Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Writing a story – pt1

So here’s the thing. I think deep down I’ve always wanted to do something more creative than marketing. Crazy huh? But it’s true. For a long time it was playwriting, but while I occasionally have moments of inspiration, largely I struggle to get to the end of telling stories in a traditional play sense. Floating however has let me experiment with monologue and storytelling and it’s a medium I feel comfortable with, this has coincided with a love of the work of Inua Ellams, Stewart Lee and Daniel Kitson. So I’ve decided to write a piece for me to perform, a story of discovery, that’s not standup but is instead storytelling. I’m also going to try and blog every evening… Crazy huh? Yes. It’ll never happen. But worth a try! Material generation… Here goes…

Good evening, thank you for coming.

You didn’t have to and I really hope this evening isn’t going to be too disappointing for you…

I like to lower expectation really early on in a show, some performers start with those crowd pleasing, energy building introductions, “Hello Liverpool” then they go for the stadium opening “are you ready to rock – let’s get fucked up.” But that’s not really me. I don’t really rock and I’ve never been to a stadium gig.

I think if I lower your expectation so that you think I’m going to be really shit, then if I am shit but not really shit you won’t feel cheated. Also you’ll think, “that was a bit shit, but he was honest, and he tried hard, and God loves an honest trier”.

So this is a story that will last about twenty minutes, maybe a bit longer if I go off on one at the start, maybe a bit shorter if I don’t. You should also know that it relies heavily on the audience reacting, providing a background buzz of frenzied excitement and anticipation throughout. So no pressure.

So this is a story about… I will also go off on tangents, I occasionally go off on tangents, could be about anything at all, porn, condoms swishing, being set up with your married friends single ugly friend at dinner parties, it could be anything at all, they probably won’t be tangents at all, and they probably won’t be that funny if they are a genuine tangent, but if it is a funny tangent that serves no real purpose but makes you smile, it’s probably deliberate and will link back to create the illusion of a nice rounded show at the end.

Right. So here we go. It’s down to you.

So I’ve been thinking about identity for the last few months, and it’s been troubling me somewhat. I know what you’re probably wondering at this point, you’re wondering what Identity Crisis I’ve been  having that I will wrestle with for the next half hour, because it’s not obvious. I don’t have any of the traditional ones,  I’m not ginger, or Irish or Welsh, or excessively working class or upper class, I’m not gay or a lesbian, a rocker or a punk, I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian, nor am I overwhelmed with unresolved feelings about my parents. I don’t seem to have an identity on face value, or certainly not a very fun identity. I’m white, straight, middle class in a secure relationship, I think a kebab and Ben and Jerry’s can make a meal and I drink, but only to excess when I’m around my friends, I read The Guardian and own books that make me seem clever but I’ve never read. I’m a nice normal person. I always thought that, and that being a nice normal person wasn’t a bad thing.

It started with a taxi journey, I’m going to a gig and waiting at the bus stop and the bus is nowhere to be seen, so I flag down a black cab…