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. This story is not about the murder of George Floyd, and of too many other people of color, though I am outraged by those brutal injustices. And this story is not 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.
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:
I suspect we all have a story about some crazy boss who we feared might destroy our lives. I recently shared such a story on Daniel David Shapiro’s podcast, Two Truths and a Lie. There is so much unbelievable drama in real life, but also so much surprising truth in fiction, that I can’t help but love Dan’s description of his show: “a podcast about truth, fiction, and the hazy line in between.” Whether he asks me to tell the truth or a fabulation, it’s always a thrill to share a story with Dan’s live audience. Here’s a link to the story I told for his recent episode, “Bosses.” I’m the first storyteller in the podcast, but I hope you’ll listen to all three so you can join the fun and try to guess who’s lying. Of course, you can always cheat and jump to the Revealepisode for the answer…but what fun would that be?
Above is a video Daniel David Shapiro recently released of me telling a story at his live L.A. show and podcast, Two Truths and a Lie. Dan’s show presents irresistible challenges for storytellers, as we all strive to keep the audience guessing:
If Dan asks me to lie, for me the challenge is to build a story with details so deeply human that the audience feels the ring of a deeper truth within it, even though it’s made up. It’s also a fun balancing act to see how high I can stack the hyperbole, spinning a tale so outrageous they’re sure nobody would dare make it up, all without overplaying my hand.
If Dan asks me to tell the truth, I strive to give the audience details that make them doubt it really happened, or at least make them hope it didn’t…even though it did. I love to take an audience with me as I ponder just how astonishing are the challenges of being human.
My above story, Baby Thumbelina, comes from an episode called Innocence. It’s a tale of childhood bullying and sweet revenge, and it’s all too true, my friends. Please check it out. If it reminds you of a story of your own, I hope you’ll let me know…
I recently received a request from a blogger to answer a question he has asked more than 1000 people he characterizes as leaders, thinkers, writers, writers, researchers, elders, artists, CEOs, laymen, etc: What is the meaning of life? Although I don’t believe this is a question one person can answer for another, I do believe it’s a question worth pondering, and I figured, why not add my voice to the mix? So, if you’re in a philosophical mood, please stop by The Meaning of Life blog, and check out my answer, or any of the 1000-plus answers that catches your attention. And by all means, if you feel like sharing a few meaningful thoughts of your own here, please do.
If you’ve checked my blog since the New Year, then you’ll recall I recently posted my latest performance on the L.A. storytelling show and podcast, Two Truths and a Lie. If so, you might still be wondering who the liar was. Let me end the suspense by directing you back to host Dan Shapiro’s website for the big reveal.
Dan’s show has a fun premise: three people share personal stories on a theme—this time the theme was Innocence—then the audience guesses which storyteller is lying. For a refresher on the story I told, here’s a link to Two Truths and a Lie: Episode 83.
I always get a kick out of Daniel David Shapiro’s live show and podcast, Two Truths and a Lie, and I was thrilled when he invited me to tell a tale of Innocence for his most recent episode. My story, Baby Thumbelina, is also a tale of childhood bullies and revenge, and what more heartwarming way to start the New Year? 😉 I’m the first storyteller in the show, but I hope you’ll listen to all three of us. How else can you play along and try to guess who’s lying?
Dan will reveal the liar in the next episode, so please check out my next blog post for a link to the big Reveal. Till then, I wish you a New Year full of innocent joys, with no bullies and never a need or temptation to wreak vengeance!