How My Night Went From a Freelance Writing Panel to a Stripping Chipmunk

Walking back to my car in Portland after a freelance writing panel, I could hear the people whooping it up from the sidewalk. I peered through the windowed door to see a coffeehouse with an eclectic crowd applauding a clown.

Well, she was kind of a clown. She was more of a clown before a clown dons on the red nose, curly wig and big shoes. There wasn’t even a billowy polkadotted jumper for this maven. Instead, she was rockin’ some black fishnets and glitter.… Read more ...

Storytelling in Chicago: I’m kinda liking this whole stage thing

Driving down the Kennedy Expressway  at a whopping 13 miles an hour, I was white-knuckeling it. It wasn’t that I was running late (surprised?) or that I needed to take a whiz. It was that I was going to tell a story about one of my life’s not-so-proud moments.

Story Club ChicagoI was headed to Holiday Club in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood to be a “featured performer” for Story Club Chicago, where people stand on stage and tell true stories about their life. I participated in Story … Read more ...

A little newsroom nostalgia thanks to my visit to Chicago’s WBEZ91.5

Last week I had my first real hard-to-reach itch to get back in a newsroom since I left The Associated Press. And it was all WBEZ’s fault.

I was in their studio on Chicago’s Navy Pier to record my story that won Story Club’s January open mic. A friend of mine introduced me to an amazing storyteller, filmmaker, producer and radio host, Luis Antonio Perez, who said he’d tape and lightly edit my story to be featured on Story Club’s web site as … Read more ...

My New Obsession, Part II: They Gave Me A Mic

We all know that I’ve got a new drug. I wish it were exercise, but whatevs. It’s something even better.

In my previous post, I told you how I stumbled onto the craft of storytelling. Hearing people on stage telling true yarns of their adventures, some happy, some sad, others randomly in between. All of them honest, stark and bare.

Reading my First story at the Holiday Club in Chicago at the Story Club Chicago event. Photo via Lily Be.

I’d quickly fallen in … Read more ...

My New Obsession (Don’t Worry, It’s A Healthy One) Part I

I’ve got a new obsession. It’s storytelling.

It’s not the stories I cover as a journalist, this my friends is much different. It’s part of an old/new genre that’s growing in Chicago where people gather to hear true stories about each other’s lives.

It’s a bit of a throwback to the days when we’d gather around the fire to roast the freshly caught deer, duck or squirrel. Or fast forward a few generations to after Thanksgiving dinner and the grown folks tell tales from the … Read more ...