Friday, January 25, 2008

Got a Story to Tell? Here's your Platform!

Bernice Chauly is looking for storytellers for a no Black Tie Gig. Here's her email in all its lowercase splendour, but with links added:
dear friends,

as you may know, the 'readings' that i began in january 2005 at darling muse art gallery celebrates its 3rd anniversary this month. sharon bakar, now brilliantly* runs the monthly readings at 67tempinis satu.. in the middle of 2007, i also started 'readings' at popular jazz bar noblacktie at the invitation of evelyn hii. both venues have achieved success as platforms for new and emerging Malaysian writers, as well as foreign writers who happen to be in Malaysia at the time.

since kl now has an abundance of literary events; 'readings', wayangkata (a british council event), omg (open mike gig at dram projects), maskara (malay poets/writers at rumah pena), suara kata (r a fine art) and an upcoming poetry slam (wordforward s'pore and dram projects), i have decided to open up this platform even more. inspired by stories related by ex-mcoba schoolboys who remembered mr.wilson (aka anthony burgess) at a recent event, and an email from the paris review which was an invitation to an evening of storytelling in new york (, i have decided to try out a storytelling session at next month's nbt event. this is aimed at celebrating and remembering our 'penglipur lara' tradition as well as to celebrate the natural storytellers among us.. this means that your aunty, uncle, hairdresser, cikgu, taxi-driver, grandmother, cousin, housekeeper, 'siapa-siapa yang you tahu boleh cerita' is welcome to get up on stage and spin a good ol-fashioned yarn.

conditions: no script, no text, max 15 mins, have to be raconteur' style, off the cuff, entertaining, funny, sad, whatever as long as its a good story...and does not suffer from stage-fright!

i know its a bit last-minute, but if you know of anyone who can pull this off (that includes yourself) please let me know asap.

judging from the new york success of these sessions over the past 10 years, i am confident we will be able to inject even more enthusiasm and fun into our literary outings.

a website is in the works for the readings, and well as plans to publish work read and podcast work to come.

date for first storytelling session/reading - still thinking of a name. anyone??
sunday feb 3rd, noblacktie, 9-12pm

pass the word around!
and please let me know latest this sunday

have a great weekend!
Bernice can be reached at mulutmata at yahoo dot com.

She's certainly right about there being plenty going on and the need for events to differentiate themselves. I think this could be a very exciting venture. (And I wonder, am I brave enough to try myself??)

* Ahem.

(Painting = The Storyteller by David Watson Hood nicked from here.)


june said...

One group to target for this is the Toastmasters - they've had similar events like this.

bibliobibuli said...

good idea!

guat said...

Great idea! Now someone has to remember to record the stories on audio/videotape for posterity as part of our oral tradition.

Anonymous said...

Ooh this is a lovely idea. Kudos to Bernice for getting it going. I myself wouldn't go up there and improvise if you paid me my weight in fine cheese, but we all know people who would excel at it, don't we? Uncles, brothers, taxi drivers..... The medium seems almost *made* for the Malaysian gift of the gab.

-- Preeta

Anonymous said...

People who write are rarely people who speak (unless of course you write those kinds of books.)

Oh, and wasn't one Simgaporean spoken word group banned from public performances because they criticized the Singapore government ? read it in the news recently.