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05/16/2012

Winning Storytellers Divulge Their Tips (Part 2)

Yesterday I posted storytelling tips from some of our 2012 Summer Grand Slammers who are scheduled to take the stage at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts this Saturday night. Here are a few more pearls of wisdom straight from this season’s Grand Slam line-up. Read advice on the dos and don’ts of storytelling from Slammers Chris, Marjorie, Bernardo, Diana, Jake, and Lansie. Popular FPA storyteller, Martha also shared a tip. Martha will be leading a pre-show micro-story workshop, Storytelling in Hyperdrive, before the Grand Slam. Be sure to witness each of our Slammers’ storytelling prowess in action and watch the videos of their winning performances below!

Chris: Telling a story in front of a bunch of people can be extremely painful. Do your best to look like *you* are enjoying the telling of the story. Enthusiasm is contagious.


Chris, Winning Storyteller – “Family Feud” First Person Arts StorySlam

Marjorie : A dear friend and stand up comic once told me: “the minute you try to impress or look good you will die a humiliating death. Don’t worry about the audience, just connect with your emotional truth and have fun.”


Marjorie, Winning Storyteller – “Naughty or Nice” First Person Arts StorySlam

Bernardo: Show respect for the stage. It is a sacred place. Listen to the audience, if they laugh, if they are quiet,if they are restless…. and enjoy every reaction.You might think it is a monologue but it is a dialogue in between you and the audience.


Bernardo, Winning Storyteller – “Against the Odds” First Person Arts StorySlam

Diana: Establish high stakes as quickly as you can.


Diana, Winning Storyteller – “Daily Grind” First Person Arts StorySlam

Jake: The audience doesn’t know you. A lot of stories we tell are to familiar audiences who know us, our friends, the places we go, the music we listen to. That means that the audience is interested because they already care about us and our universe. Strangers tend not to care about us, but are ready to care. Give the audience the right information so they can care.


Jake, Winning Storyteller – “Gifts” First Person Arts StorySlam

Lansie: Don’t ever forget that you are telling a story to people, not into some big, empty void. Some of those people are your friends, and many of them are strangers, but all of them have been in a pickle, and they’ve all had their hearts stomped on, and they’ve all had moments of incomparable joy. If you can find the parts of your story that people can connect to, and convey those points honestly and with some degree of humility, you’ll always tell a good story. It might not be the most polished or poignant or pithy, but it will be good.


Lansie, Winning Storyteller – “Social Network” First Person Arts StorySlam

Martha: Tell a story that would amuse you even if you were telling it to yourself out loud while driving in the car or walking down the street. Don’t worry about what other people think is funny. If you find something hilarious, chances are that other people will too. Make yourself laugh first.


Martha, Pre-show workshop leader


-Becca Jennings

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