A story about a trip to New York and finding a woman, a quest to find a Carolina Panthers hat to complete a lie and a trip where everything that could go wrong happened were just a few of the stories that were told Friday night at the Re-Generation Story Slam.
“We started this event for a couple of reasons,” ETSU Professor Delanna Reed said. “We started it because we knew the story slam was very popular. We felt like that this would be an opportunity to have storytelling in the community, where you could have anybody who wanted to come up and tell a story.”
The Story Slam was held at JRH Brewing on Friday and the audience members had a chance to compete in a storytelling contest. Seven names were drawn from a hat, and each person had ten minutes or less to tell a story while sticking to a certain theme. On this night, the theme was “road trip.”
“Well tonight I was telling a story about being on the Appalachian Trail,” Storyteller Brandon Bragg said. “As a kid I grew up in Kingsport which is very close to here, and I knew the Appalachian trail was near here…So in 2001 I decided I would walk the Appalachian Trail and it was wonderful. When I reached Vermont I had Bell’s Palsy…And the whole thing at the end of it is I went to the doctor and he said ‘yeah you have Bell’s Palsy and it will go away’ and by the time I finished the trail it went away.”
Bragg is a recent graduate of the ETSU storytelling program and has been the Master of Ceremonies for the past three years of the Re-Generation Story Slam.
“I’m very happy to have David Joe Miller as the guest Master of Ceremonies tonight,” Bragg said. “I feel very happy that I won, because this is the first time I haven’t been the Master of Ceremonies in a minute.”
Reed said that she did not know what to expect for the crowd size because every time it has been different. She said that the reason the size has been different is because of the fact that the story slam has changed venues.
“We’ll have the next slam here at JRH Brewing on April 20, a Friday, 8:00 same time same place here with a theme of Cat and Dogs,” Reed said.
After winning the story competition, and the grand prize of $54, Bragg said he would attend this event again because it was fun, with great people and good stories.
“I feel like this event brings our community together,” Bragg said. “We have people from all walks of life telling stories. I think this is a very important event for us, particularly now when we have our country and there’s an angry feeling…This is a thing that brings us together. Our own personal stories and how we can relate to how we feel about certain things. It’s a great opportunity to tell stories and relate to anyone.”