“For the first few years, just focus on getting comfortable, writing as much as you can, trying out a bunch of different things, going to open mic, and finding your community.”
My fellow comic friend shared her takeaway from a standup comedy panel discussion she attended. And I can totally understand what her journey would look like because that’s exactly what I’ve been doing in my storytelling journey.

Looking back, I’ve come a long way. Much longer than a few years. I joined Toastmasters at the end of 2009 just to improve my English speaking skills. At that time, I didn’t value speech delivery all that much. I thought, “If the writing is good, body gestures and vocal variety don’t matter.” I found repeating a story boring. Editing didn’t exist for me. Right. I didn’t believe in anything I advocate and enjoy doing right now.

Even after I started telling my personal stories in 2018, there were times I had so many whys. Why can’t I make my stories as effective to my audience as I envisioned? Why am I not invited to tell at any storytelling shows? Why can’t I move naturally like other storytellers? Why, why, why? What do other people have that I don’t? What am I missing? I didn’t understand why or what, but I stood my ground and kept writing because storytelling fascinates me. I enjoy everything about it…writing, editing, performing, and even just watching, but what I cherish the most is my friends. They enhance my journey and multiply joy. They boost my excitement with their enthusiasm. My storytelling journey wouldn’t have been this much fun without them. They’re my tribe, my community.

A few months ago, I received an email from the Director of the Long Beach Community Theater.

“I would love to invite you to be a part of the cast and perform your piece from our last Speak. Easy. where you shared your scary experience in the most brilliantly funny way! I think we all fell in love with you and your unique style of storytelling. Phenomenal.”
She invited me to perform for the “Best of the Best” show at the Long Beach Playhouse, one of the oldest continually running Community Theaters in the western United States. Celebrating the Long Beach Community Theater’s 10th season, they picked some of their all-time favorite stories and performances from their first nine seasons and I became one of them. What a pleasant surprise! What an honor!

I’ve come a long way…

Miyo at the Crow

Photo credit: Anne Carmack

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