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Tellin’ Stories

May 13th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

I did my first storytelling show last Monday at a small venue called the Coraline Cafe, way out in Brooklyn. I’m not sure where, exactly, but at one point I was afraid that I was going to be asked for my passport. There were only five folks on the bill, and for once, one of those people was me! After a few months of writing, rewriting, and trying to get onstage at The Moth, I finally got a chance to get up and tell a tale.

I told a story about a drunk man and a drunker pit bull fighting over some cans of Old English in Richmond, VA a few years back — astute readers of this blog will remember that story from here. And I mean, I was nervous, don’t get me wrong — but once I got up there that nervousness just kinda turned into energy, and I went with it, just kinda pushing the parts that needed pushing.

Two and a half servings of bourbon didn’t hurt, either, but I had to cut myself off at a full stop by pouring the last half into a plant. There’s nothing worse than a slurred blatherer, apart from someone who used to be fat and/or geeky in high school and isn’t over that shit yet.

But yeah, it was awesome! People laughed at the parts I meant to be funny and laughed at the stuff I ad-libbed. So I’ll take that as a good sign. The compliments felt genuine. I mean, if someone was kissing my ass because of all the pull I have in showbiz, they’re just horribly misguided.

So now, just as soon as I click “post” on this post, I’m off to the train to try and get onstage at The Moth again. I’ll post the story tomorrow for you guys, but for now, I got to keep it bottled up. I’m nervous, but the good kind. The kind that means something crackly’s about to happen, one way or another. Like one story is about to turn into another. And man, I live for shit like that.

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