April 1st was our first Anniversary! We are officially one year old. And a ton of you showed up to celebrate, thank you. It was great to see such a crowd of people checking in on us. I hope we dolled out an ample amount of hugs.
There was food: incredible vegan chilli, three different cakes—white, chocolate, and lemon raspberry—tons of hummus, carrots, strawberries, and more devoured. So much thank you!
But mostly we had stories. Five fantastic features, and five huggable walk up tellers. One of which we’ve invited back.
Allow me to reflect for a little bit.
I always wanted to believe that you could just go out and do things. And most of the time, I bought into it. Bought into that aspect of the American dream. But in regards to putting together a show, something I always wanted to do, there was a blind spot for me. I never thought it was possible.
Cameron talked about this idea a little at the front end of her story. She explained that it wasn’t so much she was in the closet, as it was more she couldn’t fathom being gay as an option. There is an impotence when we lack the imagination of options. We are shaped by possibility blindness. I had that, possibility blindness, whenever I thought about helping running a show. Putting something like Here’s the Story together felt impossible. Like Cameron, I lacked the imagination of possibility.
Over a year ago, the loveliest of hosts changed that for me. Janna looked at me with those soft caring eyes, and then she laughed in the face of my insecurities and exclaimed, “Are you crazy? It’s the easiest thing in the world, you just do it.” It was the tone of her voice — the sincerity that rang out, the total astonishment that I might have even the slightest doubt — that shattered my doubts altogether. She made it clear that my doubts were absurd, and I haven’t doubted Here’s the Story since.
That’s not to say I haven’t had to grow up a lot. When we started this, there were so many things that were hard for me, some still are, of course. Picking features. Making phone calls to solicit services and goods from people I didn’t know, yeep. Figuring out how to promote it. There are general growing pains too, just figuring out the place Here’s the Story holds in the landscape of Chicago and the history of storytelling shows.
But my biggest stumbling block in being creative was a lack of imagination. A blindness to the possibilities. I couldn’t imagine myself helping run a show this great. Janna gave me the ability to imagine. She said, “It’s people getting together to share what’s in their hearts. You couldn’t screw that up if you tried.”
She was right.
A year in we are still growing. But too, a year in and we are in awe at how magical this little show has been. Thank you to all of our supporters, from the money you’ve donated, to the food, time and stories you’ve shared, it’s meant a lot to both Janna and I.
It’s been an absolutely amazing year of stories. May 6th my brother will be showing up to feature! I’m super excited about that. May 12th will be Journey to the End of the Night. And we have a ton of quality surprises in store for you throughout the rest of this year. Not the least of which is a galla of features for our December show!
And for those of you who missed the April 1st show or any of the past shows, live vicariously!
In observance of April 1st, one of our features this month was asked to tell a fib. If you want to skip the suspense, click bellow to find out who it was.
Feature List: Cameron Esposito, Dave Jennings, Jeff Gandy, Bill Larkin, Deanna Moffit! (Stepped in for Emily Walker)