Behind the Scenes: After You Submit…

It’s cold outside…the snow is falling, leaving blankets of white on the city streets…the best thing to do is to snuggle up with a cup of tea and read a good story…YOUR STORY!

Reading submissions is one of my all-time FAVORITE things to do as a 2nd Story company member. At what we call “Submission Parties”, company members volunteer to hang out all day reading submissions for next season. We gather around our giant table littered with different types of snack food and just go. As our eyes are all focused down sometimes (most of the time actually) we’ll hear spontaneous chuckles, sometimes a thoughtful “hmm”. The best moments though are when the reader is done, takes a look around, and with a deep breath says “You guys, I need to tell you about this story.” That part’s my favorite. Each story is read by three different people and it is amazing to watch them talk about each one. Around the table you’ll hear “Oh! I didn’t catch that!” or “Really? I thought she meant this.” It’s like talking about a really good book with friends except the pieces are REAL STORIES that we’ll soon get to hear first-hand from the teller.

After the written submissions have been chosen, it’s on to auditions! Meeting the face behind the story is an experience in itself: seeing how a story changes by the way the author reads it, getting a sense of the overall tone; it brings a whole new light and life to the piece. Seeing tellers perform these stories and discussing it with them afterwards is one of the best perks about working for 2nd Story. This is why 2nd Story company members get so pumped about shows, because we get so excited for new tellers and get to watch their stories evolve. Most don’t realize it, but stories change so much from written conception to performance—it’s the beauty of our process. When I read a story at a submission party, hear it from the teller at auditions, and then get to see it performed at Webster’s Wine Bar or Underground Wonder Bar, I see almost the entire evolution of that story, and it’s beautiful. We are always so proud of our tellers and their work and being able to say “I remember reading that story!” is an awesome feeling.

So PLEASE, bring on the stories! Bring on the awkward moments, the heartbreaks, the moments of clarity, the innocence, the hilarity, the moments that changed who you are! I’ve got my hot cup of tea waiting and I’m ready to read!