The How I Learned Series features writers, storytellers, comedians, and other raconteurs holding forth on a different theme. It all happens every last Wednesday of the month, and sometimes more than that, which basically means you will have the best night of your life on those nights, repeatedly.



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.