There is no better entertainment than a well-told story in a dimly lit bar. At least that’s how we Scrantonians see it. This Saturday, some of Scranton’s most interesting characters are lined up to share their stories and compete for the coveted Slammy award at Ale Mary’s. This slam’s theme is “Heartburn” and we’re willing to bet it will get pretty juicy. If you haven’t been to a Scranton StorySlam yet....OMG, ya gotta!!!
We got the chance to chat with Pamela McNichols of Scranton StorySlam about this Saturday’s event.
What’s a story slam and what made you decide to bring it to Scranton?
The StorySlam is a competition at which storytellers share true, personal tales with a room full of people who love a good story. Each slam has its own unique theme to tie the night together.
Scranton is full of colorful characters with great stories! After seeing our first story slam in Brooklyn, we knew we had to introduce this fun event to our friends at home.
What can we expect at Saturday night’s “Heartburn” themed Slam?
We're expecting tales of bad dates, first dates, and love stories gone awry. Perhaps we'll even hear a few happy-ever-afters.
Stories are not censored or previewed, so we never know what we're going to hear. Maybe we'll get a local version of Fifty Shades. Who knows!
Can you tell us a little about this event’s storytellers?
We have an amazing line-up.
Jim Bosha will return after wowing the audience at the West Side Slam with his winning story about a childhood discovery of (what he believed to be) a human soul in the burn pit behind his family's funeral home.
Steve Clark is a two-time Grand Slam champion at First Person Arts StorySlam in Philadelphia. A graduate of the University of Scranton, Steve is looking forward to visiting his old stomping grounds.
Heather Davis is a film buff and screen writer with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. Heather has been on our radar a long time, and we're excited to finally get her up on stage to hear one of her best love stories.
Stephanie Longo is the editor of the Abington Suburban newspaper, the author of two books on local history, and a lover of all things Italian.
Jeannine Luby is a stand-up comedian, motivational speaker, and author of the book "He's Not Prince Charming When..." which will be available for sale at the StorySlam.
John Walton is a stand-up comedian who performs all over the east coast and has won several comedy competitions. John is excited to open for comedian Gilbert Gottfried on March 6, at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Scranton, presented by Laugh Out Lepka's Comedy.
Patrice Wilding is a writer and reporter for the Lifestyles Department of the Times-Tribune. She also bartends at Honeychilds' and has a side gig appearing as Elsa from "Frozen" at children's parties.
Pictured: Storyteller Heather Davis
Pictured: Storyteller Heather Davis
So what are the Story Slam rules?
- Stories must be true (as remembered by the storyteller).
- Stories should not be longer than five minutes.
- Stories must be told without notes. (Storytellers should know their story by heart.)
How can a storyteller get involved? Can anyone participate?
We usually feature six to eight storytellers and leave spots open for audience members who are interested in getting on stage to tell their story.
Anyone interested in telling a story should put their name in the fish bowl when they arrive, and three wild cards will be selected at random throughout the course of the evening.
Also, we'll be selecting five judges from the audience to help determine the winner of the slam.
Winners take home 50 bucks and a Slammy, the coveted StorySlam trophy.
Pictured: StorySlam Emcee Conor McGuigan
Do we need advanced tickets and where can we get them?
Tickets are available online at heartburn.brownpapertickets.com or at the door (until the event sells out). This venue only holds 100 people, so advanced tickets are a good idea.
We don't like to turn anyone away, but no one enjoys being packed in like sardines.
Is there anything else you want to share with our readers?
If you've never been to a StorySlam and you're wondering what to expect, imagine sitting at a bar listening to your friends' funniest or most touching stories, that's what you'll get at a StorySlam.
And here's a little secret about something extra we have in common with ScrantonMade...
The Scranton StorySlam and Arts on the Square were voted "Best New Event" by readers of the Electric City in 2012 and 2013, respectively. True story!
Learn more about Scranton Story Slam: