I participated in a Story Slam alternate last night, May 7th, at the Gateway City Arts in Holyoke. My first experience on stage at this venue for the Valley Voices NEPR Story Slam. It was a great experience knowing how to craft a story and Slam it out there! Thankful for my friend Sara from Toastmasters who encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone.
The theme was “In the Mood” and the concept of the Story Slam is similar to The Moth except they select 10 stories ahead of time and hold a workshop for speakers to hone in on the story. Each presenter has 5 minutes to tell the story on stage and the audience votes for the top 3 at the end. This is a great blog post about the Valley Voices Story Slam with all the details of the program.K
What I learned
- Being an alternate has just as much riding on it as the story tellers chosen – I had the opportunity to tell my story during tabulation of the votes at the end of the session. It was a great experience!
- Take advantage of going to the workshop for the speakers. Many of the speakers mentioned it was a value add and they felt much more prepared and ready. I was skiing that weekend and had to miss the workshop.
- Plan on attending the whole event to hear the stories and mingle with the speakers and audience. And… buy your ticket ahead of time! Networking is great, but what is important is that this is a group of people that appreciate stories and good speakers. My Toastmaster experience was great to share with the contestants and hopefully we will have some guests come to our open house in the future.
- Write down the key points of your story that you want to be sure to cover — inevitably you are going to miss pieces, but the key pieces hopefully will come out if you keep on practicing! The story should ultimately be coming from your heart.
Love and Skiing
As I walked into the base lodge that morning after a long day of skiing the day before – shaking the bottle of Advil – I clearly caught his eye…. “Anyone need some vitamin A?” I glanced across the room and his eyes met mine …. I smiled, he smiled back. Man — he is gorgeous and that smile just warms my heart I thought to myself I took a deep breath – – as if to breathe in the connection and took a mental snapshot of that moment in time.
Our group of ski teachers met in front of the that were on day 2 of stressful skiing – looking to get her level 2 certification as a ski professional, these exams were always nerve wracking for so many reasons, mostly because only 50% were known to pass.
I kept thinking about that moment — who was that guy anyway? Later in the day, I found out….. he was an examiner….. oh boy! Now I was nervous! It was the last of 4 parts of the exam process and he introduced himself to the group
“Hi – I am Steve — I will be your examiner for this last portion of the exam. Let’s get this exam done so we can go skiing on some steeper stuff and I can show you what I am working on” His smile lit up the whole mountain in her mind. The cold turned to warm. My energy level reached a new high! I swear I was sweating even though it was negative 5.
We all skied to the top of Pico mountain – He was a beautiful skier and I am a sucker for a sweet turn and a pretty face We took turns teaching and I taught my class in the middle of the trail. Steve hinted to me in different ways but my head was in the clouds! He had to give me points off for that snafu but we all passed! We celebrated at the bar – what an incredible day! I waited at the bar while he consoled those that didn’t pass. It took so long almost everyone had left but he finally joined me and John, who was the only one left from our group to stay late.
Tommy the bartender said he would give me a beer if I put up my own chairs – “He’s worth it” I said — Tommy replied “I can tell”
Fast forward 4 months when he asked me to marry him My answer? “in a heartbeat” Yes – I believe in love at first sight!
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the notes from my story and my sharing of this experience. I hope to add the video to my blog when it is published. Leave a comment below and let me know your experience on stage – if you have attended or was speaker at a type of Story Slam – I would love to hear your experience!