Until I Tried: a 2nd Story Class Testimonial

I wiped a lingering tear from the corner of my eye as my hands shot together with crazy applause. I felt light headed, and realized I had been holding my breath for 15 minutes. I was 23, it was my first week in Chicago, and I had just witnessed my first 2nd Story performance. The only thought in my mind when the clapping subsided? : “I need to do this”.

If you have ever been to a 2nd Story show, or if you’re a fan of the podcast, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. I have always loved storytelling, but besides writing being my favorite subject in high school and taking a few short story and poetry classes in college, it was never really anything other than a hobby for me. But after living through the expertly crafted stories that night at Webster’s Wine Bar, I felt I needed to take whatever steps necessary to tell my own stories. However, after submitting a few times without a response, I realized my stories were lacking the understanding of what makes a story a “2nd Story”. That’s when I heard about the 2nd Story Fundamentals Class. I eagerly signed up for the workshop. Little did I know what I was getting into would prove to be priceless.

There are a lot of story telling groups out there, but based on the people I encountered, and the stories I heard, I knew 2nd Story was the company I wanted to share with. The first day of the Fundamentals class, I was greeted by my instructors, Deb and Julie, both accomplished writers and 2nd Story company members. Their smiles and welcoming words provided such a warm and homey atmosphere, it felt more like I was joining a group of friends who exchanged stories every week, rather than being a student in a class. I felt so comfortable within the first couple meetings, I was able to let my guard down, allowing me to fearlessly express myself. I never once felt judged by my classmates or teachers for my writing style or the stories I told. It was such a gift for my storytelling to be surrounded by my fellow classmates, because everyone in the room was coming from such a different place (from our ages, sexes, races, jobs, and writing experiences). Everyone had something to gain from the class. I don’t know about you, but when I’m writing a story, my biggest problem is just figuring out where to start! Thankfully, Julie came to class armed with dozens of inspirational exercises to get my creativity flowing. I left each class feeling excited, fulfilled and inspired. By the end of the session, I had 12 new friends, four full stories to share, and nearly thirty ideas for future tales. Having gained the know-how, I submitted one of my stories from the Fundamentals class. To my delight, it was chosen for the October 2012 show, The School of Hard Knocks. The experience was more than I thought it could be and I’m so very grateful to have not only crossed off something important from my Chicago Bucket List, but to now own the tools that make me a better writer… something I never really thought I was, until I tried.

Editor’s note: for more information on 2nd Story classes and workshops, click here.

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