Report from True Stories Told Live, October 30th

3 Jan

Our biggest show yet was also one of my favourites!

L-R: Marsha Shandur, Irma Gagnon, Alan Cross, Laura Repo, Lisa Schwartzman, Laura Di Girolamo

L-R: Marsha Shandur, Irma Gagnon, Alan Cross, Laura Repo, Lisa Schwartzman, Laura Di Girolamo

Irma Gangon started the evening with a story which, when she first told me (as we went through the story a month before) I cried at. Then, when I re-told it, first to my sweetheart, then my mum, I cried again both times. As she told it on the night of this show – yep, more weeping from me. All this about a story which – for most of it – had the audience howling with laughter. You can find out more about here on the excellently 60s-looking website for her alter ego, Yoko Sanchez, HERE.

Alan Cross followed, with a story about how dumb luck led him to get the then-biggest job of his career – and one that would change the course of his life forever, bringing him to Toronto, and eventually leading to him to work with (and learn some great wisdom from) William Shatner. Who, brilliantly, he referred to as “The Shat”. You can find his *fantastic* – and very informative website HERE, and you can follow him on twitter, HERE.

I often tell prospective storytellers that a central relationship is an important component to a story* – but that this relationship doesn’t have to be with a person. Our musical turn for the evening, Laura Repo, told a story about her relationship to her street – a street that I had been aware of before, but now feel completely differently about. You can find out all about her – and hear her wonderful music, HERE

*this is something I learned during Sage Tyrtles AMAZING storytelling workshop. If you’re interested in storytelling, you must do this. HIGHLY recommended.

Following the break was another Laura – Di Girolamo. She had a cautionary tale, the short form of which could be, “Don’t think that the best way to get back with your ex is to star in his arthouse film about two people who do it and then become joined at the crotch”. Yep, that actually happened to her. I tried to see if we could link to the film, but she (completely reasonably) pointed out that none of the other people involved in this masterpiece had consented to us making it this public, so I’ll have to leave it to your imagination. You can, though, find out more about Laura, HERE.

Our last turn of the evening was fellow (to me) ex-Soviet, Lisa Schwartzman. Her story actually provided me with one of my most favourite EVER moments of True Stories Told Live Toronto. She was telling us about her family moving from then very anti-semitic Belarus to Canada – via a year or two in a tiny town in Italy. At one point in the story, a young man walked up to her (drop-dead beauty) mother and asked something in Italian – “esta una puttana?”. As Lisa said this – before she translated it to English – about five (Italian-speaking) people in the audience GASPED, then we all laughed in surprise that they had. It was so rad.

If you came along, thank you SO much. Thanks for coming, thanks for being such a totally fantastic (and totally respectful) audience, and thanks also for helping me out with some bits for the videos I make in my other life, at

As you’ll see in the post after this one, we’ve now moved home to The Garrison, and moved show days to Tuesdays – still the last one of the month, usually every other month. The next show is there on Tuesday January 28th, 2014.



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