The beautiful InterPlayce studio in Oakland

In InterPlay storytelling, we believe that some of the most important messages about living and loving come in the form of mundane details.

For example, I could begin a story by saying how life changing it was to witness the birth of my niece…    OR

I could tell a story describing the black smudges and tiny swirls on my newborn niece’s finger tips as she received her very first fingerprints.

Both versions tell the same story, but the first gives away the punchline whereas the other gets there along a sneakier path. Perhaps this is what my English teachers meant by “Show, not tell” (which I now repeat ad nauseum to my essay-writing coaching clients).

Tonight at my InterPlay Performance Technique class we practiced telling seemingly mundane stories about the most profound or important moments in our lives. Here are some of the favorite details I heard from our talented Tuesday Night storytellers:

  • The handiwipes tucked into a son’s luggage as mom sends him off to college
  • The lemonade from Trader Joe’s that accompanied the sharing of  a life changing revelation
  • The importance of showing firemen-in-training how to wield their axe
  • A graduate’s backache as she carries the boxes to the new house.

For all the InterPlay teachers out there, here’s the class outline (my apologies to those of you who don’t know the lingo):