StorySlam Musings and Grand Slam PREVIEW!
The last storyslam of 2009 ended with a bang on Tuesday (for realz – some guy told a story about liquid nitrogen explosions). I was lucky enough to host the event, themed “Showing Off,” and the walls of L’Etage were positively radiating with energy. The slam started with a sagely older gentlemen giving all us young whippersnappers a word to the wise about impressing young girls – the last time he tried that he nearly got a concussion. A young guy talked about his uncle’s white trash funeral, which proudly exhibited the polished urns of his dogs next to his cardboard makeshift casket. The usual “chef’s special” hodge-podge mixture that Storyslams famously dish out included drunk rollerblading, bitchy lawyer ladies, with a side of bad dates and a fed-up “gifted” kid sprinkled on top. Intermittently First Person Festival tickets were given out, with contestants “showing off” by performing ridiculous tasks that they drew from a cup. A young girl managed to get the entire bar on their feet, hands-over-chest, singing the national anthem, and before that a boy hopped around and made his best monkey impression (which impressed Chris, a Storyslam regular who actually works at the zoo with monkeys). The boy even offered to through feces, which wasn’t necessary but very much appreciated!
A Storyslam regular Kendra ended up taking the prize, with a story about working her way up in the performance world because her friends were too polite to tell her she actually sucked at singing. She was kind enough to oblige the chanting audience with the song that had “come” to her over a course of a few weeks and spawned her brief songwriting career. She proved that yes, she does suck at singing, but the song was hilarious and so was the story, which won her first place. The judges were Ryan, last year’s Grandslam winner; Jen, who is actually my girlfriend and the reason most people will forever think the judging is rigged because I actually managed to somehow pick her, and a man I dubbed “Simon” for the night, since he was very…stingy…with points.
The slam was filled to the gills with fun, but I think everyone in that room on Tuesday would agree that there was a single, defining moment that will forever make the last slam of 2009 one for the record books. That was when a seemingly mild-mannered, older woman named Chase that you’d expect to find in bed watching bad crime dramas, much less at a Storyslam, came to the stage. She opened her mouth out came an absolutely wild, outlandish, wonderfully ridiculous story about her days as a single mother who stripped on the side to, as she put it, “earn that money, honey.” The crowd screamed in laughter as she explained the physics behind nipple tassels and how the direction and speed was almost directly correlated to how much money guys would tip her. Clearly Chase was an audience favorite, even among Kendra, the winner, and her story further cemented the fact that you just never know what to quite expect at a First Person Arts Storyslam. While Chase’s story was a magical moment of Storyslam history, she ended up not winning by points (“Simon” had no appreciation for the science of stripping) but there is strong reason to believe you might find her in the Grandslam, thanks to the audience choice vote-in that’s new this year.
she won a new set of tassles!
So, if you missed this past slam, don’t sweat it. The fun will probably explode at the Grandslam, which is a competition among all the past slam winners of 2009. Imagine last night’s fun times HOWEVER MANY PEOPLE IN GRANDSLAM! Woa! Be sure to get your tickets, because people are very well aware of what a good time this event is and tickets will not last long!