Episodes of the No You Tell It Podcast.

Episode 66 – Noted (Part 2)

Our first story reminds us that a two-week middle school love is the equivalent of several lifetimes of adoration, and when our hero’s girlfriend slips him a break-up note, they all come crashing in.

In celebration of 10 Years of No, YOU Tell It! enjoy this 2013 throwback swap of “You’ve Been Noted,” written by Justin Klose and performed by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons. Click here to listen to the other half of the evening in Episode 30.

Original Artwork by Allison Gazdik

Our second story takes us on the road with Shakespeare & Company’s spring tour of Hamlet, where, backstage, Ophelia befriends the infamous skull prop to vent her frustrations, share her loneliness, and reveal her secret escapades. Switching it up here’s “Alas, Poor Bob!” written by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons and performed by Justin Klose. You can also give “Alas, Poor Bob!” a read in Hypertext Magazine!

Artist Allison Gazdik designed the original artwork for our “Noted” show, which was performed live at Jimmy’s No 43 on June 3rd, 2013, and here is what she had to say about the theme and how she devised this fantastic image:

The idea behind this piece for the “noted” theme was one of lessons learned. The first image that came into my head was of someone in the rain, as some of our most valuable lessons come from painful experiences. The well-known quote people usually think of is “that which does not kill us makes us stronger” by Friedrich Nietzsche. I wanted to take a colorful and slightly humorous approach to the idea by depicting a gray Nietzsche under a rain of colors, a fitting blend of optimism and pessimism towards life’s lessons. 

Episode 65 – Alumni Show (Part 2)

Breakups can be confusing at times, especially when your heart parts ways with a city. Our first story takes us over the Hudson from New York City to New Jersey as our narrator reflects on what it means to move on from the place that she’s always loved.

In celebration of our 10 Year Anniversary here is a throwback swap. Part of our first alumni storyteller show at The Astoria Bookshop. “A Breakup Story” was written by Julia Granacki and is performed here by Molly Touger.

Top left: Julia Granacki; Bottom left: Molly Touger

Prompted by a social media challenge to replace your profile picture with your celebrity look-a-like, our next storyteller leans into her own definitions of beauty and identity as she starts to appreciate her likeness to Cher.

Switching it up, here’s “On Becoming Cher” written by Molly Touger and performed by Julia Granacki.

These stories were performed live on July 17th, 2014. Give a listen to the first half of the evening in Episode 5 of our podcast. Thank you to The Astoria Bookshop! Visit them at astoriabookshop.com.

Episode 64 – Our First Show!

This Sunday, May 8th, marks the 10-year anniversary of No, YOU Tell It!

Left to right: Erika Iverson, Jorge Cordova, Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons, Jeremy Holmes, and David Harrell. Photo credit: Jon Reznick

Help us celebrate by giving a listen to this original set of four switched-up stories from Erika Iverson, Jorge Cordova, Jeremy Holmes, and David Harrell.

Support 10 more years by sharing our series with a friend! Big thanks to Mike Dressel and Anton Kreisl for producing and engineering this podcast of our first show with music from Tiny Animals.

Since May 2012, we’ve produced 46 shows, working with over 160 artists, and you can listen to hundreds of live story swaps on the No, YOU Tell It! podcast.

Available on Audioboom and your favorite podcasting platform.

This May, please help us raise $2,300 to support 10 more years and in celebration of our own Kelly Jean’s BIRTHDAY on the 23rd. Donate here!

Plus, your donation is tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor The Field.

Episode 63 – What I Know (Part 2)

This first story takes us on the painful and isolating journey of struggling with stubborn fibroids. Kicking off the second half of our “What I Know” show, our storyteller must find the strength to physically and mentally overcome the enemy inside.

Here’s “Knowing is Half the Battle,” written by Sheria Mattis and performed by Michele Carlo.

What better way to celebrate Women’s History Month and 10 years of No, YOU Tell It! than this stellar storyteller swap introduced by their director Erika Iverson.

Story partners: Michele Carlo and Sheria Mattis

Switching it up, our final storyteller reflects on her youthful battle to control her hair in an attempt to redefine her identity.

“Viva La Curlvolution!” was written by Michele Carlo, performed here by Sheria Mattis.

The first in-person show of our 10-year anniversary season took place at Culture Lab, LIC, in Queens on March 7th, 2022.

Episode 62 – What I Know (Part 1)

When the healthcare system fails to provide information and resources on how to handle perimenopause, the narrator of our first tale takes matters into her own hands.

Give a listen to No One Told Me written by Julia Granacki, performed by Hannah Leland, and directed by Marcos Stafne. Click here to give a listen to Julia’s perimenopause podcast Circling the Drain!

Story partners: Julia Granacki and Hannah Leland

Switching it up, our second story takes us on a journey of exploring womanhood and femininity, with all of the tension of expectations, reality, and identity in between.

Finally Arriving was written by Hannah Leland, performed by Julia Granacki, and directed by Marcos Stafne

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the first in-person show of our 10-year anniversary season took place at Culture Lab, LIC, in Queens on March 7th, 2022.

Episode 61 – Anniversary Apart

We opened our ten-year anniversary season with a virtual tri-flip of stories from across the country. Listen now to hear about a picture-perfect day at Vacation Bible School gone wrong, a revealing trip down Death Road to the Amazon, and an evolving mother-daughter relationship.

We also asked our authors to present their answer to this question: “What are three objects that YOU from 10 years ago would be surprised to know hold such value for you now?”

Anniversary Apart Storytellers and No, YOU Tell It! Creative Team

Fun fact: These stories were performed via Zoom, but the recorded applause is from a No, YOU Tell It! show of yore. 

Anniversary Apart Stories:

  • “Watermelon ‘Sugar'” written by Chris Crowthers, performed by Gaby Martineau and directed by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons
  • “Bolivia” written by Gaby Martineau, performed by Jenna Struble, and directed by Amanda Sisk
  • “Fifty” written by Jenna Struble, performed by Chris Crowthers, and directed by Amanda Sisk

Episode 60 – Defiant (Part 2)

The second half of our “Defiant” show drops us back into the peak of the pandemic, where our hero is taking Zoom calls and setting office policies from the solitude of his home.

As he struggles to define what’s right and what’s wrong while navigating a breakup and suburban judgment, he finds someone he’s willing to break the rules for.

Here is “Imaginary Rules” written by Marcos Stafne and performed by Moncho Alvarado.

Top left: Moncho Alvarado, Top right: Marcos Stafne, Photo credit: Sachyn Mital

Switching it up, we hear a heartbreaking series of letters to loved ones. Through imagery, history, and imagination, our second storyteller longs for answers and actions about the ongoing crisis and cruelty at the American borders.

Listen, as Marcos Stafne reads “Dead Familia” written by Moncho Alvarado.

For our “Defiant” show we were not only excited to be back as an OFFICIAL 2021 BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL BOOKEND EVENT but to share these incredible stories in front of our first live audience in two years at a brilliant new venue, Culture Lab LIC!

Thank you, thank you to the Brooklyn Book FestivalLambda Literary, and City Artist Corps for helping to make No, YOU Tell It! part of New York City’s creative resurgence

Episode 59 – Defiant (Part 1)

This first “Defiant” story finds us, as described by the narrator, “on the precipice of Real Teen Shit.” In a small New York town, a teen explores his identity while working at the local Serenity Sweets Cafe developing friendships with the town rebels and navigating questionable adults in and around the shop. Balancing his good-boy persona with a newfound comfort from his “island of misfit toys” our narrator carves his own path.

Written by Bobby Hankinson and performed by Desi Waters, here is, “You’re Gonna Be Sweet, Boy.”

Bobby Hankinson (top right) and Desi Waters (top left) trade true tales! Photo credit: Sachyn Mital

Switching it up, tensions are high at the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall. A clumsy daughter fights back tears and curiosity during worship, afraid to rouse her mother’s wrath. A pinch and piercing stare is just the beginnings of a spiraling rage in this epic tale of expression, power, and, ultimately, acceptance.

Here is “Meltdown” written by Desi Waters and performed by Bobby Hankinson.

For our “Defiant” show we were not only excited to be back as an OFFICIAL 2021 BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL BOOKEND EVENT but to share these incredible stories in front of our first live audience in two years at a brilliant new venue, Culture Lab LIC!

Thank you, thank you to the Brooklyn Book Festival, Lambda Literary, and City Artist Corps for helping to make No, YOU Tell It! part of New York City’s creative resurgence

Episode 58 – Alum On The Spot Swap

Ever Google, “What to do when an ex-boyfriend rejects your extended olive branch?” the first storyteller in our Valentine’s Day throwback podcast did, before peeling herself off the floor to attend a book signing in an attempt to get her groove back—or at least to get moving.

First up from our alum on-the-spot story swap is “Waiting for Sedaris,” written by Shelley Gazes and performed by Mark Woollett.

Alum storytellers Shelley Gazes and Mark Woollett swap stories on the spot.

Switching it up, we find our next storyteller in an awkward meeting with his fiancée’s older relatives. Crowded in a hot Iowa living room dimmed by an ex-husband’s shadow, a near-death experience makes for a memorable afternoon.

Our second story, written by Mark Woollett and performed by Shelley Gazes at QED Astoria is “Olive.”

QED, like so many performance venues, has been hit hard by the pandemic. To send some love their way and get some fun goodies for yourself or others, you can SHOP QED’S ONLINE OR IN-STORE BOOK & GIFT SHOP!

You can also make donations on their website in increments starting at $5. Or, if you prefer other payment methods, they accept PayPal & Chase QuickPay using the email address QEDAstoria@gmail.com and Venmo as QEDAstoria.

Any and all donations are greatly appreciated to help support this valuable member of the Queens artistic community!

Episode 57 – Precious (Part 2)

Kicking off the second swap from our Precious show, our narrator time travels between Brooklyn and Oklahoma where she cares for her aging mother after her father’s death. Confronted with memories and physical artifacts from her past, she gains a new perspective on the hometown she had so desired to escape as her two worlds collide.

Our first story is “Home,” written by Gail Thomas and performed by Nita Noveno.

Top: Gail Thomas; Bottom: Nita Noveno

We’re not in Oklahoma anymore! Switching it up, our next storyteller reminisces on a ritual (insert animal) slaughter and roast in her Filipino community in Alaska, conjuring her fear and resistance to a cultural norm.

An homage to the gradual influence of tradition and its impact on one’s identity and the collective’s, our second story, “Gathering (1973)” was written by Nita Noveno and performed by Gail Thomas.

Similar to last week’s podcast, we asked the storytellers to draw what three grocery items have suddenly become precious since we last rehearsed in March. It becomes immediately clear how much they’ve (haven’t we all?) gained a new appreciation for basic necessities.

Huge thanks to our friend Amanda Sisk who directed the brush-up rehearsals for our virtual story swaps!

No, YOU Tell It! “Precious” is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 

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