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Gutsy Tales Off the Rails: Living Out Loud

Gutsy Tales Off the Rails: Living Out Loud

It takes guts to stand up in public and tell a personal story. Rumor has it that more people are afraid of speaking in public than of dying.


Starting in October 2016, nine speakers met from 7:00 to 10:00 one night a week and worked on their stories. Speakers Joan Bowling, Shirley T. Burke, Angela L. Edwards, Dorothy Erlanger, Captain Jim Gordon, Yolanda Gomez Gray, Elizabeth Louis, Shanna Kabatznick, and Pam Rambo met with Storyteller Channel's Gayle Turner.


And even though many of the group were already experienced speakers, they weren't interested in public humiliation. And that included the rehearsal process; so, the only feedback permitted was the following:

  • What you specifically liked.
  • What you'd like to hear more about.
  • If you got lost in the story, where did you get lost and what didn't you understand.


That was it. Nobody was allowed to suggest changes to another's story. As is human nature, everyone seemed to want to, at one time or another, but they quickly caught on to the wisdom of the rules of the game.

From night one, the group worked on structuring the stories. The goal was for the stories to last no longer than ten minutes each. Some were successful in this goal, others less so, but the group's primary goal was to structure stories in such a way that their family and friends would ask them to tell their stories again instead of rolling their eyes and praying they'd stop talking.


On November 29, 2016, these nine speakers presented in front of a packed audience. Some of the tellers confided later that they had been so anxious they had considered not performing. But in the end, the night flew by and everyone in the audience had a grand time.

The group never tired of listening to these stories during their rehearsals, nor during their performance at the Showcase, nor when we watch them on Storytellers Channel. As such, we feel confident that you, too, will enjoy them as you read them here. Please enjoy their stories.


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