Tuesday, February 16, 2016
The Downtown Arts District and The Abbey (100 S Eola Dr, Orlando, Florida) presented the first Orlando Story Club event of 2016: Resolution! Admission was $5 at the door. Producer/Director Robin Cowie, produces the unique and fun series, in which anyone who wishes to tell a personal story is invited to put their name in a hat, and selected individuals are chosen at random to showcase their story telling for the enrichment of the Orlando community. Judges award prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. A guest story teller headlines every show, which has its own theme, and food, drinks and laughter are available in abundance. The January Orlando Story Club theme was “Resolution,” and the benefiting charity was the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida, which provide safe places to learn and grow for nearly 14,000 at-risk children in the local community every year.
The word resolution has two great meanings for stories:
1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
2. the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter
Cowie formed Orlando Story Club and held the first event in March of 2014 after returning to Orlando from Los Angeles where he participated in a similar story telling group. “It’s important to talk about the value of sharing your story,” says Cowie, alumni of the University of Central Florida. “There is a reason why in a hectic, intense, media bombarded world the simple act of standing up and sharing your story is so enjoyable. Anyone can put their name in a hat to tell a story. This process is almost therapeutic for both the audience and the tellers.” He continues, “I believe storytelling has more power to unite and build community than any other activity. By sharing our raw life experiences with complete strangers we build incredibly strong bonds. Besides, it's always a truly hilarious and entertaining experience, and the proceeds benefit great local causes.”
Banks Helfrich and Tisse Mallon from Living room Theater gave brief performances between storytellers based on audience prompts which were in a pink plastic storage container. Robin acted as the MC, picking names from a hat and introducing the storytellers. My vote for the funniest Resolution story was told is Mike Calvo. He had a seeing eye dog who sat next to me to watch his masters story. Mike was assisted on the stage and stepped up to the microphone. He told a story a bout go, drinking with several buddies who ended up having to many drinks. There were smart enough to realize that they shouldn't drive in their condition. Mike however was sober. The only problem was that Mike didn't have a drivers license and he is blind. Where there is a will there is away, and his friends resolved to teach Mike how to drive. He got behind the wheel and slowly did loops around the parking lot with his friends shouting guidance. A policeman noticed the uncertain driving and he flashed his lights. He asked for Mikes license and registration which wasn't available. Then he asked Mike to step out of the vehicle. Mike did so and unfurled his fold up tapping cane which snapped to attention. "You have got to be kidding me." the officer responded. He called for back up just to share the experience because no one would believe him back at the station.
Mark tour Calendar! The next Orlando Story Club is March 2. Doors open at 6pm for food and drink. Show, laughter, and awe starts at 7pm. The March theme is "Body". Like it or lump it we are all born with our bodies. It seems much of our life is spent just taking care of them. Join us as the Orlando Story Club explores our topsy turvey relationship with them. Every part will be explored! Anyone who wants to tell a story can put their name in the hat. Bring friends!