Ireland has one of the oldest traditions of storytelling in Europe – a long-respected tradition of spoken word, or keeping our collective identity alive through drunk stories in a bar, or at a wake, or around a fireplace – and now on stages like this one at Kfest. As the world moves towards even more superficial and artificial forms, and as we become even more engulfed in fake and fictitious worlds online, now is the time to celebrate all that makes us human, all the raw and messy bits that make us ‘us’, to celebrate connection, simplicity, and vulnerability, or just to laugh at how utterly ridiculous it all is too.
We don’t tell stories to impress – we tell them to connect, so I invite you all to come to K-fest’s inaugural storytelling night – Storyfest!
It’s a night to celebrate that in all of us lie stories that would rival those of Hollywood and in those books you leave by your bed, personal tales of all the adventures, misadventures, heartbreak, and struggles we must go through just to survive. But our stories are powerfully simple too. I heard a man tell a beautifully funny story of his love for his pyjamas – he got up on stage and had the entire audience in stitches as he regaled us with accounts of his nightly love for cotton blue pinstriped pyjamas. Of course, the story isn’t only about pyjamas – it was about his wife and how they had found intimacy again after years of distance, his need for routine in a chaotic time of his life, his desire to have something just for himself, some modicum of pleasure at the end of the day. This is the beauty of good storytelling – it doesn’t need to be a recount of all these amazing events that have happened to you. I always say being alive is the most exciting thing we could ever do, so all we need to do is tell it.
This year, in the wake of our ever-worsening housing crisis, we thought it would only be fitting to celebrate the theme of home – and what it means to us.
Have you ever been far from home or lost your way? Have you had a renovation or building nightmare? Have you left home for greener pastures and discovered the grass isn’t greener or it is? What about your childhood home? I’m sure it has some stories hidden in it? Does Ireland still feel like home or have you ever had to find a home elsewhere? What does it mean to miss home and those in it? Is home a person or a group of people? Have you too fallen victim to the housing crisis or found yourself homeless?
We welcome all stories, from the ridiculous and silly to the heartbreaking and life-affirming – we are here for it all.
The story must be true (with some embellishments of course)
You must be part of your story in some way – no anecdotes or stand-up – funny stories are always welcome!
It doesn’t need to be rehearsed – the more natural, the better.
Try to focus on a singular event if you can or have a primary focus. Think of your beginning and your ending, and the rest will follow.
Don’t skimp on detail – set the scene, describe the weather that day, what you were wearing, what was the mood of the room. Good storytelling always includes good detailing so we can all be in the story with you.
Don’t give the story away too soon – keep us in suspense. Remember, we, the audience, should only know as much as you knew in the story. Let the mystery build. (We love a good twist too)
No notes – you don’t need them – this story is about you. Just trust that whatever comes out on the night is what is supposed to come out.
We tell stories not to impress, but to connect, so try not to worry about the overall outcome.
Stories should try to stay under 8 minutes, preferably between 4 and 7 minutes, but if it’s shorter, don’t worry. Our audience will be warm and welcoming, and our MC will be there to ensure that everyone’s story gets the attention and respect it deserves.
Have fun! Challenge yourself, be brave, dare to be a little different, and come and share that which aches in you – no time like the present.
If you’re interested in telling a story, you can do so by emailing email@example.com or just show up on the night to watch, support, and maybe feel inspired to tell your story. We love last-minute recruits.
We can’t wait to see you there at the Killorglin CYMS on Saturday 3rd, doors at 20:15.
I’ll be your host for the night, and I can assure you that you and your stories will be in safe and comfortable hands.