150917ExFabula096Farewell summer, we hardly knew thee. Hello autumn! A time for fellowships & fresh starts, you know a time to come clean. Ex Fabula kicked off Season Seven Thursday night with a StorySlam at Garfield’s 502. The sold out crowd was treated to a truly eclectic mix of true, personal stories centering on the evening’s theme of Come Clean. The wonderful emcee duo that is Dasha Kelly and Leah Delaney shared laughs, updates and Ultra Shorts throughout the evening.

First to the stage was Jim Winship. His vacation tale included a shower scene, malarious insects and getting lost in the jungle with his spouse. Next up, Nancy Bird’s surprise story demonstrated that sometimes the best gift you can give is a good, honest lie. Then, Elaine Maly caught the crowd’s attention by sharing how penance intended for her sons turned into atonement for her past transgressions. Sorry not sorry.

After a brief intermission, Mark Steidl stepped up and shared his narrative of young love; how life happens; and how there are some endings we never see coming. Newcomer Nakia Hood’s story is a bizarre episode of reality television; complete with gloves, mysteriously misplaced keys and a plot twist that left the crowd in shock and disbelief. Fellow first timer Samantha Collier snagged the hearts of the audience with her narrative about life not always being swimming pools and rainbows; sometimes you have to leave things behind and paint a wall. Before the evening’s final intermission, one more first-time storyteller graced the stage. Smiling, Wanda Richards Miller offered words of wisdom on how parents aren’t supposed to lie before justifying something every parent needs: alone time.

150917ExFabula130The evening was rounded out by three additional first time storytellers. What a delight! Greg Koss, an admitted recovering car salesman, recalled a harrowing encounter involving a quizzical older couple, aggressive bargaining and a broken toenail. Daniel Lattimore tickled the audience with his narrative of faking it as a seasoned comedian at the age of nineteen. One can recognize bad advice from comedic elders when they get it, right? Insert awkward moment and cricket sounds here. Final newcomer and raconteur of the evening, Bekah Klussendorf has been waiting her entire life to tell her story. Standing bravely in front of the full house, she shared the long process toward becoming her authentic self.

150917ExFabula139As votes were collected and counted, the audience was treated to special guest tellers LaMarr Franklin & Mac Weddle. The duo shared snippets from their lifelong friendship, which included their difference in age, being a pain in each other’s backside and working together. In the end, many congratulations were in order for the Audience Favorite Elaine Maly! Way to go!!

It was a wonderful evening. A new season! Ten storytellers! Thanks to all of them for braving the stage and sharing. Special thanks to Milwaukee Film, the evening’s sponsor, as well as venue host Garfield’s 502. Ex Fabula appreciates all of its sponsors, volunteers & members for their continued support and contributions in helping to further build the community. We have much in store this season and look forward to seeing you all!

Milwaukee Film Festival Community Partners