This episode is about the importance of telling stories--not fairy tales, but the real scary, true stories we like to hide. Allison got into writing after the death of her young daughter. Writing about the situation helped her deal with the pain and get back to the job of mothering her other children. Telling that story also helped her let go of the label she cast on herself as that woman who lost a child. Listen to how she learned to get personal with her writing.
Andrea Askowitz tells the story of being rejected by a man when she was 8 months pregnant after being inseminated with donor sperm. When a man offers to give Andrea a massage, she gets excited by the possibility of finally getting laid, even though she’s a lesbian. Andrea describes the massage in very intimate detail. She also shares her shame from the ultimate rejection and how that shame disappeared when she told her story in her very first writing class.
Ann Randolph was a student in that class. Andrea feels forever indebted to Ann for laughing at her pain.
Ann tells the story of how she worked her way up to performing off-Broadway and then lost it all. Ann persists in telling her stories even after being called inappropriate or failing miserably and ending up broke. When Ann goes off mic, Allison asks Ann why she comes out on stage in costume as Shanti Lightgiver and then disrobes. Ann tells us what she goes through each time she walks into a new theater. She talks about the time she bombed and how she recovers from failure. She details her experience with producers Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft and how her dream of being a successful performer almost came true.
Ann then takes the audience through a writing exercise, where several of them step to the mic and tell their own stories.
Writing Class Radio is produced by Andrea Askowitz, Allison Langer, and Diego Saldana-Rojas. Daniel Correa is our theme musician for this episode and the coming semester. We’re sponsored by The University of Miami School of Communication and Sanibel Island Writers Conference, coming Nov. 3-6, 2016. Thank you Miami Light Box and all the volunteers who made the show happen. Thank you to our listeners.
We want your story contest. Here’s the prompt: A time you fucked up. Give us your best 1,200 words or fewer. First and second place winners will be aired on our podcast. Deadline: November 30, 2016. Guidelines at writingclassradio.com.
There’s no better way to understand ourselves and each other than by writing and sharing our stories. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?