Fireside is a storytelling series that takes place every second Wednesday of the month, and features six, true, 10-minute stories, based on a theme, without the aid of notes or a script.
In 2009, after a couple separate and serendipitous conversations with friends about our mutual love of storytelling, we decided to get together and start a monthly storytelling series. Coincidentally, another friend had recently decided to disband his small, sporadic storytelling event (called Memoir Spool), so we took it over, revamped it, and renamed it Fireside Storytelling.
We started out at the Climate Theater, then moved to the Jellyfish Gallery, and now we enjoy our home at the San Francisco Institute of Possibility. We’ve also done shows at pop-up events like Peralta Junction in Oakland, and at the Battery club in San Francisco (we’re always willing to consider hosting special events upon request).
Fireside features six storytellers telling 10-minute stories on a particular theme. These first-person, true stories are told live in front of an audience without the aid of notes or script.
Fireside is carefully and consciously designed to create a very specific experience: human connection through storytelling. We keep the lights up, so the tellers can see and react to their audience. We keep the stage at about one foot high, so you’re almost on the same level. We never use microphones, as they create psychological distance between the teller and the audience. We use a venue that has great acoustics with no aural distractions. Our storytellers don’t compete with each other, because storytelling isn’t a sport. We have an intermission in the middle of our six storytellers so the audience can connect with each other over what they’ve just heard.
We’ve been doing Fireside for years now, and we’re often told we’re the best storytelling series in the Bay Area, due to the quality of the audience, the quality of the storytellers, and the quality of the experience — and who are we to disagree?
We do Fireside because we believe in the power of personal connection through storytelling, and we believe that’s an endangered species worth protecting.