Are you telling a story?

Curious, confused or anxious? This page should address most of what you need to know.

You’ve been confirmed
If you’ve asked to participate in a Mudrooms event and you have been confirmed as a storyteller, you will receive an email that will confirm your participation, remind you of a few pertinent details and direct you to this page. 

Communication prior to the event
You will receive several emails from the Mudrooms Story Board as well as a phone call from a board member or volunteer. Please be sure to read all emails thoroughly as they contain important information. In the time leading up to the event, please feel free to reach out to the board directly at mudrooms.juneau@gmail.com with any questions, concerns or requests for one-on-one story coaching.

Our Format

  • Stories are true and personal, told from your perspective
  • Mudrooms stories are no more than 7 minutes in length. Practice keeping your piece to around 6 minutes. You will likely find that once on stage, you will play up sections or pause for audience reaction. A timekeeper will sound a doe call at the 5-minute mark of your story; a buck call sounds if a storyteller reaches 7 minutes.
  • Mudrooms storytellers do not use notes or scripts but speak from the heart. We do not encourage memorization, however: instead work to structure, edit and practice your story so that it is polished but still told in the moment.

Preparation
There are a wide variety of methods to prepare a story. What is clear, however, is that it takes some work to do so – give yourself plenty of time to prepare and practice. Below are some methods that seasoned storytellers use:

  • If you don’t already have an exact story, brainstorm a variety of options. Note which you are most comfortable and excited to tell.
  • Write out the flow of your story (some people write out the full story; others just use bullet points)
  • Identify the main takeaway(s) of your story and the key pieces of information the audience needs to get and feel the takeaway(s).
  • Start saying your story out loud and identify how close you are to 6 minutes. If your story is long, go back to your key pieces of information: what details could be removed while still telling the audience what they need to know?
  • Practice your piece in front of friends or family

Tips

  • The audience is expecting something raw and from the heart, not a polished and perfect recitation. Don’t worry if your story changes a little bit each time you tell it.
  • The connection between your story and the theme can be abstract. Think creatively! You also do not need to directly say the theme (though it’s fine if you do so).
  • Set up a one-on-one session with a Mudrooms story coach
  • Check out thisarticle about a young Masai boy who learned to overcome his shyness and speak at a TED event
  • Listen to some of the previously recorded audio from prior Mudrooms events

Biography
The hosts will introduce each storyteller with a brief (2-3 sentence) biography that you provide. We will need this in advance in order to prepare for the event. Ideas of some details to include:

  • Where you were born and/or raised
  • What brought you to Juneau
  • What you have done and currently do for work
  • Whether you have family
  • Your hobbies
  • any other personal details that will help set up your story

Note that these are just suggestions. We encourage you to provide wacky and bizarre details, in addition to or in lieu of basic biographical details. The biography doesn’t have to be the best written set of sentences you have ever constructed. Your story will serve to communicate yourself to the audience.

The Rehearsal
We rehearse the stories the Saturday before the event at 5:00pm. This is your opportunity to tell your story in the space, feel the lights and get prepared for the big night. It is also a great opportunity to get some gentle, supportive feedback from a few board members. We find this rehearsal makes a huge difference in the final story. Please come prepared and practiced to tell your story as you will on that Tuesday.

The Big Night
Please arrive early to check in with Mudrooms board members, sign the audio waiver, and reserve a seat. The show begins promptly at 7:00.

Musicians will play before the first storyteller and before the fifth storyteller. There is a 15 minute intermission between storytellers four and five.

Remember that a timekeeper will sound a doe call at the 5-minute mark of your story; a buck call sounds if a storyteller reaches 7 minutes.

Breathe…
Last, but most important, remember that people come to Mudrooms to hear stories from the heart. They are very accepting and encouraging. We are too, so let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you.

After the event, we will post the audio and some photos on the website. Photos will be posted to our Facebook page. We will let you know when the audio will air on KTOO public radio, 104.3FM, though generally it airs on a Monday at 7 p.m.

Thanks for volunteering.

Still have questions? Write to us at: mudrooms.juneau@gmail.com.