What’s a Story Slam?by Penelope Starr on Jun. 17, 2011, under Arts
You can get daily podcasts from In The Loop from Minnesota Public Radio or New York’s The Moth. Story Slams are in Philly (First Person Arts) , West Chester Story Slam, Asheville (Synergy Story Slam) and San Francisco (Porchlight) and gaining popularity as fast as a wildfire can jump the road. A few months ago I reported on Phoenix’s addition (Great Arizona Story Slam).
And now Tucson has joined the movement with Double O Story Slam. In Heat: Surviving the Summer is the theme for this all ages show on Monday, June 27 at Fluxx Studio and Gallery, 414 E. 9th Street. Come at 6:30 to sign up and the show starts at 7:15. Refreshments will be available.
In the simplest terms, a story slam is a contest where people tell real stories from their lives on a theme. No costumes, no props, no notes, no music…just the STORY. Each story is five minutes or less in length and there are a maximum of ten tellers.
Selected audience members will determine the winner who will receive a prize. The criteria may include how well the story is told, its construction, how it explores the theme and if the teller honors the time limit.
Anyone can tell a story. There is no preregistration. The slots will be filled by people who sign up at the event, and sign-up will start at 6:30 pm. We’ll pull names from a hat to determine the order. The first ten people will have their five minutes of fame and a chance to win.
If you want to tell a story consider these tips:
Tell a true (personal) story
Choose a story that has meaning to you
Organize your story with a beginning, middle, ending ~ and a point
Know your first and last line
You can start in the action (middle) and set up the stakes
Make the story succinct and have the point be obvious – but your method of getting to the point may be surprising and have punch
Add lots of details so that listeners can picture themselves in the story
Get your body and emotions into the story
Don’t worry about being funny or serious or both; just be yourself
A good time to get serious is right after a laugh
Don’t memorize, just remember an outline, your beginning, ending and a few lines of plot; storytelling is an oral art, not a literary recital
Stick to the 5 minute or less time limit
There will be reminders when you need to start wrapping up and when it’s time to stop
Don’t rant; this is a place for stories, not lectures or diatribes
Relax, breathe, play
Take time to finish. Look at people, smile, and enjoy their appreciation — it’s their chance to give you something back
For more info contact Maya Asher, 480-390-1063 or Penelope Starr (yes, that’s me), 520-730-4112, Penelope(at)odysseystorytelling.com