Winter Arts Preview: Wild Goose Creative's Speak Easy

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

It happens every day, a hundred times over, across the city: someone sits down, puts up his feet and tells a story.

Usually, this transpires at random, without a hint of planning. But starting at 7 p.m. tonight, Wild Goose Creative will give storytelling its due honor with Speak Easy, a new monthly event.

"The idea for the night is that there are so many great storytellers in Columbus - and not just people who are doing it professionally, but just that are good," said Ryan Hoke, a Wild Goose co-founder and Speak Easy organizer.

The concept is a variation on a similar event put on by the Storytellers of Central Ohio, a group that's partnered with Speak Easy. While Storytellers events often feature fictional or folklore stories, the Speak Easy will consist of real people telling true stories, said Hoke, who will be jumping in with his own stories occasionally.

Speak Easy makes sense for Wild Goose Creative, whose events are always tied into the story behind an artist, Hoke said.

The evening will proceed as simply as sitting back and listening to a good story should: interested storytellers will sign up upon arriving, and as many as possible will tell their seven-minute-or-shorter story over the course of the next hour and a half.

"There is something simple and easy to understand about it," Hoke said. "It's up to the people that show up [to determine] what the stories are about."

Future Speak Easy events will likely revolve around an announced theme ("Lost and Found: Stories of Love" is planned for February). The event is BYOB.

"If Wild Goose had a living room, this would be it," Hoke said.

A portion of the event's $5 cost benefits Storytellers of Central Ohio's Columbus Story Adventures arm, which helps schoolchildren learn to tell and appreciate stories.