I’m so excited to tell you that my first storytelling show New York City’s Secrets and Lies was so successful in January (a sold out show!) that it’s now going to be a monthly show for a year at Caveat starting in April.
The next show will be on Tuesday, April 17th at 7pm. Tickets are now on sale for $12 so get ’em while they’re hot and spread the word! Hope to see you there.
More details about the show:
Can you tell the difference between a secret and a lie? Five expert storytellers spin incredible tales about the secret pasts of NYC locations you walk by every day. All the stories are true except for one. If you can identify the lie, you’ll be in the running to win a pair of tickets to a secret NYC event.
“When a secret nature versus nurture experiment is exposed, a delicious New York City restaurant is born.”
“New York City nearly became its own country, but not for the reasons you’d expect or hope for.”
Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door
Adam is an inimitable fixture in both the New York City storytelling and comedy scenes. He is the winner of 20 SLAMS at The Moth (18 StorySLAM victories and 2 GrandSLAM Championships) with 20 different winning stories. He has toured across North America with The Moth Main Stage. His stories have appeared on The Moth Radio Hour and The Moth Podcast.
Adam has been performing his New York Times and Time Out New York’s critic’s pick monthly solo show The Adam Wade from NH Show since January 2010. He is also a regular performer on Nights of Our Lives at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and has made several appearances on Asssscat 3000 (guest monologist), Whiplash and Night Train with Wyatt Cenac.
Adam recently released his debut storytelling/comedy album Adam Wade: The Human Comedy, with Comedy Dynamics. The album was enthusiastically lauded in Sarah Larson’s profile of Adam in The New Yorker. He has been seen on HBO’s GIRLS Season 5 finale and on Season 2 and 3 of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer.
In 2017, Adam began hosting a tech web series for Bloomberg called Conversations with Coders as well as a series he created called Wade on the Bench in Hoboken.
A seasoned teacher of his craft, since 2010, Adam has been teaching a variety of 6-week Storytelling Classes at NYC’s Magnet Theater. In December 2017, Adam teamed up with Airbnb to create his very own NYC Storytelling Experience.
He also conducts one-on-ones meet ups and workshops for businesses and organizations. Find him online at AdamWade.com, on Twitter at @adamwade, and on Instagram at@adamwadestoryteller, and Facebook at @adamwadestoryteller.
Carla is Jersey born and bred storyteller and now lives in Hoboken. She debuted her solo show “Body Parts” at this year’s SOLOCOM 2017 at the Peoples Improv Theater. She has performed at numerous Moth StorySlams, at the Magnet Theatre, in “Adam Wade’s Storytelling Series”, and in front of her dog Finn. Carla likes to get emotionally naked and she tells stories that expose the small dramas that make us laugh or cringe. By day, she is a labor union leader, lawyer, and political animal. By night, she gets naked and howls at the moon over Manhattan. Carla learned storytelling craft from fellow Hobokenite Adam Wade, a 20-time Moth winner and comic extraordinaire.
Jane is a stage, film, and television actress originally from Canada. She has worked at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada, and has been in the touring company of Broadway shows including Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Mamma Mia!. She comes from a large family with six siblings so she’s been telling “stories” her whole life. Jane loves a big red wine from Napa, and hates soft cheese.
Suzanne lives in Manhattan with her husband and teddy bear, but, unwilling to fully abandon her Chicago-area upbringing, insists on calling soda “pop,” and sneakers “gym shoes.”
Her first book is Off the (Beaten) Subway Track: New York City’s Best Unusual Places, a travelogue about/guide to unusual places and things to do in NYC. She is also the author of 1.87 yet-to-be published novels. Her essays and fiction have appeared in New York Nonprofit Press, Metro New York, City Limits Magazine, Bookanista, Flash Fiction Magazine, and The Sunlight Press.
In addition to writing, Suzanne is the founder of TwentyTwenty Books, a nonprofit organization that connects marginalized voices in literature to community-based book clubs. She has MFA in creative writing from the New School and an MPA from Columbia University.
She likes eating, running, House Hunters International, wandering around cities, and sleeping.
Vicki is a storyteller, an improviser, and a law professor. She grew up in Dallas, Texas, the land of tall tales and tall hair.
She left Texas for Harvard, where she spent most of her time as an activist on feminist issues but also studied obscure 19th century Russian novels. Years of law school and lawyering led Vicki to need more joy in her life, so she studied improv at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and storytelling with Adam Wade.
Vicki performs with the indie team “Improvisers of a Certain Age” and can be seen at Sunday Night Improv at Stand Up NY. Vicki has spun her tales at Moth StorySlams, in Adam Wade’s Storytelling Series, and in numerous shows at the Magnet Theater. She is developing a solo show of her stories, “Can Feminists Wear Tiaras?”
For fans of slide decks, Vicki has presented “Using Techniques from Improvisational Comedy and Storytelling to Help Students Find Their Legal Voices” at academic conferences in New York and Verona, Italy.
“If the world is cold, make it your business to build fires.” ~Horace Traubel, author and leader of the Arts and Crafts movement
The world is in need of people who can bring their best selves to it, who can see what’s needed and then have the fortitude to make it happen. Before I jump to the conclusion that this or that could never happen, I’ve lately found myself looking at challenging situations that I’d like to see come to fruition and asking, “What would it take to make it so?” And then I get to work.
In our work and in our lives, exploring our full slate of possibilities before deciding what to do is a critical step that can’t be minimized or hurried. Before we rush to judgement and decide, let’s take a moment to think about what we’d like to do without determining whether or not that’s the best course of action. Let’s lay every card on the table and give it its due before we decide whether or not to set it aside. Let’s dream a little.
As I think about my own storytelling projects, I am reminded of my introduction to it when I was a young child.
I grew up in a rural area where Native American culture is still very much alive. We had a family friend who was a Mohawk chief, Chief Black Bear. We would often go to visit his trading post. He was a very tall, solid, regal man. I was fascinated by him. I remember the jewelry, items fashioned from animal skins, the art, and the tobacco pipes carved from natural items. I have no Native American heritage in my blood, but I somehow felt very much at home in his culture. I still do.
One year for Christmas, my mom bought me several books about Native American history. The way they live and what they believe makes complete sense to me. They take care of the planet and each other. They believe in the connectedness of the heavens above and the Earth below. And their storytelling—that’s what captivates me the most. They make deep wisdom palpable, even to a child.
Yesterday I learned about how some members of some tribes welcome people back from war. There is a recognition that they must have transition time. They go with the medicine man for a number of days to literally and figuratively have the blood washed away. The trauma of war is recognized and processed. They deal with this in the light so that it doesn’t get subsumed into the shadows. They grieve. They’re cleaned. They’re healed so that they can return whole.
Setting war aside, if we just look at our own grieving process today with any lens, we often don’t allow space or time for it. We are supposed to move on quickly and in earnest to sunny skies and smiles. We are told to let it go as quickly and cleanly as possible. Though truthfully we hang onto things inside of us. We don’t always give ourselves time to adequately mourn our losses and reflect on what we’ve learned. And so it piles up, and up and up and up until we literally collapse under it. We do ourselves a disservice all in an effort to get on with it. Except we haven’t gotten on with anything. We are playing a role, and eventually we will have to leave the stage and all of our grief will be there waiting in the wings. And we will feel alone and isolated and ashamed of it. And we will bear it until we can’t.
Our society is dealing with massive public issues now, issues that have been ignored and swept under the rug for too long by too many. Of course they now seem unwieldy. Look how much time they’ve had to grow unattended. We cannot and should not shrink away from dealing with them now, no matter how large they loom. If we don’t recognize and set ourselves on a course to solve them, that task will fall to the next generation and the generation after that. Bringing them into the light is painful, but it is the only way to create a better tomorrow. Have faith, and let’s get to work. We can do hard things, together.
About two years ago, I went to the Kennedy Center’s Arts Summit. It was a gathering of about 150 arts professionals, hosted by Yo-Yo Ma, and focused on Citizen Artistry, the idea of using the arts to influence positive change in people’s lives. I was one of the only people there who had worked in an industry other than the arts, and one of exactly two people who had an MBA. Several people asked me why I ever thought about pairing my artistic interest with business training. I told them that art and business are equal partners, not adversaries. In an artistic organization, you need business skills just as much as you need artistic talent. And in all organizations, business people have a lot to learn from artists.
This was puzzling to a lot of people, and that’s when a lightbulb went off for me. How could I bring the arts and business, and more specifically people who work in both disciplines, together to learn from one another? At the end of the Summit, everyone had to create a card to describe their career goal for the year. Here I am with my card:
“I commit to helping artists find the business people within them, and to helping business people find the artists within them.”
My life and my career have never been a binary choice between the arts and business. They’ve always been a package deal for me. And I wanted to find a way to work that mission into my career. I started my career twenty years ago in company management of Broadway shows and national theater tours. It has been a long and winding road since then. In all of these experiences, I say without hesitation that my work in theater has been the best business training I’ve ever had.
I so fervently believe this that when people ask me “how can I enhance my business skills?”, I tell them to go produce a live performance.
Here are the business skills we wield to produce a live show:
Are you kidding me? What other industry requires that much of a single person? No other industry. The production of a live show is the epitome of deft business skills in action.
I was beyond fortunate to have this kind of experience in the arts in my early twenties. It has informed and shaped my career and life as an adult, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. These skills are transferable to so many other industries, and a variety of roles within organizations and companies. The arts, and our active engagement with them, have many more gifts to give us than we realize.
My great hope and purpose in coming to work at PatronManager is to help arts managers create an environment of financial sustainability that allow your art and artists to shine, and to make your work accessible to as wide an audience as possible. The arts have never been more important than they are today, and our responsibility to produce them has never been greater. If you have ideas for us, please don’t be shy. I want to hear them so that we can help each other bring them to life.
This week I had 4 partner conversations with people and organizations I greatly admire to discuss my passion for storytelling and New York City history. 3 months ago, my idea for a show was barely a seed. Now it’s bigger and brighter than I ever thought possible. Here’s to dreaming and living out loud. I love this town. More details soon!
I love this quote by Jon Acuff.
I made a list of all the good things that happen to you when you compare yourself to others.
The world is lucky to have you, just as you are. Be you.
“Stuff your eyes with wonder. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” ~Ray Bradbury
This weekend I started planning my trips to Vancouver, Ireland, Iceland, and the Galápagos, and this quote ran through my mind over and over again. To stuff your eyes with wonder? There isn’t any higher goal or better way to live. I love to be amazed. It makes every day an adventure. Stay curious.
“I promise if you keep searching for everything beautiful in this world, you will eventually become it.” ~Tyler Kent White
Where do you go to find beauty? A museum or gallery? A concert? Nature? Social media?
Wherever you go to seek beauty, I want you to find it and bring it so deeply into your being that you become exactly what you seek. Have a beautiful Monday.
This weekend, I’m preparing my taxes and grateful that I’m able to do so. I received assistance from government programs as a kid via the WIC program and the free lunch program. I went to college and graduate school with the help of students loans and government grants. Now on this flip side of life, I’m glad that I can pay forward this money to kids and young people who need those same programs to build a better life.
I know that there are parts of our government—local, state, and federal—that are inefficient and don’t spend money well. I also know that there are programs funded through taxes that change lives. I’m living, breathing proof of that. So while taxes can seem like an unwelcome chore, today I’m focusing on all the good that taxes do in my city, my state, and my country. This is the zen of tax preparation, and I embrace it.