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Davis, California

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Story time for the soul

Share your favorite moments in life at ShortsNLongs

Do you love sharing your most interesting experiences with the people in your life? Do you feel enlightened or simply enjoy hearing true stories about other people’s lives? Well lucky for you, there is now a place where you can indulge your inner-author.

Today at the Third Space Art Collective, there will be an event called ShortsNLongs: A Davis storytelling thing. This is only their second event so far, and it was created for community members to have a space to connect with one another in a very unique way.

Lisa Cantrell is one of the founders of the group and she and the other founders were inspired to start this showcase by “The Moth,” a famous story telling event from New York that now has its own featured podcast on NPR.

Cantrell and the other founders have also modeled the format of The ShortsNLongs after “The Moth” as well: Every month they decide upon a new theme for the storytellers to draw inspiration from for their work. Last month’s theme was “Caught Red Handed,” and this month’s theme is “Faking It.” They also record the events and according to Cantrell, they intend to broadcast them over KDVS in the spring.

Elizabeth Case, one of the three founders of ShortsNLongs expressed what she feels can be expected from the event.

“[You can expect] a good mix of tragedy, comedy and above all, truth,” Case said. “Telling stories live is very powerful. It’s different than reading from a page or watching a screen. It creates a personal connection to the storyteller that sticks with you when you leave.”

Valerie Cross, the third founder of the group, doesn’t know what to expect from this month’s theme, considering last month was so varied.

“Since [last month’s theme] was ‘Caught Red Handed’ I figured it would mostly be lighthearted and funny stories, but they were all across the spectrum,” Cross said. “The themes are very open to interpretation. That’s why it’s so much fun.”

Last month, Cross told a story about her dad getting banned from a local casino. One story all three founders highlighted as their favorite was one storyteller’s recollections about going to Warped Tour with her sister, winning a car from a competition that she was not old enough to enter and then accidentally totaling the original car they drove there on the way home.

“The story itself is amazing, but what’s always more important is the way that you tell it and what [the audience can] take away from it [other] than the actual story itself,” Cantrell said. “Anyone can tell a good, memorable story as long as it has some foundation.”

Even if you’re not ready to share this time, Cantrell, Cross and Case all encourage you to come by and listen to experience the therapeutic and bonding effect that hearing others’ stories can have.

“It really unifies the human experience,” Case said.

The comfy, open and welcoming environment of the Third Space Art Collective is the perfect place to practice such a personal art form,

“The kind of people that would come to hear other people’s stories really are the kind of people you want to build a community with,” Cross said.

Not everyone may be a writer or a poet, but everyone has a good story to share.

More information can be found here on the ShortsNLongs Facebook page.

Graphic by Jennifer Wu.


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