“Beginner’s Luck” can be a tough to tackle theme. Luckily we had a number of creative storytellers at Mr. J’s Lounge last week who found ways to tell stories about unlucky beginnings, misleading initial luck, and beginner’s luck that hasn’t yet stopped. Check out how lucky (or unlucky) your fellow Milwaukeeans are below!

Lucky Dice

Growing up, Jess Betts’ sisters were the ones with all the luck. That is until Jess met the game of bar dice, where she quickly found that she couldn’t lose. Not only that, she would consistently roll the highest score possible the first night she played, and didn’t have to pay for drinks all night. Luckily for Jess, the beginner’s luck she enjoyed that night has stayed with her through her bar dice career, and legend has it she’s still winning free drinks to this day.

Lucky Letter

Kalilah Ezell-Doyle was dissatisfied with her job, especially her “Regina George-like” coworkers who greet her in the morning with icy stares. She started updating her resume, reaching out to other companies, and googling how to write a letter of resignation. When trying to figure out when would be a good time to leave the company, a coworker unexpectedly shared a secret: that they were going to put in their two weeks that day. Not to be outdone, Kalilah typed up her letter of resignation that day, left it on her boss’ desk, and has never felt better.

Misleading Beginnings

“Beginner’s Luck is a FARCE”, Jasmine Hawkins proclaimed as she took the stage. When taking her driver’s test in high school, she only lost two points and passed with flying colors, convincing her parents that it would be safe for her to drive to her upcoming prom. On prom day, her appointment with the beautician ran a little long, which made her late to pick up her date. In a hurry now, she didn’t read signage correctly and got in an accident in the middle of an intersection.

Lucky in Vegas

While in Las Vegas for a conference, Stacie Rosenzweig found a small amount of beginner’s luck at various slot machines, winning some pocket money and doing far better than she expected. While out finding ways to spend her winnings, her coworker saw some stray litter and began picking it up and asking Stacie to stash them in her purse until they found a trash can. Fast forward to the TSA line on her way out of Vegas, Stacie was randomly searched. She had forgotten to throw away the litter she had stashed, so was initially surprised to see the TSA agent start pulling out several sex worker calling cards out of her purse. When they were finished, the TSA agent asked Stacie if she’d like to keep her “pornography”. Wanting to stand her ground, Stacie sternly replied “yes, yes I would”.

Luckily…I Found Someone Else

Addie Lipson is currently a literacy coach at an MPS school. When she went to reheat some coffee, she bumped into one of the more intimidating administrators at her school. To her surprise, the administrator asked her if Addie could draw something for her. Thinking she was just looking for a carefree doodle, Addie agreed. “Thank GOD” the woman exclaimed “my prayers have been answered”. Turns out, she wanted Addie to illustrate the cover of a book she had coming out – a book she considered her life’s work – and that she wanted to illustration by the next Monday. Needless to say Addie was overwhelmed, and spent the weekend trying to find an artist willing to the illustration. Luckily she found one, but unfortunately the administrator was not pleased with Addie passing off the job, and two have not spoken since.

Luck of My Life

Standing at her bus stop on Capitol, a young Angela Harris spied a fine young man and immediately thought “that’s going to be my husband”. Unable to catch him on the bus, she finessed a date at the Capitol Food Court, where she met him with bits of fried chicken stuck in his beard. The two started dating regularly soon after, and soon made it official and moved in together. Six months later Angela was pregnant, and three years after that the two were married in their son’s presence. Thirteen years later, Angela was proud to say that their love remains unconditional, and that her beginner’s luck had manifested into the best thing in her life.

Lucky Beginnings, A Lifetime of Understanding

Rocky Kingsley grew up in a world that demanded that he be stereotypically masculine, an identity that he never felt fit him. As he went from middle to high school, Rocky was starting to be bothered by the incongruence between how he identified and how the world wanted him to be. Trying his luck at finding himself, Rocky slowly began to find a home around the women in his life, starting with teachers and some family members. Over time, Rocky began to find the words to articulate his own identity.

Beginner’s Luck or Veteran Finesse?

Theresa Harris had two rules for the man she wanted to marry: he had to be rich, and he had to be an athlete. Fresh after signing what was then the biggest contract in sports, Alex Rodriguez was the perfect candidate, and Theresa was determined to meet him. When Rodriquez’s team came to Chicago to play the Cubs, she decided to make up a press pass and assume the identity of a freelance photographer for ESPN. After cleverly convincing stadium staff to make her a real press pass, Theresa found Rodriguez and asked him to sign a ball. His lack of general interest was a disappoint though, and Theresa decided not to marry him after all.

Beginner’s Luck at Ex Fabula

When De’Shawn Ewing came to Garfield’s 502 on a random Friday night last September, he didn’t expect to bump into Ex Fabula’s first StorySlam of Season 10. Nevertheless he tried his luck at telling a story, and left convinced that he had come in a close second. After the Slam, De’Shawn continued to stay involved with Ex Fabula, eventually becoming a coach and assisting at our recent “I Am Becoming” workshop with FUEL Milwaukee.


You’re invited to our New Year Spectacular StorySlam: “Gut Feeling” at Turner Hall, 1040 Vel R. Phillips Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203, Wednesday, January 23, 2018, 7:30 – 9:45 pm. Members reserve tickets HERE. Non-members purchase tickets HERE. See you soon! You do not want to miss this, we’ve assembled some of Milwaukee’s BEST storytellers!