1. Get if off your chest. Literally. You’ve heard of the mind-body connection? Your story might be weighing you down, intervening between your best self, your past and your future. Your creativity–your humor, your light– might be vibrating inside you, begging to be unleashed. Let it out. Let it fly.
2. Someone else needs to hear it. We are not alone. No matter what we endure, no matter how unique our experience, some thread connects you to another person in that audience who might receive your words as a balm, or as the laugh they needed precisely in that moment.
…One woman came to me and shared her own very personal story. She told me that after hearing me share what I was going through, she has changed the way she felt about events going on in her family. This all has left me speechless. — Meggan Sommerville, LTYM: Chicago 2014 cast
3. Experience a unique energy. The intensity and intoxication of a live audience is unparalleled for me. You can actually see this body of bodies move and respond to you and the energy you put forth. Silence, laughter, gasps, nods, applause–all inspired by you and your words. The transaction, however, bends both ways. Your story’s life changes with each telling, and the audience can directly affect your experience if you remain open and present in the moment. Yes, you will likely feel nervous–and that nervous energy is your life force in action–the atoms that comprise your very being. The stage allows for a keen, unparalleled awareness of your atoms in action. As actor and founder of committedimpulse.com Josh Pais says– You are a vibrator.
4. Your voice holds power. Chances are, if you have a microphone and hundreds of people in a captive audience (and if you remove any screen within a 20 foot radius), your children might actually listen to you. This moment may prove one snapshot of you outside your every day realm–a pivotal and mighty moment that colors-in the outline of you beyond your role of mom or dad. Your voice might also open minds and mend hearts. Power your story; give the words their voice. Experience the levity of a story released and watch it soar. You never know how and where it might land. Your stepping up to the microphone might inspire someone else to summon their courage to take a leap in their own life.
5. It might change your life. Your story can serve as a powerful introduction, beyond anything you might imagine for yourself. This introduction might come from someone in the audience in the form of a new connection or opportunity. Telling your story might lead you to a new or dormant part of yourself that catalyzes you to change in your life. LTYM, for example, has helped repair relationships, formed friendships and professional partnerships among its participants, inspired career changes, created peer networking and writing groups, and nudged people to keep pushing their own notions of what they can and cannot do for themselves and others in ways large and small.
Whether you pitch your local coffee shop to read your own words, write a toast and read it at a family reunion, or dream of taking the LTYM stage, I urge you to add telling your stories on stage to your bucket list. Check your nearest city for LTYM audition info, happening now/soon. For full Madison audition info, go here.