New Fargo Story Slam Draws a Crowd
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 15:10
Despite the theme of fear, the first annual “The Tell” drew a lot of laughs at Studio 222 on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The event began at 7 p.m. and allowed anyone to put their name in a hat for the chance to go on stage and tell their story.
The Tell does have rules, however. The story must relate to the theme, take five minutes or less, be true and firsthand and use no notes or props.
While listening to stories on The Moth, Laura Egland realized that she wanted “to bring storytelling to Fargo.” The idea of bringing a story slam to Fargo was on Egland’s bucket list for over a year before she decided to go for it; “I just got really brave one day,” she said.
Egland wants to foster and grow what she already sees in the Fargo community: “acceptance, and a willingness just to listen.” For Egland, a story slam is not all about the competition. Instead, it is all about “connecting through stories,” she said.
To begin the event, Egland told a story about her father and breaking the rules. After skipping school, driving off with her boyfriend and crashing the car, it’s no surprise the sound of her father’s boots coming towards her in the hall scared her. She kept the crowd laughing right up until sh and the crowd were in tears as she said, “my dad had a heart attack,” and all she wanted was to hear those menacing boots come down the hallway again.
After her story, ten people’s names were chosen from a hat, and they told their story. One contender, Maria Bosak, told her story, named “Sixteen.”
“I grew up in the South—South Dakota,” Bosak began with a grin. Her story was full of memorable one-liners and she kept the crowd laughing with one disastrous event after another, including her boyfriend stealing a car, then getting mad at Bosak and deciding to “run [the car] into a tree, where it of course starts on fire.” After a mad dash to get her home before curfew—and failing—Bosak concluded by saying, “this is one of the reasons I hope I never have a teenage girl!”
NDSU student Jacinta Thieschafer came to watch the event, but after hearing a joke about a tall Russian, she realized she had to come up and tell her fear story. “My story is called ‘Slice on Slice,’” she began.
Thieschafer’s story had the crowd laughing as she retold of her encounter with a looming Russian man, twice her size, came up to her at the deli in Hornbacher’s and asked for ham, slice on slice. “I had no idea what he meant,” Thieschafer said.
She finally realized he meant he literally wanted the ham stacked “slice on slice,” but not before she was thoroughly intimidated by him. The judges agreed and named Thieschafer the winner of this month’s The Tell.
Next month’s theme is “Whoops,” and will be held in the same venue, Studio 222, and is Tuesday, November 6 at 7 p.m. There will be four other evenings of story slams leading up to April’s The Tell Off, a head-to-head competition between the five winners from each month.
To learn more information about the upcoming Tells, visit TheTellFargo.Blogspot.com.