Ahead of Mudrooms Season 8, recordings of past shows of the storytelling series are available for download through iTunes.
“We are podcasting now finally,” said Alida Bus, Story Board member. “We’ve had people request that over the years, because right now all of our stories are archived online, but you have to be sitting at your machine.”
Bus said she hopes allowing listeners around the world to download and listen to recordings at their leisure will expand Mudrooms’ audience and allow in-town fans to catch stories they might have missed in person or on the radio.
“We have a lot of listeners who don’t ever come to the events, but we hear from them that they listen on the radio regularly, we think there’s an audience we haven’t tapped into,” Bus said.
The podcasts are available by searching for Mudrooms in the iTunes store, and Bus said there are plans to bring them to other services in the future. They are free to download.
A whole other story
For those ready for new content, Season 8’s first monthly show was held Tuesday.
This year, proceeds will be evenly split between Family Promise of Juneau and the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Juneau.
“We just thought they were worthy organizations, and we probably received the most applications that we’ve ever received, and we just thought those were worthy organizations that serve the community of Juneau,” Bus said.
Also, one event will benefit the Northern Light United Church elevator rebuild.
Bus said she’s excited for the stories scheduled for September’s show. The theme was Lost and Found.
“The two repeat storytellers we have are really solid storytellers,” Bus said. “We have a ski avalanche story, a rescue story, a lost pet, and a lost in a city story.”
September had a full slate of storytellers, but people are needed to fill slots for every other month.
“The push is always on, it’s still, after seven seasons, hard to get people willing to tell stories,” Bus said. “We’re full for September, but we still need stories for October on.”
October’s theme is Karma, November’s is In the Dark, December’s is Family Fun, January’s is Time and Tide, February’s is Oops, March’s is Way Too Close, April’s is On the Job and May’s is Don’t Tell the Kids.
“We try to choose themes that do a couple of things,” Bus said. “They trigger stories, so we try to make them good prompts. We try to make them general enough that you could mold a good story.”
Putting in work
For those interested in sharing a story but worried their tale is rough around the edges, there are planned workshops to help polish stories.
The first one is planned for 6 p.m. Sept. 18 at Northern Light United Church.
“I think it takes the sting off if someone is intimidated by it, and even if someone doesn’t show up to the workshop, we offer one-on-one coaching,” Bus said.
Tom Cosgrove, a founding Story Board member and self-identified storyteller, is one of the folks who helps coach up new storytellers.
“I’m a professional storyteller,” Cosgrove said. “That means I make hundreds of dollars a year.”
Cosgrove, who has participated in every season of Mudrooms, indicated one major area that gives newcomers problems.
“Too much background information,” Cosgrove said. “People feel they need to fill people in on everything since time started. You don’t need that.”
Plus, there’s a 7-minute limit on stories, so some details can’t make the cut.
“You need to decide what is critical to the story and what moves it forward,” Cosgrove said. “If you mention something it’s critical to the ending or you shouldn’t be mentioning it.”
While there are returning storytellers, Cosgrove said most of the people who participate in Mudrooms are sharing a tale they feel particularly compelled to tell.
He said it’s something that scratches an innate list and explains the world wide popularity of storytelling programs such as “The Moth.”
“There is a desire for this,” Cosgrove said. “We’re in a digital age, where people don’t tell their stories around the dinner table or a fire anymore. Storytelling is part of who we are. Homosapiens grew with storytelling with an oral history.”
Know & Go
What: Mudrooms Season 8
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept 11, and the second Tuesday of every month except for April. April’s show is scheduled for April 2.
Where: Northern Light United Church, 400 W. 11th St.
Admission is $7 at the door.