Storytelling and speaking

Ruby Anemic, No Guts No Glory, neon, 19 X 48 inches, 2012

Storytelling and Speaking in Chicago-Where to get your Inspiration on

Stories are a part of our lives. They are the way we communicate, share information and learn. I remember as a kid at dinner parties that I would sit as quiet as a mouse, so no one would notice I was there, and listen to the stories swirling around me. Stories that got even more honest and raucous as the evening wore on.

This month's out and about post celebrates the storytellers and speakers here in Chicago. I was first introduced to Guts & Glory: Live Lit for the Lionhearted, curated by Samantha Irby and Keith Ecker, by my friend Amber. Guts & Glory is held the 3rd Wednesday of every month at Powell's bookstore on Lincoln Ave. Each time I go I am amazed by the stories and the, sometimes brutal, honesty of the story tellers. There is this collective hush that falls over the room as the speakers weave their tale that I find so magical. To have a whole room, which is packed and spilling out into the book stacks, listening intently to one person sharing their story is powerful stuff. I always walk out the door feeling inspired and ready to take on the world.

There are a ton of places to see story telling in the city and I'm sure you can find them, but all you need is Guts & Glory. Oh and Samantha Irby's Book, Meaty, is available for pre-order...

Speaking events interlace a bit of story telling as well. I went to Potluck, which is co-hosted by Saya Hillman of Mac 'n Cheese Productions and Pete Aiello from Team Pete. The concept is similar to Pecha Kucha (don't ask me how to pronounce it) and Ignite, which Pete also co-hosts here in Chicago, except Saya and Pete have given it their own spin. Speakers, or 'dishes' as they are called, have six minutes to speak about whatever they like and they do not have to use slides in their presentation. Give a group of talented, engaging people six minutes to talk and you get inspiration, improv, viva la revolucion, harlots in the bike lane, ideas, bike sharing and a whole heck of a lot of fun.

Events coming up-
If you are looking for a little life inspiration then I highly recommend you take Saya's Dabble class on Tuesday, June 16th - 'How to Design the Life You Want'

Guts & Glory on Wednesday, July 17th at Powell's Bookstore.

Ignite Chicago on July 29th at 1871 in the Merchandise Mart. I spoke at Ignite and it was one of the most thrilling and heart stopping moments I've had lately!


P.S. If you do put potluck on your calendar do not be confused when the event comes up and you cannot for the life of you remember what dish you are supposed to bring. Not that I did that.

Originally published 6/28/13

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