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:
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…
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!
The dedicated producers at KPCC In Person recently invited me to perform in their live storytelling series, Unheard L.A.—The Stories of Where you Live. In case you haven’t seen it, please check out the video above. Unheard L.A. puts community voices center stage, true stories of struggle and survival, hope and fear, and the unexpected. This show took place March 11, in my hometown of Downey, at The Downey Theatre, where I used to perform as a teen and once cried in the bathroom after I kicked a fellow dancer during a Charleston routine in Showboat. Telling my story went much better. I felt buoyed by the warm audience, and it was one of the proudest nights of my life to be part of this celebration of L.A.’s eclectic community. If you want to skip to my story about how a freeway changed my life, you can go to 50:51, but I suggest watching the whole terrific show.