“And Our Next Storyteller Is…Sue Schoeppel!”

Oh, God.  I am a MORON.

Well, not a classic moron making epically bad decisions like driving drunk, buying cute shoes that hurt (um, just one pair but they’re really cute), working at a publishing house and turning down Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (twelve did!) or going into an abandoned house alone to look for my missing friends when Michael Meyers had escaped yet again – it’s like eleven times now, right?  Okay, I did buy an iPhone X, but it wasn’t my fault; I was lured.

I felt like a moron.  Every good decision I’d ever made from staying in school to staying out of bitcoin had been negated by this one decision:  to put my name in the hat at my very first EVER Ex Fabula Story Slam. (Note: Now kids, that statement is a classic example of what psychologists call ‘cataclysmic thinking’.  It’s bad, so don’t do what Auntie Sue does, ‘mkay?  If you’re in the counselling profession, please don’t email.)

How I ended up there, short version:  I’d gone to the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center for a dance recital, ended up on an e-mail list, and received an ad for an Ex Fabula Storytelling Workshop.

As a woman of nunya years, I felt I had something to say that might resonate with others.  So I kissed my family, found a Saturday a.m. drive-thru latte and took the workshop (Shout out to workshop coach Nelson!). Couple o’ things I found out:

1)   They serve coffee at Ex Fabula workshops.  Snacks, too.

2)  Everyday people, the kind you pass at the Pick N Save, are different and strange and exotic and exciting and have awesome stories to tell.  My nunya years seemed nothing compared to the scary, heroic and hysterical tales of others.

Awed, I cringed, suddenly feeling my stories weren’t worth telling anymore.  But that’s not what Ex Fabula is about.  When it came time to share, me sitting quietly, sucking on my latte of shame, the stories were all over the map.  Some were meaningful; others were light, funny or just plain human.  I wished I had put on the big girl panties and shared.  At any rate, I was hooked.

Fast forward to the ‘Misunderstood’ Slam.  Handing out programs to the mosaic of people who come to slams, a story came to me about my dad, cell phones and my kids.  I found those big girl panties and threw my name in the hat, confident that the woman who has never picked a single PowerBall would never be chosen.

Guess what?

I’ll leave it as a cliffhanger.  Why?  Because my story with Ex Fabula has just started, that’s why.  Ex Fabula is about all of our stories, so tell me yours.  Come to an event and ask if Sue S. is there, kind of like Where’s Waldo – no hat; cute, painful shoes.  We’ll see if I can put your story into 500 words or less.

Pictured: Sue Schoeppel. Ex Fabula StorySlams strengthen community bonds by creating spaces where people can connect over true, personal stories. No props, no notes – just the elements of “Story. Stage. You”. This StorySlam will feature stories related to the theme of “Misunderstood”.

 

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