Name: Diane Ivey Age: Old enough to remember when plastic tattoo chokers and mini backpacks were in fashion the first time. 😉 Location: Washington, D.C. Slam won: Ex-Files
FPA: How long have you been “Slamming”?
DI: This will be my third year performing with First Person Arts, and my fourth year as a storyteller.
FPA: How do you prepare for a StorySlam? Do you have any rituals or lucky pairs of socks?
DI: I have an official pre-show playlist! I made it a couple of years ago, so I should probably update it. If I’m trying to connect with a certain era in my life (high school, college, etc.), I’ll try to listen to a song or watch a movie/tv show that reminds me of that time to help me get in the right mood.
FPA: Share a storytelling tip with us!
DI: Your best laugh lines often come from candid moments where you’re unabashedly honest. Don’t be afraid to say what you were really thinking, especially if it pops into your head on stage. It may seem obvious to you (because you live in your own head), but to others, it’s often hilarious. I love hearing how another person’s mind works.
FPA: What would Chapter 7 of your memoir be called?
DI: “I Was Told This Was A Theme Party”
FPA: Who’s the best storyteller you know and why?
DI: I think everyone brings something different to the table, so I don’t have a favorite storyteller, but I definitely have favorite stories. As I’ve said, I love when people are just honest about themselves and all the weird stuff they’ve done. I really enjoyed Jackie’s story from “Ex-Files,” for example. I would be remiss not to also mention this classic from Shrake at FPA’s “Philly vs. Detroit” Slam.
FPA: What do you do in real life when you’re not out winning StorySlams?
DI: I am the onstage timekeeper and publicity director for D.C.’s Story League. I have a day job, but I’d rather it remain a mystery so people think I support myself solely by being glamorous. On a related note, my main hobby is thrifting. I collect romance novels, YA series from the 80s and 90s (V.C. Andrews 4ever), and vintage lingerie. My dry cleaner definitely thinks I’m some sort of stripper (not hating!), because I’m constantly bringing in like, silky nighties with feathers and sequins for cleaning. They’re always looking me up and down and saying, “oh…that’s interesting.”
FPA: What do you love most about First Person Arts?
DI: I love Philly audiences, and the audiences at First Person Arts are the absolute best! They are so reactive to everything and they’re game for any journey you’re about to take them on, even if they’ve never seen you before. It’s like having an audience of friends even when it’s all strangers.
FPA: If you had a storyteller spirit animal, what would it be?
DI: I prefer the term “patronus” from Harry Potter. Fiction-wise, I consider Jenna Maroney (played by Jane Krakowski on 30 Rock) to be my patronus. In real life, I’m sorta dying for someone to call me “The Taylor Swift of Storytelling.” I don’t care if it’s in a hater context or in a think piece or what. I just want it to happen. Now that I’m saying this aloud, it sounds like something Jenna would say, so there you go.
FPA: The winner of this Grand Slam will get a $250 prize! What will you do with the money if you win?
DI: I travel from D.C., so it honestly goes toward train fare. What’s left will be spent at Sephora or Lush, though! (They’re across the street from each other in Georgetown, and it’s a large part of why I’m always broke.)
The 14th Season of First Person Arts StorySlams is presented by Harmelin Media.