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Meet Stripped Stories’ Margot Leitman

Margot LeitmanLucky for me (and for you), I was able to interview the girls of Stripped Stories and get the inside scoop on all things performing, storytelling, and well… sex. Giulia Rozzi and Margot Leitman co-host the outrageously funny, sex-themed storytelling show Stripped Stories monthly at the UCB Theatre in New York City. AND they’ll be coming to the 13th Annual First Person Arts Festival this fall!

FPA has decided to give each of the Stripped Stories girls a marvelous introduction, and today you’ll meet Margot! Margot has been recognized for her relatable stand-up comedy that will have you saying “so true” joke after joke. You may also know her from her reoccurring role as Gynoblast on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Margot’s first book, Gawky: Tales of an Extra Long Awkward Phase, was published in 2013 and recollects her experiences growing up taller than almost everyone else. She has also walked away from The Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal with winnings including cash and a new car. In short, Margot is literally a pro at acknowledging the humorous, silly, and let’s not forget – awkward – side of everyone’s sex lives.

AG: What excites you most about performing at the FPA Festival this November?

ML: I have had such wonderful experiences in the past with the FPA Festival. There is nothing better than an FPA crowd. They laugh louder, listen harder, and in general know how to have a good time.

AG: What is your favorite part of working on such an up-close and personal show like Stripped Stories?

ML: I love the community of storytellers and musicians I have gotten to know through the show. People I would now call close friends were often met first by them being in our show.

AG: What is the most awkward thing that has ever happened to you on stage?

ML: I have two dental implants because of missing adult teeth that never came in. A few years back in NYC, I had to get an implant replaced and had a temporary tooth in at the time (kind of like a denture). I was performing in a show filled with drunk and rowdy audience members who weren’t listening. My fake tooth flew out of my mouth mid story and landed on the ground. I was already bombing, so I just picked the tooth up off the floor, placed it back in, said nothing and went on with my set. One audience member shouted, “was that her tooth?” the rest were too drunk to care. I went out with the other performers after the show, including FPA alum Dave Hill, and we all had a good laugh.

AG: Have you ever gotten nervous about sharing one of your own sex stories?

ML: Strangely no. I get nervous when I debut a new story, sex themed or not, as I always wonder if a new piece is going to work. But sharing sex stories does not make me nervous.

AG:What’s one word that describes your experience losing your virginity?

ML: Tropical.

AG: What’s your opinion on online dating?

ML: I am strangely sad I never have done it. I think it’s fuel for great stories. I am sort of jealous of those who have had the opportunity to do it (I am married). I often wonder who I would attract online. Not curious enough to set up a dummy profile though!

AG: I know you have experience teaching storytelling. What advice can you give those looking to improve their techniques?

ML: I would say pre-order my new book, “Long Story Short…The Only Storytelling Guide You’ll Ever Need,” coming out Fall 2015 from Sasquatch Books! ***And keep your story universal, not self-indulgent.

AG: This is our 13th Annual FPA Fest. In honor of that, could you share a sexy story with us in 13 words?

ML: I once got slapped in the face during sex and I loved it.

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Well, there you have it.

Stay tuned until next week to meet the other half of Stripped Stories, the hilarious Giulia Rozzi!

You can see Margot perform live in Stripped Stories as a part of the 13th Annual First Person Arts Festival at Underground Arts on Saturday, November 8. Tickets on sale at festival.firstpersonarts.org in September! FPA members receive a 20% discount on tickets. For more information about FPA membership, click here.

xo, Alyssa Guckin, Marketing Intern


It’s Not Rocket Science

Our next StorySlam is this Tuesday, 8/26 at L’Etage on the theme “Chemistry”. Psst! A few VIP tickets are still available here!

In honor of Tuesday’s Slam theme, we’ve counted down our top five tales from the FPA archive  involving chemistry (both in love and in science). Enjoy!

#5 Mike “Awkward” StorySlam
Mike finds chemistry within someone else’s relationship.
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#4 Brenda 2010 Summer Grand Slam
Brenda shares how science played a major part in her pregnancy.
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#3 Anissa “Ex Files” StorySlam
Anissa discovers love and wormholes on W. 47th Street.
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# 2 Marjorie “Burned” StorySlam
Marjorie goes into depth about her experience teaching 7th grade science (and setting children on fire).
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#1 Diamond “Back To School” StorySlam
13 year-old David steals uranium from a nuclear power plant on a field trip.
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Rescue Me!

“Lifeline” is the theme of tonight’s StorySlam at World Cafe Live! In order to properly prepare, we’ve tracked down five of our favorite rescue stories for you.

#5 Mike “Journeys” StorySlam
Prison inmates go head to head in a heated game of Scrabble.

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#4 Mohammad “Close Calls” StorySlam
becomes a hero on his new ride: a scooter.

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#3 Sean “Family Ties” StorySlam
Sean’s family whitewater rafting trip looks less and less like an L.L.Bean ad.

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#2 Andrew “Dates To Remember” StorySlam
“Being robbed in Philadelphia is kind of a rite of passage.”

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#1 Bernardo “Against All Odds” StorySlam
Lightning strikes and trees explode when Bernardo summons his Superman instincts and saves the day.

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2014 StorySlam Theme Contest

It’s that time of year again! We want to know what stories you want to hear! Past year’s winners included themes like “The Ex-Files,” “Do the Right Thing,” and “Almost Famous”. Do you have anything better? Enter your StorySlam dream themes in the form below. If your theme is picked for the next Season of Slams, you’ll win 2 free tix to the Slam on your theme! Hurry! Contest ends August 31.


WebPanel_Music Contest


Contest Entry




About the FPA Podcast 

Are you a music maker?
Want to get your name/work out there to a wider audience?
Want to win some prize money?

First Person Arts (FPA) is kicking off the second year of our newest program, the First Person Arts Podcast, with a music contest to create a fresh sound for the weekly storytelling broadcast.


The creator(s) of the winning submission will receive:

  • $250 prize
  • Text recognition and link to website on firstpersonarts.org
  • Crediting on each FPA Podcast episode
  • One year worth of free StorySlam entry
  • Recognition on all FPA Podcast-related press releases


  1. Submissions must be in the form of a .mp3 file (However, the winner will be asked to submit the final file for use in the FPA Podcast as a .wav file)
  2. Submissions must be 2-5 mins. in length (looping is okay)
  3. Submissions should be instrumental (no words)
  4. Contestants are encouraged to submit up to three variations of their work per submission. (Multiple files are not required, but will be considered for interludes.)
  5. Music track should be able to be looped
  6. Submissions must be comprised of the participant’s original material (i.e. the participant cannot use or incorporate third-party copyright protected content/material(s), or any other content/material that infringes on the rights of any third-party, in whole or in part, in their submission.)
  7. Entries can be pre-existing material created by the contestant
  8. Inappropriate or offensive submissions will not be considered
  9. By submitting work for consideration you agree to: Let FPA use the submitted music for any/all FPA Podcasts, agree to allow FPA to make minor edits to the track as needed
  10. All contestants, including the winner, will still hold copyrights to their music

Contest Entry | Download Entry Form

Please include the following with your submission:

  1. 1-3 .mp3 files (If selected as the winner, we will ask for the final file in a .wav format)
  2. Names of all musicians and group name if applicable
  3. Primary contact mailing address
  4. Primary contact phone number
  5. Bios for all musicians and group if applicable
  6. Twitter handle
  7. Facebook page link
  8. Two high res. images
  9. Permission to be featured via our social media outlets as a contestant

Send complete application to bjennings@firstpersonarts.org for contest entry.


Monday, August 25 | Deadline For All Submissions
Monday, September 8 | Winner(s) Announced


  • Use major keys
  • Tone should be upbeat, fun, cool, and edgy
  • Entry should be able to fit with many different story themes
  • Contestants should listen to the FPA Podcast to get a feel for the host and story content

About the FPA Podcast

Launched in April 2013 thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, the First Person Arts Podcast features 1-2 personal stories each episode from our live events plus stories submitted by our listeners. Click here to listen.


Questions / Comments? Contact Marketing and Communications Coordinator Becca Jennings at bjennings@firstpersonarts.org or 267-402-2055.


The Best of the Beasts

In honor of next Monday’s StorySlam on the theme “Animal” at World Cafe Live, we’re bringing you this beastly countdown of some of the top zoological tales in the FPA archive. Enjoy!

#5 Marla, “Beasts” StorySlam
Delirious Marla tells a love story that stars a possum.

#4 Lansie, “Danger” StorySlam
Lansie is spooked when a potentially murderous intruder breaks into her punk house.

#3 Marjorie, “Ex-Files” StorySlam
An abandoned puppy joins Marjorie’s family and teaches them the importance of walking funny and never giving up on each other.

#2 Kat, “Wild Things” StorySlam
A strong commitment to craft beer, chemical engineering, and friendship leaves Kat rolling in deer blood.

#1 Sean, “Close Calls” StorySlam
Sean‘s advice for all summer vacationers: “Steer clear of the indigenous wildlife.”


Press Round Up: FPA’s Grand Slam is covered by Philadelphia City Paper, Philadelphia Magazine, WHYY’s Newsworks Tonight, and more.

FPA_Grand Slam LogoWinners of First Person Arts’ monthly StorySlams gathered together on May 16 at Underground Arts to compete for the title of “Best Storyteller in Philadelphia”. The 7th season of FPA StorySlams was brought to a close with a sold out, standing room only show.

This season’s Grand Slam theme was “Out There”. Popular FPA storyteller, Steve Clark, took his second Grand Slam victory, winning over celebrity judges from WHYY, Red Tettemer O’Connell + Parters, and Painted Bride Quarterly with a personal story about boy bands, awkwardness, and love. The press was out in full force to cover the Grand Slam:

“We all have stories, but these people have really, really good stories, and they’re really good at telling them,” writes Julie Zeglen of Philadelphia City Paper.

Bryan Butler at Philadelphia Magazine sat down with Steve to discuss what it feels like to be a two-time Grand Slam winner: “To be named ‘Best Storyteller in Philadelphia’ is not an easy task. Yet, Steve Clark has won the title, not once, but twice: the Philadelphian has taken home the crown from First Person Arts two consecutive years in a row (2013 and 2014).”
Read the Full Interview with Steve Clark >>

Peter Crimmins of WHYY’s Newsworks Tonight interviewed Steve on his storytelling technique, “Clark took the crown at Underground Arts in North Chinatown for his story about romantic awkwardness informed by the lyrics of 1990s boy bands such as Five and the Backstreet Boys. Clark, as tall as he is nervous, approached the theme of the evening — ‘Out There’ — by tracing the distance between the romantic scenarios playing out in his head and those that actually happened.”
Listen to the Full Interview with Steve Clark >>

Mikala Jamison at Philadelphia City Paper summed up the night concisely, ”As always, the Slam proved to be among the best events in Philly in terms of making an audience feel like a community. These people, and their stories, are so very real, so very relatable, even in their most painful moments. Especially then. It takes a lot of guts to get up on stage and talk your way through the human experience, but to the storytellers, I say: we’re so glad you do it.”
Read More >> 

Read more about FPA’s 2014 May Grand Slam via:
Geekadelphia >>
uwishunu >>
Newsworks >>
Philadelphia Magazine >>

We’ll be wiping the slate clean and kicking off a brand new StorySlam season starting next month. Click here for a full schedule of next season’s Slam dates and themes.


Out There with Grand Slam Winner, Steve

Winning Storyteller and Audience Favorite: Steve
Grand Slam Theme: Out There
Story Highlights: Shakespeare, embarrassment, undergraduate philosophy, girls who wear Abercrombie and Fitch

Steve‘s propensity for spending time in his head leaves him immune to embarrassment in front of the class with his pants down.

Peter Crimmins of WHYY’s NewsWorks Tonight interviews Steve about the unlikely muse for our winner’s tale about awkward romance. Click here to listen.

A brand new season of StorySlams begins next month. Check out the full schedule here for dates, themes, and venues. 


Meet Grand Slam Contestant, Kat!


Name: Kat Duggan
Age: 23
Location: Fishtown, Philadelphia
Slam won: Wild Things

Q: What was the last thing you won (StorySlam not included)?

A: Last year, I put in a couple raffle tickets for a huge wine gift basket at my friend’s charity event called “Diva’s against Breast Cancer” in Bryn Mawr. With $10 you got an extra 4 tickets, but I only had $9. The person selling tickets let me slide and gave me the extra tickets anyway. One of which won me the beautiful basket! And they let me keep it even though I fessed up about the extra $1!

Q: FPA has been doing Slams in Philly for 7 years now. (Woot!) In honor of that, tell us a story in 7 words.

A: Wow! That’s a really long time! Definitely something to celebrate. I’m not known for being concise…
My thesis contained “MY F***ING RESULTS” placeholder.

Q: What would your dream theme be for a StorySlam? What story would you tell?

A: Theoretically, I’d tell the deer story (see video story below) a million times. It’s one of my favorite stories to tell, and my friends joke that it captures my personality better than any description.

“Am I dreaming?” would be a great theme. I have a couple instances where I thought a dream was real-life and acted accordingly.

Q: Who do you know that tells the worst (or best) stories?

A: My dad definitely tells the best stories. He grew up impoverished in the Bronx and moved out of that neighborhood in the late 80s along with a father suffering from crippling OCD, tons of off the boat Irish relatives, and a knack for smooth talking.

Q: Why are you a good storyteller? (aka why should your competitors be scared?)

A: I tend to say “Yes!” to every activity, makes for some different experiences.

See Kat compete at the Grand Slam on Friday, May 16 at Underground Arts for the title of “Best Storyteller in Philadelphia” and $250! DON’T WAIT! This event sells out every season.


Meet Grand Slam Contestant, Marjorie!


If you’ve been to a StorySlam with us before, you know that in addition to the three official Slam judges who determine the winner, we also invite our Slam audiences to score storyteller performances on individual score cards. Those audience scores determine the Audience Favorite storyteller for every Slam.

The Audience Favorite Storyteller with the highest score at the end of the season is selected to join the ranks at the Grand Slam. This time, it’s Marjorie. Meet her in the interview below!

Name: Marjorie Winther
Age: 59 (!)
Location: Mount Airy, Philadelphia
Slam Named Audience Favorite: Ex-Files

Q: What was the last thing you won (StorySlam not included)?

A: I was winning at Words With Friends for a few minutes until Andy played “za” on a triple word space. #AndyNolan #WWFCheater

Q: FPA has been doing Slams in Philly for 7 years now. (Woot!) In honor of that, tell us a story in 7 words.

A: Andy played “za” on a triple word. (just kidding)
Even with soup, too many red flags.

Q: What would your dream theme be for a StorySlam? What story would you tell?

A: Dream theme: Kumbaya.
Story— Remember when the SDS Weathermen went underground? I know where they were.

Q: Who do you know that tells the worst (or best) stories?

A: Everyone I know tells the BEST stories. And I am not going to name names. They know who they are. (I’m making that threatening “I’m looking at you” two-fingered gesture.)

Actually, there is a lady at work who tells endless stories that begin in the middle, meander for a while and go nowhere. Oh wait, that’s me.

Q: Why are you a good storyteller? (aka why should your competitors be scared?)

A: My hippie chick roots balk at the notion of competition. Can’t this be like the Special Olympics where everyone is a winner? Can we just split the $250 prize for the winner eleven ways already?

See Marjorie compete at the Grand Slam on Friday, May 16 at Underground Arts for the title of “Best Storyteller in Philadelphia” and $250! DON’T WAIT! This event sells out every season.

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Upcoming Events
  • StorySlam @ L’Etage: High Point
  • Date: September 23, 2014
  • Time: Doors at 7:30PM, Slam starts at 8:30PM
  • Venue: L'Etage Cabaret
  • Location: 6th and Bainbridge Streets, Philadelphia
  • Live @ Lunch! Presented by PNC / Produced by Mole St. Productions
  • Date: September 24, 2014
  • Time: 12-2PM
  • Venue: Dilworth Park
  • Location: 660 Chestnut St, Philadelphia