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Get to know…storyteller Chris Oberlin

Storyteller Chris Oberlin likes to tell stories about his balls. When he won Best Content at our 2010 Grand Slam, he told a funny and touching story about his fear that he would not be able to have a baby because of a previous injury to his…er…downstairs area. Don't worry, he isn't busted! Chris' baby boy is 10 months old now. You can learn more about Chris and watch a different story in which he talks about his balls below.

How did you find out about First Person Arts?
I first saw an ad in City Paper advertising a monthly StorySlam. Shortly thereafter I saw a little profile in CP describing the Slam experience and decided it sounded like something I might be able to actually do.

What was the first Slam you ever went to? Did you tell a story?
I did tell a story at my first slam, October 2008's “Strange Coincidences”, and I was picked to go FIRST. Ugh. I was totally not well prepared, but the judges were kind enough to give me decent scores, which is probably why I came back a 2nd time.

What is your favorite story you’ve ever told?
Actually, it's by far not the best I've “performed,” but that first one is probably my favorite – I mean, I dated two girls separately who didn't know each other at the time who ended up finding out they were SISTERS. It's probably the most screwed-up thing I've ever been directly involved in. Good times!

What is one of your favorite stories that you’ve heard someone else tell at a Slam?
I have to say my favorite is probably Kelly's winning story from “Against The Rules” back in July 2009 – instant classic.

What else do you do when you aren’t storytelling?
Lately, I spend most of my time chasing my 10-month old baby boy around. When I have time, I am obsessed with music – I own way too many CDs and go to way too many live shows. I spend a lot of time not doing a multitude of projects around the house and being a Cub Scout dad for my 9-year old step-son. I also captain a softball team at work and play a lot of Yahtzee.

Why do you keep coming back to Slams?
I keep trying to tell my own stories because I enjoy the art form, I have a penchant for trying to make people laugh, and a small part of my ego thinks that I'm sort of good at it. I also really enjoy the total randomness of other people's stories and am continually amazed at what strangers will share with other strangers. Plus, I'm just a fan of documentary art – and I've had the chance to get to know the First Person staffers a little bit, and they're good people, and I like to support the organization.

– Laura Reeve

Upcoming Events
  • 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
  • I Want to Be: Stories Inspired by Jerry Pinkney
  • Date: May 4, 2019
  • Time: 7 PM - 9 PM
  • Venue: Woodmere Art Museum
  • Location: 9201 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118