This has been transcribed from the Stories We Don't Tell Podcast Episode 71. Listen to that episode at this LINK or click on the image below.
Cast of Characters:
Stefan Hostetter (SH): co-founder of Stories We Don’t Tell and podcast co-host.
Paul Dore (PD): co-founder of Stories We Don’t Tell and podcast co-host.
SH: Today we're going to talk a little bit about venues because two of our last shows were in new venues and that's always exciting for us in part because it's actually how our show has grown. People invite their friends to their house for this thing and the more people learn about us, the more each new venue brings a whole different vibe to the experience.
PD: We were at an event the other night and somebody asked me all about the importance of doing the live show in houses. We didn't realize how important this was going to be and it was almost an arbitrary decision. We didn't know really what was going to happen and it was like let's just do this at your apartment. There wasn't necessarily a big theory behind it at the beginning.
SH: Not only was it not theory it was specifically to sort out a couple of really logistical problems. We wanted to have alcohol but didn't want to charge people for it. We wanted to have a space that we had control over. So houses just seemed like a pretty easy solution to this problem rather than anything beyond that.
PD: I will say that pretty much from that first time whether we recognized it or not immediately, was that it did become and still is just like one of the most important pieces to this puzzle. Specifically with the kind of stories that we are asking people to come and share with us.
SH: We actually learned that pretty quickly because the second event was actually at a party room in your condo. That didn't have the exact same vibe. And we realized at that point that maybe there was something about being in my apartment that that actually impacted it. So we went back to houses. we have a couple shows that are not in houses from time to time but generally speaking holding the event in a house is really important.
PD: What is it about doing the show in these houses that is important for you?
SH: I think there are a of couple specific useful things about it. I think people are more respectful in houses. I think people treat it as if they're in someone's house that they know. And so we don't have issues like talking which happens in a lot of bars and other venues.
PD: And just to interject at our last event I was really excited and happy and proud of our audience. A performer started their story and there was somebody at the back who started talking and before any one of us could do anything like half the crowd just turned around and shushed them.
SH: Also I love the fact that at the end of the event it becomes a bit of a house party kind of vibe which means that people are far more likely to talk to each other. It's the community aspect that is really important to me.
PD: I would second both of those things, especially the party thing. I think what's a little bit different is that sometimes when you're at an event at a bar or an event space or something like that, once the show is done, you leave. Time to go home now. At our last one there was a number of very intense stories and I think it was an opportunity for everyone to just kind of talk about that stuff. It's great to see. To add to your list is that for both the audience and the performers, it can get so packed that literally the audience are right literally at your feet. And I think that it removes the separation between the performer and audience. We don't use microphones or anything like that and the audience are right there in the room with the person, like right in front of them. And for the people sharing stories also. The connection with the audience is helped by this intimate space.
SH: The last part of it that matters to me is that houses themselves hold stories. It adds depth to this space. I think it brings the audience further into the experience by putting them in a space that really is being lived in. I really think you can actually feel the depth of stories or thoughts that go into a space or an event. And I think that really matters.
PD: That is something that has stayed the same: the venue. It’s only grown in importance. We've been adding some things over the last few months.
SH: We are constantly asking ourselves the question: What can we do to increase the depth of these experience. And one of the things we thought of was what about including art? Very subtly. We asked artist Maximilian Suillerot to do a bit of set design. Max is a fantastic artist and he provided us with a piece that's actually part of an ongoing artistic series of his. He actually created a physical art manifestation of a halo for the storytellers themselves.
PD: Oh it looks really great on the pictures.
SH: Yes, it does! So, I guess what we’re trying to say is that houses are important. They tell stories and we really want to thank everyone who has invited us into their homes to hold this event.