Five months ago in November I finally made it over to West Side Stories (WSS) here in Petaluma for their third anniversary show.
According to their website “WSS believes that everyone has a story” and their goal is “to give those stories a forum.” It’s basically a room full of people and as many of those people who would like to tell a story that evening put their names in a hat and the master of ceremonies, Dave Pokony, pulls ten names out of the hat and those ten people get to tell their story on whatever the theme is that evening.
Last night the theme was “Unforgiven” and whatever that means to the storyteller their story will reflect that theme somehow. Needless to say some people can stretch the boundaries of each theme on any given night but the general feeling I witnessed so far is the audience is pretty forgiving themselves as long as the story is a good one. For basically just a local open mic night I have been pleasantly surprised by the level of storytelling to date. Last night was my fifth visit, third month in a row I have presented a story and I have to say I am hooked on the whole experience.
I will freely admit I was pretty darn scared before presenting my first two times but miraculously each time I was the very first name picked so I had less time to sit there fretting and could enjoy the other nine stories knowing that mine was behind me. Last night I was the eighth name picked (there were 11 people vying for the 10 spots so I lucked out) and I admit it was much easier to really listen to the last two speakers than it was to the seven before me.
So far the audience has been very generous to my stories and I have received nice feedback at the end of each one. I’m not exactly sure where this is all heading but I just knew that it was time for me to do something more creative in my life and this presented itself as a good start.
So if you haven’t checked it out I would encourage you to do so. The shows are held the first Wednesday of each month and the next one is April 2nd with the theme “Nobody’s Fool.” Here is a link to their website, see you there! http://www.westsidestoriespetaluma.com/
John Gorman is President and co-owner of Save Energy Company, the leading replacement window and door provider in the San Francisco North Bay Area. He is on the Board of Directors of Electric and Gas Industries Association (EGIA) and has served as Board President.