NEWTOWN SQUARE–Got a story to tell? Burlap and Bean coffeehouse in Newtown Square will host the West Chester Story Slam for one night on Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. featuring five of the winning storytellers from its 2012 season.
"I'm excited West Chester Story Slam is visiting Burlap and Bean and doing a show in Delaware County," said Jim Breslin, founder and emcee of West Chester Story Slam. "Burlap and Bean is an incredible venue for live shows, and I think it's a perfect place for storytellers and the audience to connect. Our story slams are fun because anyone can hop on stage and tell a story based on the theme of the night."
On Dec. 5, the public is also welcomed to go up on stage and tell their own stories on the them of the night: Road Trip.
Here are some tips and official rules if you're thinking of performing, according to the West Chester Story Slam website:
The best stories have a beginning, middle and an ending. They can be funny, sad, reflective or a combination of all. The best story slam advice we’ve heard is this: Know the first sentence of your story and know the last sentence of your story. If you know where you are starting and have your destination in sight, you’ll do just fine!
Official Rules for the West Chester Story Slam are as follows:
- Storytellers register upon arrival. Names are usually drawn out of a hat to decide order of presentation.
- Stories should fit into the theme of the night!
- Stories should be true as you remember it!
- Stories should be under five minutes in length!
- No Notes, No Props, No Music!
The point of Story Slam is not necessarily standing before an audience and baring one’s soul, according to West Chester Patch. It’s the act of creating, often on the spot, a cohesive narrative that the audience may (or may not) deem great story-telling.
According to West Chester Patch, Breslin grew up in Media and has lived with his wife and two sons in West Chester for the past 14 years. Along the way, he became a kind of resident writer of the borough in part because he has a gift for bringing people (e.g., isolated writers) together for book signings and readings.
In addition, Breslin has previously worked at QVC, where he apparently saw a lot of salesmanship and learned to hold an audience, according to West Chester Patch. He worked as a managing producer there and later director of live production. He also worked as a news producer, focusing on such serious topics as the Reagan/Gorbachev Summit and the 1988 Republican Convention.
The West Chester Story Slam is a monthly event where anyone can get on stage and tell a five minute story based on the theme of the night. Inspired by urban story slams such as the Windy City Story Slam and Philadelphia’s First Person Arts Story Slam, along with The Moth and NPR’s This American Life, a few friends first met in Jim Breslin‘s living room to tell stories in November 2009.
For more information on Breslin and the West Chester Story Slam, read West Chester Patch's article here or visit their website at http://wcstoryslam.com/
You can reserve tickets here. Advanced tickets are $8 or pay $10 at the door.