***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win tickets to the MS Society’s Locavore fundraiser? Check it out! Remember, you can tweet daily for additional entries.***
One of the great things about blogging is that you often get to discover new and different events happening in town and, by extension, let others in on these gems. Last week, I discovered Told CLE, a live storytelling event founded on the premise that everyone has a story to tell.
Told was founded by a friend of mine from high school, Dave. When I heard about Told, I was not only intrigued by the concept, but excited to support something cool a friend was doing in the community.
Each Told event is centered around a different theme. The event I attended, held at Market Garden Brewery (because storytelling is easier after a beer or two), was themed “Foreign Territory.” Audience members can submit their names to tell a true, personal story, no longer than six minutes, that touches on the theme. There are also featured storytellers scattered throughout the audience members chosen at random.
Audience members told stories of studying abroad, switching places with a twin, and running a first 5K (told by the charming blogger behind The Year of the Phoenix), all as examples of feeling on foreign territory. The featured storytellers for the evening were Sarah Wilson-Jones, CEO of Phoenix Coffee Company, and Rory O’Malley, a native Clevelander who is a Tony-nominated actor for his work in Book of Mormon and co-founder of Broadway Impact.
Rory is also a high school friend and I’ve been so proud following his career and being able to say, “I knew him when…” It was wonderful not only to get to see him, but to hear him tell a story centered around his upbringing in the Irish pubs in Cleveland and his affection for his hometown. Rory will be starring in a new FX series called “Partners,” which premiers on August 4, so be sure to set your DVRs!
While I didn’t submit my name to tell a story, I found myself thinking about my own “Foreign Territory” experiences and relating to and laughing with the storytellers for the evening. After the formal storytelling is over, attendees are encouraged to stay, mingle, and informally tell their own stories. As Told CLE says, “A story heard is a story told.”
Told is collaborating with Literary Lots this summer for a kid-focused storytelling workshop and showcase, happening July 27 and August 3 respectively. The adult storytelling events will be back in September. Stay tuned to the Told website for more information. You can also hear recordings of past storytelling events online.
Told CLE gives Clevelanders a unqiue opportunity to come together, hear each other stories, and truly connect. I hope to both see and hear you at a Told event soon!