What is Live True Storytelling? • • Spark
Storytelling is ingrained in human nature. It’s how we connect with one another, share ideas and express emotions. Most of us tell stories every day, even if we’re not aware we are doing it. But many people are not familiar with live, on-stage true storytelling and have questions about how it works and what to expect. Sometimes it’s easiest to begin by explaining what true storytelling is not…
It’s Not Stand-Up Comedy
Sometimes our storytellers are funny. Deeply personal and honest stories are often humorous – we recognise ourselves in the storytellers, and feel their shock, disbelief or embarrassment as they relay their experiences. Many professional comedians use storytelling as way to engage with their audiences. But true storytelling is not the same as stand-up. Your story does not have to be funny. It can be sad, serious, regretful, challenging, contemplative. We ask that our storytellers speak from the heart. We’re not looking for punchlines or callbacks. It is never your job to make the audience laugh. That said, we have worked with some great comedians in the past, and we welcome funny stories – so long as they are true!
It’s Not Spoken Word or Poetry
When possible, we ask our audience members to speak without notes or a script. It can be helpful to think about the structure of your story in advance and jot down a few talking points, but many of the best stories we hear are totally off-the-cuff. Tell your story as if you were talking to a close friend over a cup of tea on the sofa, or a pint at the pub. This is where it’s helpful to ensure your story is as close to the truth as possible – even if you lose your train of thought, you’ll be able to find your way back.
It’s Not ‘Acting’
You do not have to have a background in performance art – or indeed any on-stage experience – to take part at a Spark True Stories night. There are no auditions. If you’re naturally shy or feeling a little nervous, come and speak to one of the Spark team before the event starts and we’ll put your mind at ease. We welcome people from all walks of life at our live nights, so don’t worry about whether or not you come across as confident, charismatic or convincing. If your story means something to you, then your honesty will resonate with our audience.
So, What is a Spark Story?
At Spark, we have only three rules: your story must be true, it must have happened to you (not someone else) and it must be up to five minutes in length. Don’t worry too much about that last point – we’ll give you a subtle notification when you’re four minutes into your story so you have a chance to work towards the conclusion. The best stories centre around a specific event or experience. For example, if the theme is ‘Power’, tell us about a time in your life when you felt powerful or powerless, rather than simply sharing your general musings on the theme.
If You Still Have Questions…
Drop one of our team members an email. You can find us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll do what we can to help!