Being a professional musician/event director, you can imagine the pandemic would be extra difficult. Fuck, I mean, I was basically paid and rewarded for making as many people congregate as possible….and the congregation business was bad.
Now add the recent passing of my father & my girlfriend cheating on me and leaving. So, no brothers, sister, parents, or significant others. Then toss in a side of a drinking problem. Ta da!!! You have my pandemic scenario stew!
The decision during the pandemic to write a one man show, or “Blues Opera,” about my life saved me. I have no doubt. But at the time the problem was that I had no idea how to tell a story. Despite all my years on stage the very thought of just speaking into a microphone with no instrument or song and talking about myself was horrifying.
Thus began the process of learning the art of storytelling at home. Later things opened up in Florida, (because Florida is gonna Florida), and I was able to start my weekly Wednesday storytelling night at Bar Nancy. This was pretty much a selfishly inspired plan to workshop my stories in front of others. No thought was given to the platform or voice I would be giving to others of all walks of life. Others that had been cooped up just like me.
Little did I know that a year and a half ago I created a safe space. I never ask what the story will be about (unless it’s a theme night). All I ask is that is true & about you. I have heard stories about drug abuse, being molested as child, being hit by lightning and then discovering you are pregnant, about being in solitary confinement in prison, teaching kids with autism to surf, role playing with your husband….seriously, name it. I have over 3000 minutes of uncensored live story content on the podcast you can listen to by going to www.unclescotchy.com.
I have met so many great people that I can now call “friend” through this night. I can’t tell you how many people who have thanked me for giving them not only a place to tell their story and heard, but for making them feel safe to tell it. No not feel judged. A place they can pretty much say anything and it’s ok.
I moved the night a few months ago to the Center for Subtropical Affairs. Despite that being a mouthful, the place is gorgeous, and a great outdoor environment for storytelling.
Due to some scheduling issues, we thought about moving the night to Tuesday. But that made me reflect and realize that it’s time for me to focus on the next evolution of the storytelling extravaganza.
You see, the one man show; The “Blues Opera” is finally coming to fruition and will be a thing. I’m really looking forward to sharing details in the near future. It kind of feels like Uncle Scotchy’s Storytelling Extravaganza as a weekly event will always be remembered as a special and transformative period in my life.
That’s not to say that it will never happen again. But this chapter is closing & I’m so thankful for all the new friends I have made along the way.
So, if you have time this Wednesday night, come hear my last story for a while. Oh, and listen to some of my friends’ stories too.