The How I Learned Series features writers, storytellers, comics, and other raconteurs holding forth on lessons learned, unlearned, relearned or in progress. The How I Learned Series happens once a month, and sometimes more than that, which basically means you will have the best night of your life on those nights, repeatedly.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

EVERYONE'S GOING TO BE FINE

It is with hearts full of whatever Oprah's calling it, that we have decided to tell you that we broke up, called stuff quits, divorced our friends, consciously uncoupled, and did other life / relationship things that were really hard. Please respect our privacy during this difficult time we're having in public and on Instagram. Love, Us




















The How I Learned Series Presents
"HOW I LEARNED BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO"


Featuring:
OPHIRA EISENBERG
(Author, Screw Everyone / Host, NPR's Ask Me Another)
MARA WILSON
(Writer / Host, What Are You Afraid Of?) 
MATT KOFF
(Comedian / Writer, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart)
SARAH KELLY
(Raconteur, Cringe Reading Series)
JOE BERKOWITZ
(Writer, Fast Company)

Hosted By:
Blaise Allysen Kearsley

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30TH, 2014
Show at 7:30* / Doors at 7:00
THE GALLERY AT LPR
(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street NYC
A, C, E, B, D, F, M to West 4th
N, R to Prince / 6 to Bleecker

$5 at the door

*Note earlier start time. We run a tight-ish ship.


OPHIRA EISENBERG is the host of NPR's Ask Me Another, and the author of the memoir Screw Everyone, which was recently optioned for a feature film. She is also a master storyteller and a regular host at The Moth, and has performed on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and many other places. Currently, she can be seen everywhere.


MARA WILSON is a writer, playwright, former child actor, and the creator and host of the show What Are You Afraid Of?, which will be live at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater on May 4th. Her film appearances include Mrs. DoubtfireMatilda. You will never see her on Dancing with the Stars, so stop asking.


MATT KOFF is a comedian and staff writer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has also written for IFC's The Onion News Network and Comedy Central's Tosh.O. He can be seen regularly at The UCB Theater, Comic Strip, and Littlefield. He lives in Brooklyn without a wife or kids. Not even a pet. Pretty sad stuff.


SARAH KELLY's prodigious career began in 1983 when she formed The Executioners, a brother/sister team known for their reenactments of popular music videos. In 2005, after coming to the realization that she was lazy and had a lot of feelings inside her heart, she began living her life by the philosophy of "I don't know." She performs stand-up all over New York City in places that she won't tell any of her friends about beforehand.

JOE BERKOWITZ is a staff writer at Fast Company. He has also written for The Awl, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, and other publications. 



Here's the event on Facebook for your totally optional RSVP'ing pleasure. (But you know what? If you RSVP 'yes' even if you can't go it makes us look good. No presh.)

Monday, March 31, 2014

WHEN YOU GROW UP YOUR HEART DIES

For those of you who have been to How I Learned before, you know how much I enjoy John Hughes movies. (Well, really only nine movies out of all of them, but I love those nine so much that it's like enough theoretical love to go around.)

BuzzFeed -- you know that site that does all the quizzes that get posted all over Facebook -- just posted a "Which John Hughes Classic Are You?" quiz. Now, the senior editor of BuzzFeed, Louis Peitzman, was a featured performer at the last How I Learned and I was campaigning for a "Which How I Learned Theme Are You" quiz. I think this is as close as it's gonna get.

Oh, of course I did the quiz. Naturally, I got the 'The Breakfast Club.' I am Allison Reynolds. I've been saying that for years.




Monday, March 10, 2014

NEXT HOW I LEARNED: MONDAY MARCH 24TH AT THE GALLERY AT LPR / (LE) POISSON ROUGE

IT'S THE HOW I LEARNED 2014 NYC TOUR. Over the next few months, we'll be in different venues all across New York City, except for Queens and Staten Island because we don't go there. Last month? Bowery Electric. This month? The Gallery at LPR at (Le) Poisson Rouge. It was so nice when we all got together the last time. Let's do it again.




















The How I Learned Series Presents
"How I Learned The Awful Truth! Stories of Backstabbing and Betrayal!"

Featuring:
DIANA SPECHLER
(Author, Skinny / 7-time Moth StorySLAM champion)
ALEX EDELMAN
(Performer, RISK! / Writer, The Atlantic)
LOUIS PEITZMAN
(Editor, BuzzFeed / BlackBook Magazine)
DAVID CRABB
(Performer, Bad Kid / Co-Host, Ask Me Stories)
KARA BULLER
(Writer, Bust Magazine / Performer, Chicago's Second City)

Host:
Blaise Allysen Kearsley

Monday, March 24th
8:00 PM / Doors at 7:00

THE GALLERY AT LPR
(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street NYC
A, C, E, B, D, F, M to West 4th
N, R to Prince / 6 to Bleecker

$5 at the door

DIANA SPECHLER is the author of the novels Who by Fire and Skinny and of fiction and nonfiction in the New York Times, GQ, Esquire, Paris Review, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She is a seven-time Moth StorySLAM winner who has been featured on The Moth podcast and The Moth Radio Hour. This is Diana's third appearance on How I Learned. That's how good she is.

ALEX EDELMAN is a comedian and writer who hails from the Boston comedy scene where he began performing at age 15 -- 8 years ago. Now based in New York, Alex has performed all over the globe and continues to tour both nationally and internationally. He has been featured on RISK! multiple times, as well as the Live From NYC Podfest, and Dave Hill's Podcasting Incident. He was featured on Storyteller's Club in Edinburgh and The End of The Road Festival in the U.K.

DAVID CRABB is a performer, writers, storyteller, and host of the Moth StorySLAM. He is the co-creator of the live storytelling series ASK ME and has told stories at RISK!, Stripped Stories, The Soundtrack Series and Story Collider. David is a member of NYC's Axis Company Theatre where his solo show, Bad Kid was named a New York Times Critics' Pick. He teaches storytelling at The PIT and Kevin Allison's The Story Studio. He generally dislikes sorcerers, dragons, and anything having to do with "wizardry." This is his fourth appearance on How I Learned. That's how similar to Diana Spechler he is.

KARA BULLER is a writer for Bust Magazine, and her biting comedy has snatched up prizes from Chicago to New York. She has performed in places as far west as Maui and as far sad as a Midwestern memorial service. She has been deemed "very smart, very funny" by David Letterman's chief talent booker. Kara is a graduate of Chicago's legendary Second City where she performed her one-woman show Cowboy Crushes, Prank Calls and the Biblette; which was "full of hilarious insights" according to the Chicago Reader. Kara is equipped with an attitude of gratitude and is raring to go.

LOUIS PEITZMAN is a senior editor at BuzzFeed, where he writes about entertainment and occasionally makes those quizzes that annoy you on Facebook. He has previously written for Gawker, TV.com, BlackBook Magazine, and the internet at large. He came here from L.A. He's just visiting.


Here's the thing on Facebook, if you want. We love you a lot.

Friday, March 7, 2014

WHAT WE LEARNED

Hot on the heels of my big 5-Year Anniversary Show, Brad Lawrence and I put on the Best In Show show, an open mic/story slam where you get free, live coaching from a panel of seasoned storytellers who enjoy having a cocktail now and then.

Michelle Onufrak walked away the winner (although there are no scores; the coaches confer at the end to crown the "Best In Show.") She won a bag of Hershey's Kisses from Key Food, so it's a pretty big deal and basically a foot in the door to show biz.

Here's what we learned from our coaches, Erin Barker, Tracy Rowland and Leslie Goshko:
- The art of building a strong structure
- Stripping down unnecessary details
- How to handle the dark stuff in such a way that the audience doesn't feel uncomfortable or like - they're suddenly witnessing someone's therapy session.
- Physicality (which I like to call "handography") and;
- How to turn a string of anecdotes into a full story.

And just some of the memorable quotes from a few of the intrepid storytellers:
 "Nothing is a bad idea." (Brad begged to differ) - Vaughn
"Public parts." A better name for private parts depending on what you're going for - Jackie
"Getting high and watching Blazing Saddles doesn't do anything for your health." (Here's where I beg to differ.) - Jeff
"I finally got to second base; she friended me on Facebook." - Eli
and finally:
"What amount of blood is serious?" - Sharain
 That's just a beautiful line, in my opinion.

BEST IN SHOW is really fun, you guys. Come out next time and tell us a story or just come for the entertainment. Next one will be on JUNE 2nd in The Map Room at Bowery Electric.

And don't forget the next HOW I LEARNED on March 24th at (Le) Poisson Rouge. Get at it. More details soon.

Ok, that's it. Couldn't love you more.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

MONDAY NIGHT! TELL A STORY, GET FEEDBACK, PAY NOTHING. IT'S THE BEST.



Here's How It Works: Drop your name in the hat for a chance to tell a five-minute "how I learned..." story. No scores. Just warm, thoughtful, constructive feedback from a rotating panel of three seasoned coaches who may or may not be liquored up at any given time during the show. At the end of the night someone will be crowned "Best in Show" and receive fabulous prizes. (Probably just verbal accolades and a bag of chocolates from Duane Reade.)

NEXT BEST IN SHOW
Monday, March 3rd, 2014
7:30 Sign-Up / 8:00 Stories
UPSTAIRS IN THE MAP ROOM
at The Bowery Electric
327 Bowery (near E 2nd Street)
4, 6 to Bleecker / F to 2nd Ave. / B, D, F, M to Broadway-Lafayette
FREE

Hosted By
Brad Lawrence

This Month's Coaches
Erin Barker (Host, Story Collider) / Tracy Rowland (Moth GrandSLAM)
Leslie Goshko (Host, Sideshow Goshko)

Produced By
Blaise Allysen Kearsley

* * *

Past Coaches:
Peter Aguero (The Moth) / Andy Christie (The Liar Show) / Cammi Climaco (Ask Me Stories) / David Crabb (Ask Me Stories) / Kerri Doherty (Geeking Out) / Katherine Lanpher (Al Jazeera America) / Jim O'Grady (WNYC) / Mark Sam Rosenthal (Comedy Central) / Andy Ross (Real Characters) /  Dana Rossi (The Soundtrack Series) / Rosie Schaap (Drinking With Men) / Michael Sharkey (M. Sharkey Photography) / Ted Travelstead (Vanity Fair) / Aaron Wolfe (The Moth)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

TOTALLY ELECTRIC

I feel like last night's 5-Year Anniversary Show at The Bowery Electric was more fun than should ever be allowed, maybe. Thanks to everyone who came out. You were a funny and fantastic audience. I'm also in love with last night's lineup that I don't even know how to handle it. I am talking about Beth Lisick, Hallie Haglund, Dave Hill and Dave's band Valley Lodge. Anyway, if you weren't there, I'm sorry and I will respect your privacy during this terrible time of nagging regret. Photos coming soon.

Next up is the "Best In Show" show on March 3rd at Bowery Electric, upstairs in The Map Room. The next How I Learned show is Monday, March 24th. This time it'll be in The Gallery at (Le) Poisson Rouge, because this is the 2014 NYC Tour of Different Venues -- except I don't go to Queens or Staten Island.

I can't believe it's been five years. Thank you for everything. I'm very happy to be back. XO