We’ve all experienced those moments in life when we just knew it was time to get up and go seek our fortunes elsewhere. Whether it’s to a new town, a new relationship, a new state of mind. Join our six storytellers as they share stories of “Moving On.” Purchase tickets HERE.
Do you love listening to true stories from The Moth or This American Life on NPR and thought, “I can do that”?! Well, now is your chance. We are hosting our third “open mic” storytelling night, where anyone and everyone is invited to put your name in the bucket to tell a true, 5-minute story.
Here are the rules: The story must be true, it must be about you, and it should be about a moment in your life that changed you or how you view yourself or the world. Stories can be funny, sad, heartwarming, silly – give us what you’ve got!
If you’d like some light coaching and feedback on a story you’d like to tell before the event, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you’d just like to sit back in the audience and cheer on your friends and neighbors as they share stories from their lives, we need you, too!
See you at the show!
It’s a warm summer night in June, and I am standing under a tent before 100 or so strangers with just a microphone in front of me and a bare stage behind, telling them a story.
It’s the story of how two days after giving birth, I am horrified to learn that my daughter, Lily, has a serious congenital heart defect. I take them along on my desperate search to find a skilled surgeon to conduct the operation she must undergo to save her life. On the day of her surgery, I tell them, Lily is five months old, weighs just 10 pounds, and her heart is roughly the size of a walnut. “How,” I wonder aloud, “can they even operate on a heart that small?”
As I tell the 10-minute story, the room falls silent. Everyone in the audience is reliving my journey with me, step by painful step. It’s the kind of rapt attention that every public speaker craves.
And it’s a testament to the power of story.
Those are the opening paragraphs of this article about live storytelling that I wrote for Change Agent, the quarterly publication put out by the Communications Network, a leadership organization of 1,000+ communication executives at large nonprofits and foundations around the world, including the Ford Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund.
This particular opportunity came about because a college friend fell in love with storytelling and followed along as I jumped headfirst into first telling my own stories, and then producing a show so that others could tell theirs. She works for a large non-profit and when she found out the topic for the next issue was storytelling, she urged the editor to include an article from me about the power of live storytelling. (She also wrote an amazing article about how she’s incorporating stories into the DNA of her own organization).
Aside from sharing my love of storytelling, researching the article flexed my journalistic storytelling skills again. And as I read the entire issue the other day (it’s currently only available in print), I was gratified to see that some of the storytelling concepts I learned at the feet of The Moth, Story Collider and Risk!’s storytelling workshop arm, Story Studio, seem to be universal storytelling truths. Be authentic, share failures and roadblocks, speak from the heart.
It still boggles my mind that my passion for storytelling has opened so many doors for me. Baruch University called recently to ask me to sit on a panel discussion on true and fiction storytelling podcasts. I’m booked to tell a story as part of a famous cellist’s new classical music salon series. The association I’ve been involved with through my day job for nearly a decade asked me to come give a Ted-type talk about storytelling to its annual conference this spring.
The universe just keeps saying, “Yes, do this!” “Yes, do that!” And so I do.
I will be telling a very personal story prior to the screening of the HBO Documentary, “ABORTION: STORIES WOMEN TELL.” The event is being hosted by Planned Parenthood of Nassau County.
Obsessions can be catalysts for dreams, they can push us to visit every Cracker Barrel restaurant in the United States or build a kick ass treehouse. Or they can devolve into the stuff of nightmares. Dark forces are at work when our desires consume our every waking hour. Come join our six storytellers as they give you a tour through their own obsessions. Some are funny, some are tragic or ridiculous, all are heartfelt and true.
Two and a half years ago, I discovered The Moth on NPR. I instantly fell in love with the art of storytelling, and yearned to tell my own stories. And once I screwed up the courage to get up on a stage, I never looked back. This week, my wildest, seemingly unreachable dream has come true. A story I told is going to be broadcast on The Moth Radio Hour this week. A good friend and mentor told me the best way to get on the show was to stop trying to get on the show, and just concentrate on telling a great story. I love this story about my mother-in-law, Rita, and am overjoyed that through my story, thousands of strangers will get to know her, too.
My storytelling journey over these past two and a half years has taught me a lot. I used to think I was a lazy person. I’m not. I just never found my true passion. Once it became clear that I intend to (and am meant to) dedicate the rest of my life to spreading the joy and power of stories far and wide, I have worked tirelessly to realize this dream. I have never felt more useful, excited – more alive than I do now in my mid-50s. I have a new meaning, a new purpose in life. And it’s exhilarating.
It was my dream from the first time I heard a Moth story on the radio to become that voice on the radio one day. Then I dreamed of starting my own storytelling show on Long Island. That show, “Now You’re Talking! has sold out large venues and gathered a devoted following over the past year. Now that I’ve realized those dreams, I am dreaming of so many new storytelling related dreams for 2018 and beyond.
Last night, my husband, my kids and I sat in our driveway, listening to The Moth Radio Hour in my car. I could have listened to it at home, but the magic of storytelling first entered my consciousness through my car speakers, and that was the only way I wanted to listen to my story, the only way that felt right.
Stay tuned. The best is still yet to come.
Tracey will be performing at this show, alongside some wonderful storytellers.
Following on the success of their October collaboration with Historic Hudson Valley, this wonderful storytelling show joined forces once again to present – STORYSTAGE @Sunnyside! This is an extra special showcase of the best storytelling you’ll find anywhere in the country. Great modern storytelling at the home of America’s first great storyteller.
Like the last event at historic Sunnyside, we’ll be under a grand tent, alongside Washington Irving’s historic home with the glorious Hudson River as our backdrop.
Tracey sat down recently with Hofstra Radio to talk all things storytelling for public affairs show League of Our Own. The show is dedicated to exploring issues significant to women. One on one interviews and panel discussions are devoted to the contributions, concerns and influence of women on politics, society, business and pop culture. The show is hosted by Fran Spencer.
You can tune in to listen to the show streamed live by clicking the link below at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Or you can listen to the show by tuning your radio to 88.7 FM and worldwide on WRHU.org.
There is a maxim that when something is right and meant to be, doors that were previously locked will suddenly fly open. Ever since I got up on a Moth storytelling stage at Housing Works in New York City almost two years ago to tell my first true story, I have found that to be true.
I discovered a vibrant, exhilarating storytelling community in the New York area, and quickly became a part of it, making new friends and telling stories all over the five boroughs, Westchester and Long Island. Then I got an idea in my head that I should start my own show on Long Island, and in June, my storytelling show “Now You’re Talking” will be celebrating its first anniversary.
I took a storytelling class with the brilliant Jeff Simmermon, and learned how to incorporate more humor into my stories, and to conquer my lingering stage fright.
I then became adept at telling longer-form stories with the incredible guidance of coaches Cyndi Freeman and Michelle Walson, which landed me on Kevin Allison’s Risk! stages and podcast.
I pitched a story idea to Crain’s New York Business to write about the growing NYC storytelling scene and how it’s spilling over into storytelling for business. The resulting story led to requests from Long Island libraries to bring storytelling to their members, a corporation to do a storytelling workshop for their staff, and an invitation to be interviewed for an hour(!) on a live radio show, “Let’s Get Radical,” where I gushed about my love for all things storytelling and how I also use it in business.
This past week, my friend Jude Treder-Wolff, who started the first Long Island storytelling show, Mostly True Things (I’ll be performing there this weekend), interviewed me about my storytelling odyssey and wrote up a wonderful, thought-provoking piece about the “Conduits of Connection” – how storytelling connects us all, and is a vital skill in all facets of life.
On Sunday, I’ll be giving a storytelling workshop at Long Island’s premier literary festival, Word Up: Long Island Litfest.
And in May, I rented out the 180-seat Merrick Theater on Long Island for a night of storytelling stars in a bid to bring my storytelling show to a wider audience. I know the theater will be filled and that it will be a harbinger of even greater things to come.
I have never been more busy, more exhilarated, more fulfilled. In my bio that hosts read at shows where I perform I include the line that I came to storytelling later in life, but I have since embraced it with the fervor of an evangelist. I am so lucky to have found my calling and my storytelling tribe. I can’t wait to see what doors open next.