All Time Great Humbling
I recently read a story at the Story Club, held at Uncommon Grounds in Chicago. I've been trying to get more performance experience lately. Last year, I was just writing and reading as much as possible, and this year I still write and read constantly but I have a good handle on the crime novel I'm writing (3/4 done with the 1st draft), so I've been trying to get as much experience and exposure in performance arts.
I've seen some great performances of poetry, stories, comedy, and acting. I've attended the events as a fan and as a student - to see what works and what doesn't. But you can only learn so much from the sidelines, so I've been taking the opportunity to share at open mics and literary events that will have me.
My first few went extremely well. I got a lot of laughs for my story, I'm a Lucky Guy, Right. I won a Moth StorySlam with My Chicago Blues. And my podcasts are being downloaded consistently. So when I saw the Story Club coming up again, I looked through my stories and found one I thought would work...
Well, it was okay, but I didn't feel it. I still like the story, but it may not have been right for the crowd and I didn't really practice it enough. It may be too slow-moving of a story and a bit confusing if you're not fully engaged. My job is to engage with the audience in the performance and with the writing, and I give myself a bad grade.
The point is: I love being humbled. I love learning from failures. What works? What doesn't work? And having the freedom to experiment with ideas too. Not being afraid to fail. I just thought I'd share my experience along the way because it may be encouraging and helpful to others on their journey.
It wasn't a total bad experience because the organizer inquired about me being a featured storyteller in the future. If you'd like to read my substandard performance story, here it is: He Said - She Said. I may still do a podcast for it anyway, we'll see...