9.28 We're Back
There’s a running dispute about how long we have been running Stories We Don’t Tell. Last year we celebrated four years, this year we’re celebrating four years. Is it four or five? It doesn’t really matter at this point because all I know is that I’ve loved every minute of however many years we’ve been doing this event.
If you haven’t heard me ramble on about Stories We Don’t Tell yet, it is a live monthly storytelling event that is held in a different home or apartment in Toronto. We deal in personal storytelling, and every month a wide range of people share with an audience tales that are sometimes funny or sometimes sad, but always engaging and enlightening.
We run workshops leading up to each event to help guide the storytellers and aid them in feeling comfortable by the time they get to the performance. A key decision from the beginning was to hold the events in homes or apartments, away from bars with stages and microphones. We wanted an intimate environment, one with limited distance between the performer and the audience. This has worked well, sometimes creating the most emotionally charged spaces I’ve been in.
Another decision a couple of years ago was to take the summers off. The practical reason was that it’s challenging to get people out during the summer - there is so much going on. On a logistical level, it enabled us to take a step back, review how the event is going, discuss any new ideas, and build in some breathing room. Running a monthly event can feel like you’re on a hamster wheel - as soon as one is finished, planning for the next one starts immediately.
To speak personally, it also provides some time for things to happen in my life. I tell a lot of stories at our event and coming up with one a month for an extended period of time can be draining. Life needs to happen, experiences need to be had in order to have scenarios that are worth talking about.
What I’m trying to say is that a break is sometimes better than a change.
Stories We Don’t Tell has become a constant and important part of my life. It’s something that I am proud to have had a hand in creating. It’s a place where I can go and share pieces of my life with receptive audiences that want more then just to be entertained, they want an experience. It enables me to work with amazing colleagues who are committed to the process and want to push things creatively. We’ve essentially built - intentionally in some ways, unintentionally in other ways - a community of people who come for the stories, and stay for the human connection.
Oh, and in my completely subjective perspective, we have the best audience for any show such as this. They are engaged, respectful, and appreciative of the storytellers. They stay afterwards to talk with the performers, and to share their own stories. That’s what it’s all about for me.
So, come and join on on Saturday, September 29th for the first show of the new season. Stories will be shared, fun will be had, and we’ll all go back into the night feeling we’ve learned something about our fellow human beings.