Friday, March 08, 2013

Spilled It

Memphis has this thing called Spillit. It's awesome.

Photo by Jamie Harmon

From the website:
Spillit is true, unscripted storytelling told in front of a live audience. The storytelling series is based in Memphis, Tennessee and is inspired by The Moth, also dedicated the art and craft of storytelling. Stories at each event have a common theme and last around 10 minutes. They must have a beginning, a middle, an end, and some sort of moral to tie it together. The stories come in all kinds. Some are hilarious, others contemplative, heartbreaking, suspenseful, and some reflective.

I'd been to two out of the three when Leah, the boss lady, mentioned that the next theme would be "travel." Suddenly I knew I had to sign up. You may or may not remember that I did the Memphis Monologues last year. Despite the absolute anguish and anxiety inducing nature of the whole event, I absolutely loved it.

My first thought was that I would talk about my travels in Israel as a young co-ed. I lived on a kibbutz for the summer when I was 20. It had a pretty profound impact on me, and I wanted to share. To prepare, I reread my journal from that summer. Wow. What the 40 year old me remembers is waaaaaaaaaay different from what the 20 year old me jotted down! It was actually quite humiliating. However, there was a silver lining. I found two of my favorite people from that summer on Facebook! Considering I hadn't seen hide nor hair of them in 20 years, I was pretty blown away by how easy it was to track them down (once I remembered a last name). Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg!

I decided to go with Plan B--a well tested story from my Peace Corps days involving a pregnant woman with a tiny fist coming out of her vagina. To make sure I was remembering it right, I went ahead reread my Peace Corps journals too. Now that was fun. I think reading them while alone in New Orleans was definitely the way to go. It definitely would have been hard to remember the brave, wild woman I once was with two monkeys barking orders at me from the next room.

Again, my journals were surprisingly low on fascinating details of village life and ridiculously high on love and intrigue. (Seriously, Leah, "Sex & Drugs & Rock-n-Roll" is the next theme I want to sign up for!) Thankfully my story lived very fresh in my mind, and with a little (ok, a lot of) help from Warren when I got back in town, I was ready to go.

I was a little nervous when I got there and the room started filling up, but with the help of a few PBRs and Warren's thumbs up, I didn't let my nerves get the best of me.

Wanna listen? click here!

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