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What is a Story Slam

Why I'm Excited to Produce Lancaster Story Slam

Carla laughing at Steve Clark's story Maybe you’ve seen our Facebook posts or tweets.  We are just a few weeks away from launching Lancaster Story Slam.  I wanted to write a post to explain why I’m excited to bring this artform to Lancaster.

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Carla Wilson. My husband David and I just moved to Lancaster. For me, it was a return to Lancaster County. I graduated from Elizabethtown High School, then Lebanon Valley College. At LVC, David and I were music majors and studied Sound Recording Technology. Our home is a myriad of instruments and audio and video equipment that we use in our business.

We own Wilson Media Services and I am an internet marketing consultant.  I help my entrepreneur clients understand, create and implement their internet marketing - including how to produce and use audio and video in their marketing efforts. I specialize in producing several podcasts and vidcasts, including two that I co-host.

A few years ago when we were living in Chester County I met Jim Breslin at a networking event. He invited me to a monthly event that he produces called West Chester Story Slam where anyone can get on stage and tell a five minute story that fits the theme of the night.  I was intrigued so I started attending in the fall of 2012. I immediately fell in love with the event. I don’t consider myself a good storyteller and am in awe of folks that can stand behind a mic in front of an audience and tell amazing stories.

I’ll break away from my introduction briefly here to explain exactly what a Story Slam is.  At Story Slam there is a monthly theme. Anyone can sign up to take to the mic and tell a 5 minute story fitting the theme. The story should be as true as you remember it. No notes, no music and no props are allowed. Judges in the audience rate each storyteller on content and presentation. The night’s winner gets a coveted Lancaster Story Slam pint glass, and a slot at the Grand Slam held in November where they will compete with 9 other winning storytellers. Some stories will make you cry because you’re laughing so hard, while others make you cry because they’re so serious.

In 2014 my husband and I decided to move to Lancaster so he would have a shorter commute to work. I knew Jim had an interest in expanding Story Slam to Lancaster so I approached him offering assistance in locating a venue.  In producing the West Chester Story Slam and the DelCo Story Slam, Jim knew he wouldn’t have time to produce a third monthly event, so I offered to be the event producer for Lancaster Story Slam (with tutelage from Jim, of course).

As a business owner, I know the importance of telling a good story.  Story helps you connect and build rapport with your audience. I feel I have a difficult time in telling a succinct story so I take a lot of inspiration from the 10 or so folks that tell a story each month.  I know my storytelling and writing skills are improving from attending the West Chester Story Slam.  I also feel a sense of community by attending Story Slam. I have new friends that I’ve met because of Story Slam and I wanted to bring that sense of connection and friendship to Lancaster.

When we approached the folks at Tellus360 about the need for a venue for our event, they were immediately interested in providing the space. We are so pleased to host Lancaster Story Slam at a venue in the heart of Lancaster City.

Won’t you please join us?  Tickets are on sale now for our January 28 event where the theme will be Embarrassing Moments. We’d love to hear story!  You might also be interested in joining our newsletter list to stay up-to-date on our 2015 events.