Teens Slam at Mighty Writers
We sat around the tables at Mighty Writers last Wednesday night, telling our favorite stories. My friend Lillian and I had been talking about a StorySlam workshop at Teen Lounge — Mighty Writers’ new weekly hang-out session/workshop for high schoolers — for some time, and we were finally doing it. The evening all started with questions like, What’s the story you always tell to your friends or family? What makes a good story? Why do we tell stories, and why do we listen to them? We didn’t have to answer the last question; the students, a mix of Teen Lounge regulars and newcomers, were already showing each other why. We connect with one another when we share stories.
After an introduction to First Person Arts, we watched some of my favorite storytellers from this year–Twain’s story about mowing his grandmother’s lawn and Olga’s explanation of why she refuses to go home for the holidays. This led to some discussion (Can you relate with these stories? What did the storytellers do to make their stories engaging?) and then it was time to start the Slam. The group came up with three themes, “Family,” “Most Embarrassing Moment,” and “Strange Encounters,” and the students took five minutes to brainstorm on one of those themes. The rules were the same as any First Person StorySlam–drop your name in a bucket, wait to tell a five minute, true story. Simple as that. By the time I drew the first name out of the bucket, we all felt comfortable talking about almost anything. The teen-slam was full of energy; stories were moving, honest, and hilarious. Everyone left feeling a little closer to one another, eager to start thinking about their next story.
Many thanks to Lillian, Alex and Laura, Mighty Writers instructors and Teen Lounge leaders. Teen Lounge happens every Wednesday at 6pm, no sign up needed.
– Nick Forrest