March 2, 2014 by Paula Reed Nancarrow
From time to time, I hope to post interviews of some of the great performers at Word Sprout’s StorySlamMN!
Ani Lovoll’s story was one of the three winning performances for last month’s slam, where the theme was “frisky.” This gives you a look at the creative process of other storytellers besides yours truly. It also gives me more time to work on my upcoming material. Clever, huh?
The next slam, with the theme “thankful,” is this Tuesday (yikes!), and I’ll post the story I end up telling next week. In the meantime, if you’re still eager for a personal post, you can check out Feng Shui Master, which I reposted from my old blog for what the social media universe calls #ThrowBackThursday.
Here, then, are my questions for Ani, and her response.
For those who were not at StorySlamMN!, please give a quick summary of what your story was about. What connected it to the theme “frisky”?
My story was about the few months of my life after splitting with my partner of five years. I talked about my ability, and inability to be “frisky” given my circumstances, living in my brother’s house, and my tendency to run away.
How did the idea for your story come to you? Did you create this story specifically for the slam, or did you use a story you have told in another context because it fit the theme?
I have another version of this story that I tell. I write a lot of identity stories and so I edited one story to fit the theme better.
Is there a particular practice or process you find helpful in shaping your story to fit within the theme and time limitations of a slam?
I find that I can only write when I feel like writing. Forcing myself to write produces bad writing. I guess I’ve been writing for performance for so long, I don’t really even think about my process much. I just do it.
What do you think is the most difficult thing about telling a story on stage? What is the most rewarding?
Really, the hardest thing for me about performing on stage is that I’m not an extrovert. People assume that because I love being on stage that I’m extremely outgoing. Therefore, after my performance people will rush to me to talk to me. That can, at times, be overwhelming. I have no way of explaining how an introverted writer became a stage-loving performer, other than that I fell in love with the audience. Every audience.
More about Ani.
You can follow Ani on Twitter at @AniLovoll. She also has two blogs. One, 905 Liminality Street was written over the course of a year, to a particular theme. The last entry on that one, “The Fool,” touches a bit on the story she told at SlamMN, and does, in fact, address some interesting issues about identity. The new blog, Plot Twists, Wanderlust, and the Fierce Unknown, so far only has two entries in it, one of which, Beginnings and Endings, explains the change in blogs. I am hoping to see more of her – both on stage, and on the page.
And More about Thankful!
I would be remiss if I did not mention that the marvelous mistress of SlamMN, Allison Broeren, was chosen to be the Travel Storytelling Scholar going to Greece with the equally marvelous Kevin Kling this May! This was a competition which anyone who had won a first or second place at The Moth story slam in St. Paul in the last year was eligible for. Kevin is leading the trip in conjunction with Minnesota Public Radio and it focuses on storytelling, The Odyssey, and discovering the stories of your inner God and Goddess. Allison will be sharing stories, learning, and helping fellow travelers spin tales.
Allison was also nominated by the Minnesota Women’s Press as a changemaker this year. Congratulations, Allison! I can’t think of a more worthy recipient of both awards. We are all thankful that you work your butt off for us. The world is more creative for it.