Tag Archives: storytelling

Talk Shop: My Washington City Paper cover feature on Story District’s 20th* anniversary

2005-Speakeasy_I did it for the story-first marketing campaign as SpeakeasyDC-photo by Manuel Claros

The oral yarn-spinning concern now known by the moniker Story District is the subject of this week’s Washington City Paper cover feature—my fourth, I think. I’m reasonably happy with how it turned out. I only regret that I didn’t find the right space to mention John Kevin Boggs, who was a huge contributor to that organization, and to DC’s performing arts community in general, as a storyteller and instructor. He passed away in March of 2015, much, much too soon.

*Kinda. The Speakeasy open mics, which were started by Washington Storytellers Theatre (est. 1991), began in 1997. WST became SpeakeasyDC in 2005 and then Story District in 2015.

And I Am Not Lying: My You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown co-star Jeff Simmermon is recording a comedy album at the Black Cat tonight.

jeff_s_22My boyhood chum Jeff Simmermon is recording his debut comedy album tonight at the Black Cat. I wrote about him for today’s Washington City Paper. 

John Kevin Boggs, 1963-2015

JKBJohn Kevin Boggs had many people closer to him than me, but we were friendly acquaintances for a decade and running into him never failed to improve my mood. I wrote what I remember and admire about him for The Washington City Paper.

We’ll Always Have Aliens: My Boyhood Pal Grew Up to Be a Master Tale-Spinner

What a treat and a privilege it was to catch up with my boyhood pal Jeff Simmermon so I could write about his return to DC to bring his storytelling series And I Am Not Lying (an offshoot of his eponymous, very amusing blog) to the Black Cat. Continue reading

The View from the Future with Mike Birbiglia

Mike Birbiglia, dressed for success.

Mike Birbiglia, dressed for success.

Mike Birbiglia remembers when the room was a lot smaller. He’s headlining Saturday night at the Warner Theatre, where he’ll tell some stories he’s considering for inclusion in his next one-man show. But he cut his teeth at the DC Improv in the late 90s, while a student at Georgetown University. By the time he was 25, he’d done the The Late Show with David Letterman and had his first album and Comedy Central special.

Birbiglia’s act grew more distinct and involving a couple of years ago, when he began to segue from traditional stand-up into more personal storytelling. Continue reading

Talking Male Fragility Blues with Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby photographed by Sigrid Estrada

Few writers have managed to pin the millennial male ego under glass the way Nick Hornby has. In his comic novels High Fidelity, About a Boy, and the new Juliet, Naked, among others, Hornby picks apart our vanity and insecurity in ways that are as scary as they are entertaining. He’s also written loads of great nonfiction about his love of soccer, literature, and pop music.
Continue reading

The Princess Diaries: Wishful Drinking

Run, don’t walk!