The Storytelling Tribe
Turning up at Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den on a Sunday night I am filled with anticipation. People greet me with smiles as I recognise them. These are people I know. More and more of them as I grab a drink at the bar and move towards the stairs.
It’s dark. It’s intimate
I love this venue; it’s dark, it’s intimate — the crowd sits together on chairs, benches, cushions — whatever, all bunched together haphazardly and the suspense builds. We chat — but we are here for something more. To share stories; laugh together; to cry together… And we know we will.
Lisa Evans from Speaking Savvy has been running live storytelling events for more than a year. She finds people who have something to say and coaches them until their story comes forth. Tickets are sold, and all the profits go to charity, this time its Heart Kids WA. And almost without knowing it the Storytelling Tribe has grown.
Amazing tales were told by the storytellers
The topic was “Journeys” this time, and the Storytellers told some amazing tales. Pille Qrabat told a story called “The First Lady”, and she toppled all expectations when she revealed it was about a parrot that was jealous of her.
Arlene Quinn talked about “The Glass Ceiling”, and we laughed as she wove a story that involved Mrs. Banks’ Bloomers and two brand new bras. Then she told us that she “lives life lightly” —tremendous advice to all of us.
Michele Woods told us “Stripe by Stripe” how she discovered to live 100% in the present moment. To focus on what is right in front and be completely and devastatingly aware of it and all that it means.
Godfrey Baronie danced his way into our hearts with “The 20-metre journey”.
Rebecca Hannon told us “Dad’s Journey”, and she stripped away the different layers to reveal all the different people that made up her father through his lifetime. Not something many of us think to do even for ourselves — never mind our parents.
Troy Hendrickson said, “Our Journeys are full of decision points” and I laughed all the way through this one. He went far longer than allowed but no-one complained, no-one ever does…
Eugenie Stockmann described “The Best Birthday Present”, which to someone from the Netherlands is, of course, a bike…
Nichola Renton — standing proud and strong in the centre of the stage in a gorgeous full-length gown, who told us of Olive and Lorna. One small, angry and red and the other, a little cream puff.
My favourite quote from Nichola’s story, “We were so good at living, we forgot she was dying”. It was a glorious story called “Full Circle” that reduced everyone to tears.
Angie Pascevicius gave us “The Unexpected Message” which was a gateway to her Lithuanian past through the medium of social media.
My good friend Nick Mortimer made us laugh as he described “Hitching a Ride” — best quote “Some people want to help drug users… and other times the drug users just want to help you”.
I loved all the stories — not just these, but all the pop-up storytellers too.
Empress Ming always makes us laugh and cry. She has the power to move me no matter where my thoughts are wandering.
But my favourite of the night was Tammy Bux. Her story was titled “Princess Selma Shining Through” and she spoke of how her differences have become her strengths. The importance of being authentic. Of learning who you are and leaning into that. She said, “in the end, just like Princess Leia, I didn’t want anyone to rescue me — I became a storyteller and I rescued myself.”
We experience highs and lows without leaving our seats
It was like exploring the world, seeing other people’s families, their hearts and their minds — and we got to experience their highs and their lows without ever leaving our seats.
It’s an incredible experience, and I feel so privileged to be part of the this Tribe of Storytellers.
Follow Lisa Evans on Facebook to find out the next #SFTHPerth event is.
Storytelling for Change Makers workshop 19 August
Next #SFTHPerth live storytelling event 15 October theme “one day can change everything”.
Seeking Story Tribe members. Have you got a story to share?
Watch and listen to these stories and more on #SFTHPerth You tube
This post is written by Michelle Sandford, a #SFTHPerth regular. In fact, she has been to every event!
Michelle Sandford works for Microsoft. She is the Vice Chair of the Australian Computer Society in WA, a Tedx Speaker, a Tech Girl Superhero and one of MCV’s 30 Most Influential Women in Games. You can follow Michelle on LinkedIn for her articles; on Twitter for events, interesting shares and occasional commentary in 140 characters, Facebook to see where she is presenting next, YouTube for videos and Instagram for dog photos.
Photographs by Perth Personality Photography