Recently she "put herself out there" by stepping up to the podium for a Moth-like story slam -- as in impromptu telling a personal story. Sounds terrifying to me. But she's one of those people always up for a challenge and... well, I'll let her tell it.
SUZETTE STANDRING: I often ask, “Now what was the purpose of that?” Frankly, I’ve long wondered why I was carjacked in 1995, and now I know. It was to catapult me onto the comedy stage. (The Lord works in hilarious ways).
So here’s the deal. I’m an author. I teach writing workshops. I’m a syndicated columnist. Standup comedy was never part of the repertoire. I’m not that gal.
Or am I?
Well, there was a Story Slam at the Milton Public Library. A Story Slam is where participants have five minutes to share a personal story, similar to NPR’s The Moth. That night’s theme was “Believe It Or Not.” So on a lark, I told my carjacking story and won second place. (Can you believe getting carjacked was one-upped by somebody else? Brutal. I have to try harder.)
After the Story Slam, the host Andrea Lovett said I was a natural comedian. “You need to meet Robin Maxfield, the founder of Boston Comedy Chicks. I’m going to send her an email about you,” she said.
It took four email “howdy do’s” and boom! On April 19 I’ll be part of the comedy lineup with Boston Comedy Chicks at Doyle’s Pub in Jamaica Plain.
This proves that going off the beaten path can send you in a whole new direction, and I’m open to driving down the road to see where it goes. (I’ll be sure to keep my car doors locked.)
HALLIE: Honestly, though I am addicted to THE MOTH, participating in a story slam would make me so nervous, right up there with my nightmares about taking an exam for a course when I've never been to class. Suzette has such pluck and nerve.
But IF I DID, maybe I'd
What about you? Is there a funny/poignant/surprising/interesting story you've lived to tell about? Have you go the nerve to participate in a story slam?
SUZETTE MARTINEZ STANDRING is a syndicated columnist with GateHouse Media. She authored The Art of Opinion Writing: Insider Secrets from Top Op-Ed Columnists, an Amazon bestseller and a First Place winner in the 2014 New England Book Festival. She also wrote The Art of Column Writing and both books are used in national journalism courses such as Johns Hopkins University. Her former blog took First Place for on-line blogs in the 2013 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ competition. Suzette is a past president of The National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and the host and producer of It’s All Write With Suzette, a cable TV show about writing. Visit www.readsuzette.com