheatre. Thank you for supporting the storytelling tradition!
Almost nobody would publish my funny little ditty, Never Kill A Dog Or Cat In Your Novel, because they found it a tad too disturbing. Cue Slackjaw, a humor journal that specializes in over-the-top weirdness. Thank you, Slackjaw, because without you I’d be forced to conform, and I just don’t know how. You can check out this devilish little 4-minute read…here.
A story can mean different things at different times. In 2019, I first told this one, Cara Lopez Lee Gets A Reporting Job (a.k.a. The Boss of Last Resort) for Daniel David Shapiro’s podcast, Two Truths and a Lie. It’s the story of the most racist, sexist, intolerant tyrant I ever worked for, back in the 90’s. I share it now as a small underline to America’s cry for change in 2020. I previously shared the podcast, but below is the video of me telling the story to our live audience. It was one of the two true stories in the show.
I have not lived an African American experience, though I carry African DNA from my ancestors. And this story does not directly address the recent murder of George Floyd, or police brutality against people of color, though I am outraged by such injustices. Neither is this story about the Black Lives Matter movement, though BLM gave me impetus to share it now. Still, I want to take this opportunity to reiterate: Black Lives Matter. Maybe if we say it enough, and back it up with meaningful action, we’ll begin to create change.
Wish you could run away from Pandemic 2020? Try escaping into a book! I’ve been reading books by other authors—turns out most books are by other authors. But if you haven’t read mine yet, then please check out They Only Eat Their Husbands. It’s my memoir of how I ran away: from love, to Alaska, around the world. Remember how adventurers used to travel? In the before times, not long ago… Here are a host of links to all the places you can purchase They Only Eat Their Husbands. Thank you, beloved readers, for supporting books, the economy, and my family’s supply of food, soap, and disinfectant!
Just before the new coronavirus became the 2020 Pandemic, my story Disaster Pants was published in DoveTales, the journal of the nonprofit Writing for Peace. I briefly stopped sharing the link to that story, about living through the Thomas Fire, when fears over the impending COVID-19 Pandemic began to swirl. Didn’t want to add insult to injury. But now that much of the world is in lockdown, and many of us are stuck at home, I hope it’s a good time to share this story…
Here in Ventura, my husband and I weren’t sure we’d get through the Thomas Fire intact. We did, though we’ll never be the same. Not everyone will get through COVID-19, but most will. As we all come together by increasing our social distance, I hope you’ll accept Disaster Pants as my gift to you, a reflection on fortitude in the face of trials. I hope this story reminds you of your own strength to endure, with your humor and compassion all the greater for it:
At The Moth StorySlam in L.A., at Busby’s East on December 11, 2019, I told a true personal story I’ve long hoped to tell, on a theme that means a lot to me: Family. It marked one of my most treasured moments connecting with an audience. I was proud to come in third place with my tale, Lost In L.A., neck and neck with a couple of terrific fellow storytellers. Thank you for listening, and for supporting stories!
Lost In L.A. (courtesy of The Moth) from Cara Lopez Lee on Vimeo