• First Person Arts
  • Email Sign up
  • Donate
  • About Us
  • Events
  • Social Impact
  • Storytelling
  • Festival
  • support_button
  • stories_button
  • Support

Anissa (aka Ellen DeGeneres’ girlfriend)

Anissa is the next featured storyteller that will be competing in our Summer Grand Slam on Wednesday, May 25! She won Audience Favorite at our Inheritance StorySlam when she told a story about how she inadvertently helped a young woman discover her blossoming sexuality at her partner’s sister’s wedding.

Name: Anissa Weinraub
Current Location (as specific as possible, please): On the roof out my 3rd floor kitchen window, overhearing my neighbor do a lot of lung clearing. A lot. West Philly.
Slam won: Inheritance
Favorite Philly summer activity: Singing the original song “Urban Heat Island” as I sweat and curse, stuck riding my bike behind a SEPTA bus on Chestnut. Oh, wait, favorite? BBQ’s.
What’s your dream StorySlam theme? Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right. Or Do They?
Tell us a summer story in 10 words: Ocean City: Avoid buying beachtags; overdose on photobooth and bananawhips.
What’s the best story you ever heard? Who can choose? I love the one where my friend thought she would really get back at her mom by baking a pan of brownies with laxatives, but, then, she kept looking at the pan and thought, well one piece won’t be too bad. Of course, she’s a chocoholic, and she ate the whole pan herself and was sick for days. Or the other one where my dad paid his way through college by being a party promoter. Sock hops, I guess. He raised enough for a whole semester once by raffling off tickets to a Beatles show. Strangely, he won the tickets. Or the other one where my friend went back to his hometown to come out to his mother, but before he could tell her his news, she came out to him. He didn’t want to steal her thunder, or felt like she’d already stolen his, so he didn’t tell her for another year.
What makes a great story? What makes a great storyteller? Do you know want to know what the key to badminton is? Deception. I learned this in 9th grade gym class. And truer words were never uttered. The key to comedy, as I’ve been telling people for years, is re-integration. Think Seinfeld. 30 Rock. Some improv show you went to by yourself, embarrassed, disguised maybe. Why were you laughing? Re-integration. Great stories mix those life lessons of deception and re-integration.

I’d say that the key to storytelling is not giving away everything too soon, circling back to themes, letting motifs emerge, upping people’s expectancy, not going too far over-the-top with facial expressions, and, just generally trying to connect and communicate with the audience.
Why should your competitors watch their backs? Actually, I just took a ‘strengths inventory’ on-line, and found out that I’m not as competitive as I thought. I guess I like to meet everyone where they’re at in their individual talents and try to build them all up to reach a common, often visionary, goal. So it says. Competitors, beware. I may try to convince us all to become a collective, working to end oppression in all forms. Of course, the internet often lies. So maybe I’ll actually try to spike the other storytellers’ drinks with cayenne pepper. Either way, look out!

Check out our our other slammers here and don’t miss the Grand Slam!

– Laura

Upcoming Events
  • StorySlam: Promotions (tickets on sale NOW)
  • Date: March 26, 2019
  • Time: 7:30 PM
  • Venue: The Playground at the Adrienne
  • Location: 2030 Sansom Street
  • StorySlam: Laws of Nature (tickets on sale 4/8/19)
  • Date: April 30, 2019
  • Time: 7:30 PM
  • Venue: The Playground at the Adrienne
  • Location: 2030 Sansom Street