Tag: Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

Happy 10-Year Anniversary to Us!

Today is our official ten-year anniversary! May is also Kelly Jean’s birthday month!! Help us create ten more years of stories by donating here to our fundraising drive. Anything you can give is appreciated.

What does your tax-deductible donation support? We’re so happy you asked!

  • $25 helps provide literary prizes for story trivia at the live shows in support of local authors and independent bookstores.
  • $50 goes toward administrative fees, such as our Field membership and hosting costs for our website and podcast.
  • $100 supports the storytellers who commit hours of their time to two story development meetings and a theatrical rehearsal prior to the live show.
  • $300 secures experienced story coaches and directors who support our storytellers from page to stage.
  • $500 enables us to provide a professional live stream of the event to broadcast this unique event to an even larger audience. See what this looks like in the video below!

What separates our series is the collaborative time put into each show. This extensive workshop process is a blessing, but the time commitment can also be a challenge for participants and the creative team.

Therefore, as we strive toward a new decade of No, YOU Tell It!, we are dedicated to compensating all of the artists involved. Any size donation is greatly appreciated and goes straight to the artists.

Don’t have the funds right now? Support our series witha FB like or Insta follow and share our podcast on your favorite socials.

Thank you for being a part of 10 wonderful years! Here’s to 10 more!!

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.

Watch “Anniversary Apart”

We wanted to take a moment and thank everyone who was able to come out to “Anniversary Apart” the first show of our ten-year anniversary season! It was truly incredible to hear those stories come to life and see such great performances from each of the storytellers. Click here for the show program.

Sad you missed? Good news! Watch the show here:

Congratulations to our trivia winners who will receive a donation in their name to Friends With Four Paws and a puppy named after them! And what a lovely chat we had afterward. What a way to kick off the year!

If you want, you can still make a $15 suggested tax-deductible donation in support of the series. Pay what and only if you can – more is always welcome! Click here to donate.

And lastly, save the date! Our next show will be in person at Culture Lab, LIC and live streaming on March 7th – stay tuned for more information.

Event Information

“Anniversary Apart” Program

Jan 27 2022 @ 7:00PM

Show is tonight at 7 pm ET! If you haven’t already, register at nyti-anniversary-apart.eventbrite.com

The storytellers you are about to meet, met each other for the first time earlier this month and collaborated together to develop their true-life tales inspired by the theme “Anniversary Apart” on the page. Tonight they take the virtual stage to step into each other’s stories and experience perspectives and identities that are not their own.

Take a look at our storytellers.

Tonight’s Stories!

Watermelon “Sugar” written by Chris Crowthers, performed by Gabriela Martineau, and directed by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons.

Bolivia written by Gabriela Martineau, performed by Jenna Struble, and directed by Amanda Sisk.

Fifty written by Jenna Struble, performed by Chris Crowthers, and directed by Amanda Sisk.

Donations

There is a $15 suggested tax-deductible donation in support of the series for tonight’s show. Pay what and only if you can – more is always welcome! Click here to donate.

Story Trivia

Pay careful attention because the show will end with a round of story trivia. Winners receive a $35 donation in their name to benefit Friends with Four Paws. Plus, a puppy named after you! 

Didn’t win a prize but want to donate to Friends with Four Paws? Visit their website friendswithfourpaws.org and follow them on social media @friendswithfourpaws

Thank you!!

Huge thanks to Noah Diamond, Amanda Sisk, and Timothy Lindner for all their work producing our third virtual show and for all their support as longtime alums and friends of No, YOU Tell It!

Shoutout to Jenn Wehrung for all her work volunteering with Friends with Four Paws and helping make tonight’s puppy prizes happen!

A Word from Kelly Jean

On a personal note, I’m excited to announce that this show also kicks off No, YOU Tell It’s 10-Year Anniversary Season. I created this series a decade ago and found purpose in helping people share in the stories that need to be told.

Switching stories to embody each other’s racial and cultural experiences in a live performance creates the kind of empathetic connections that are essential as we enter year three of this pandemic.

Want to support 10 more years? Here are 3 great ways:

  1. SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter for updates.
  2. SHARE the No, YOU Tell It! Podcast far and wide. Available on our website and your fav podcasting platforms.
  3. DONATE through our fiscal sponsor The Field. Plus, it’s tax-deductible.

All my love,
Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

 

Event Information

Jan 27 2022 @ 7:00PM

via Zoom!

Spark a Stand-Out Story

News about our next No, YOU Tell It! show coming soon! Check back for updates. 

First, we’re pleased to announce that our own Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons is partnering with Timothy Lindner of Revisionary Writing and Editing LLC to offer three FREE college essay writing workshops this summer.
Online College Essay Workshop

If your students or kids are looking to get a running start on their personal statements for college applications, these 1.5-hour sessions can help get them going.

Registration for all three sessions (6/26, 7/24, 8/21) is open at stand-out-stories.eventbrite.com

Contact timothy@revisionarywae.com for more information.

Episode 55 – Coming & Going (Part 2)

The first story in our second “Coming and Going” swap places us in a New England suburb during the COVID-19 pandemic. A woman leaves her city life and is thrust into the role of caretaker for her elderly parents where, much like the pandemic, there is no end in sight. Experiencing a role reversal with her stubborn father and carefree mother, our narrator comes face to face with her own fears, testing her faith and patience as she struggles to keep her loved ones safe.

“The Faith of Candy” was written by Nancy Agabian and is read for us here by Charlotte Marchant. Charlotte’s reading was directed by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons.

For this, our first virtual show, we asked each storyteller that if we, the listeners, wished to summon them directly to our room what three items might we place in a magic circle to do so. As you see and will hear, a wide variety of ingredients are needed to complete the spell.

Top: Charlotte Marchant; Bottom: Nancy Agabian

Following the arrests of the riotous Weathermen after the Days of Rage in 1969, our second storyteller finds herself in prison, where reputations precede the inmates and communication is bangs, taps, and whispers through the ventilation system. Finding herself in a platonic relationship with a man named Cookie, the narrator grapples with her identity, the future of the revolution, and women’s roles in both.

Written by Charlotte Marchant and read by Nancy Agabian, our second story is “Cookie.” Nancy’s reading was directed by Amanda Sisk.

No, YOU Tell It! “Coming & Going” was AN OFFICIAL 2020 BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL EVENT and 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.

Episode 54 – Coming & Going (Part 1)

Have you ever wanted to be someone else? The opening story of “Coming & Going”— our second team-up show with Lambda Literary — follows Calvin…or as he’d like to be known, Craig, as he travels to Florida to become someone new. This journey to overcome grief caused by a death, a breakup, and an unforgiving New York City reveals that what we seek might already be inside us, even if we have to imagine our future with a new set of eyes once in a while.

Nicole Shawan Junior reads “Becoming Someone Else in Florida” written by Calvin S. Cato.

Nicole’s reading was directed by Amanda Sisk.

Bonus: For this, our first virtual show, we asked each storyteller that if we, the listeners, wished to summon them directly to our room what three items might we place in a magic circle to do so. As you see and will hear, a wide variety of ingredients are needed to complete the spell.

Top: Calvin S. Cato, Bottom: Nicole Shawan Junior

Switching it up, our next story takes us on a trip to the west coast where two lovers seek comfort in each other’s sanitized arms during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the backdrop of 2020’s chaotic energy, the two women must navigate their coping mechanisms, fears, and ultimately their love for each other in order to confront their futures — together or on their own.

Nicole Shawan Junior’s timely story, “Finding Our Way Back Home,” is read for us here by Calvin S. Cato.

Calvin’s reading was directed by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons.

No, YOU Tell It! “Coming & Going” was AN OFFICIAL 2020 BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL EVENT and 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.

Episode 52 – a Muse (Part 2)

Our first story finds a dyed-in-wool New Yorker facing unforeseen suburban horrors. Negotiating neighborly encounters that make her question whether to recalibrate her moral barometer to keep up with the Joneses. Or, in this case, the Weavers.

Kicking off the second half of our special Brooklyn Book Festival event at The Astoria Bookshop, here is Ellie Dvorkin reading “The Neighbor’s Muse” written by H.E. Fisher.

Top left: Ellie Dvorkin; Top right: Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons and H.E. Fisher; Bottom left: Story partners!; Bottom right: H.E. Fisher

Switching it up, in our next story, a daughter fails to find anything amusing about her lifelong role of caretaker. Her mother’s recent health scare causing her to rethink the responsibilities we take on, the ones put upon us, and what it takes to release yourself from burdens of the past. H.E. Fisher reads “Fun” written by Ellie Dvorkin.

For this 2019 Brooklyn Book Festival event, we partnered with The Astoria Bookshop for a special evening of poets and comedians trading true tales inspired by the theme “aMuse.” Stories performed live on September 17th, 2019.

Storeis were directed by Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons who also narrated this episode.

World Read Aloud Day

Have you heard about #WorldReadAloudDay? Now you have! More answers this Friday, Feb 1st at 7 pm when The Astoria Bookshop hosts a World Read Along Day event, with four local authors including our own Kelly Jean.

Celebrate and curate a love of literacy and storytelling with community members and loved ones (and, if you like, bring a story of your own).

Click here for more info and to RSVP via Facebook.

From Page to Stage: Sarah Lawrence Writing Institute Workshop

 

Excited to share that Mike Dressel and Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons are teaching a five-week workshop in collaborative creative nonfiction at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence this fall: ‘

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 until Tuesday, October 23, 2018 from 10-12 PM.

Click here for registration details.  & Help us spread the news!

From Page to Stage: Writing Creative Nonfiction for Performance with Mike Dressel and Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons

Nothing informs your story like hearing someone else perform your story!

Compose a creative nonfiction story using the collaborative process created by the producers of the nonfiction reading series, No, YOU Tell It!

Whether developing a true-life tale for a venue like The Moth or RISK! or working to sharpen it for publication, our “page to stage” process allows writers to gain a new perspective on the story they want to tell by hearing their words read out loud by someone else, while also improving their own stage presence.

This five-week session takes you from brainstorming, through drafting, to a finished piece of creative nonfiction.

  • Session one features generative exercises such as “I Remember” and “Sensory Blitz” to brainstorm memorable moments and sharpen sensory details.
  • Sessions two and three feature group exercises with targeted feedback for each writer. We’ll also explore revision strategies to find shape and structure, develop your “I-character,” and raise the stakes.
  • Sessions four and five address pacing in performance, strengthening story beats, and rehearsing basic stage techniques to help embody your partner’s story and give it a little oomph in the final reading.

By the end of this workshop, participants take an idea from a thematic suggestion all the way through to a polished draft, engage in useful feedback and revision techniques, and consider the importance of audience and delivery.

Click here for registration details! 

No, YOU Tell It! is a “switched-up” storytelling series dedicated to performing true-life tales with a twist: Each participant develops their own story on the page and then flip scripts with a partner to present each other’s story on stage. We’ve found that this shared storytelling format creates a sense of trust and ownership, and blends the collaborative process of creative writing workshops with the intimacy and immediacy of theatrical performance.

Mike Dressel is a writer and educator. His work has appeared in publications such as Litbreak, The James Franco ReviewChelsea Station, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, among others, as well as in the anthologies Best Gay Stories 2016 and Best Gay Stories 2017. He has been a judge for The Prose Bowl, a flash fiction reading series, and a panelist on the comedy news show Fight the Feed.

Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons is a writer, teacher, and storyteller. Her recent work has appeared in Hippocampus MagazineMarie ClaireBlack Fox Literary MagazineNewtown Literary, and she is a 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominee. After earning her MFA in creative nonfiction from Fairleigh Dickinson University, she created No, YOU Tell It!, a switched-up storytelling series with a twist: Each NYTI participant develops their own story on the page and then flips scripts with a partner to present each other’s story on stage.

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