Patty and I went to Austin, Texas last week specifically to attend a live performance of the show ‘Risk!’. It’s one of Patty’s favorite podcasts where people get up in front of an audience and risk telling true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public. It’s hosted by Kevin Allison, the show’s author from the legendary TV sketch comedy troupe The State. (http://risk-show.com) He helps those that want to tell their story craft their delivery so you’re pretty much guaranteed a quality delivery from each participant.
This Austin show started off with Kevin sharing one of his stories about his first gay sexual encounter in New York City. Four other people followed his delivery with their stories, each lasting about 15 minutes. Topics included a fella trying to become an actor facing his insecurities, a gal dealing with a cheating boyfriend in the Army, then another gal told about her awkward experience with boys in her adolescence. The last performance was by Patty’s niece who told the tumultuous account of her son’s suicide attempt. All were well rehearsed and delivered with compassion, humor and honesty.
I don’t listen to the podcast that much but Patty has shared several of her favorites with me. They’re quite entertaining because people share their most intimate experiences and thoughts which quickly draws you into their story and holds your attention as they bare their souls to you. The ones that stand out for me was the hilarious ‘Fuck or Fight Situation’ story by Melanie Hamlett about a gal on a ski adventure with a bunch of men. You’ve got to watch this one. I posted it below for your viewing. I loved the ‘Spanxgiving’ story by Aubrey O’Day of Danity Kane. I linked the YouTube video of it below too.
While I certainly had a delightful evening listening to people share their stories, it was not one of the better series of stories I’ve hear. That’s not meant to take away the courage of each story teller or the polish it took to refine their stories. I recognize the bravery and the hard work it took to present their stories. But for me, the stories were nice but not the best. I had a hard time believing one of the stories about dog poop rolled up inside a handkerchief and stuffed down a girls pants so she’d look like she had a penis. In another story, a gal blamed the military for screwing up her cheating boyfriend and concluded that it was the Army’s fault for her relationship troubles. Anyhow, without tearing apart each story with my own critical analysis, I’ll happily say that I love being exposed to new ideas, new stories and new people. In that regard, Risk in Austin was quite entertaining. I’d recommend checking out the podcast samples on the Risk website where you’ll find highlight of the show over the last couple of years.
Is it wrong to be judgmental of a person who share’s a very personal story or is that part of the process – like discussing a movie or a play after it’s over? It’s just my opinion of course and we all know that what they say, ‘ assholes and opinions – we all have them.’