Since 2009, How I Learned has featured some of the best live storytelling, comedy, and readings in New York City. It all happens a couple of times a year, and sometimes more than that, which basically means you'll have the best night of you life on those nights, repeatedly.


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.