Lip Services open-mic night event, Storypalooza! hits downtown Miami on Thursday, April 27, at Books & Books @ The Arsht Center. Bring your 500-word story about being “on the road” and you’ll get instant feedback from Lip Service editors and representatives of Jitney Books, Miami’s new micro-publisher. Who knows? You might just get a book deal!
The submission period for the next Lip Service stage show, May 20 at the Miracle Theater in Coral Gables, is open! Have a true, personal story to tell? Can you do it in 1200 words? Send it no later than midnight, April 23 to email@example.com. You might be selected as one of the eight storytellers at the big show! Check the submission guidelines on this site for more details and suggestions.
Hip, hot, and headed your way, the next Lip Service stage show is scheduled for Saturday, May 20, 7:30 p.m. at the Miracle Theater in Coral Gables. Tickets are available now! The last show at the Miracle sold out, so don’t wait until the last minute. Buy tickets here: https://www.miamibookfair.com/event/lip-service-presents-a-night-of-true-stories-out-loud/
Thanks to the Miami Herald‘s Christian Portilla for covering our latest Storypalooza! show: “Horrible Holidays,” which took place December 15 at Gramps in the Wynwood.
Miami writers, storytellers share their horrible-holiday tales at December ‘Storypalooza’
Photo provided by Stephanie Farokhnia / Miami Book Fair
The holidays are a festive time to visit friends and family whom we don’t regularly see the rest of the year. Sometimes, though, that can be a recipe for disaster.
A group of writers and storytellers last week gathered at the hipster hot spot Gramps in Wynwood to tell an audience of equally mortified Miamians about their “crappy Christmas tales.”
Stories ranged from South Beach dreams gone wrong, to a horrible raccoon vs. turkey dinner, and an emergency roadside kit for a car-less teen. The central theme: Love for family, no matter how crazy the holidays may get.
Attendee Gretel Rogers of Miami Beach said she loves how brave people are to tell their stories and liked how personal people were in a room full of strangers.
“I got to hear people’s life stories, and it was moving to hear them speak from their heart,” she said.
“Storypalooza” is a subsidiary of the Miami Book Fair and sister program of the popular “Lip Service: True Stories Told Out Loud,” a standup event which encourages anyone to write a 500-word story and share it. The Dec. 15 program was the fourth in a series, in which each time the theme changes.
Host and producer Nick Garnett offered trivia breaks between readings. Lip Service founder/producer Esther Martinez and local writer and editor M.J. Fievre gave advice on how to enhance the storytelling process.
Garnett said the idea was to create a more informal event where people could talk about their “sucky” holidays. He says the best part is not knowing what to expect when someone steps up to the microphone.
“We’ve gotten lucky because usually, the people are really good,” Garnett said. “At one of our past events, a Middle Eastern man talked about how being hairy his whole life had been a thing he had been ashamed of, tried to hide by waxing and how it affected his relationships with women. He finally meets a girl who not only doesn’t mind it but actually finds it sexy. The story was called “Sexy Coconuts,” and the coconuts were referring to … well, I think you can figure it out. The story was funny because he was so honest.”
Most people feel liberated after they share, Garnett said.
It’s life changing or like going to a revival meeting, he said, because the audience is supportive. Some storytellers have psychological breakthroughs, others break down crying, and some experience an adrenaline rush.
Garnett said what stands out most at these events is how much people have in common, despite the different paths they take. Despite different religions and cultures, we’ve all shared similar sentiments in life, he said.
“There’s nothing that unifies people more than hearing people’s stories,” he said. “It doesn’t mean the stories are similar or about the same thing but over the course of our lives we have all felt lonely, or disconnected or turned on or embarrassed or humiliated, and the more honest people are the more universal the story is because we’ve all been there. It’s not easy to stand up in front of a crowd and reveal something about yourself you’d be ashamed of, but that’s when these shows really work the best.”
Experience the healing power of stories, Friday, November 18, 8 p.m. at the Miami Book Fair!
With AMY BAEZ, LESLEY CANAL, ROBERT DINKINS, KAMALAH FLETCHER, NICKI POST, NILSA RIVERA, DOUG SHEAR, and KENNETH WRIGHT
Over 70 people came out on Saturday evening, July 23 at MOCA Miami, for the latest Lip Service open-mic event, Storypalooza “When Identities Collide.” Following a reception and museum tour, a dozen readers told stories ranging from coping with hearing aids to entering beauty pageants. And all those brave readers received instant feedback from Lip Service co-producers Nicholas Garnett, Esther Martinez Kenniff, and Lip Service founder (and current producer of Writing Class Radio) Andrea Askowitz. Stay tuned for details about the next Storypalooza! on September 10 at Miami Art Days in downtown Miami and the next Lip Service stage show at the Miami Book Fair in November!
Identity can bring us together. It can also pull us apart. Come out and present a personal true story about a time when your identity challenged and changed you. Twelve readers will receive feedback from an all-star panel of editors, including Lip Service co-producers Esther Martinez and Nicholas Garnett, and Lip Service founder and producer of the podcast Writing Class Radio, Andrea Askowitz.
Saturday, July 23, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art
770 NE 125th St, Miami, FL 33161
Storypalooza! and reception are free with $5 museum entrance fee
Want to read? Bring a printed copy of your story to drop in the hat. Stories must be 500 words or fewer.
For more info and to RSVP visit MiamiBookFair.com