What’s your best story, a tale that never fails to captivate at a party? It’s likely one you pull out late at night, perhaps after a couple cocktails — or not — but only amongst trusted friends. Or maybe it’s a story you’ve never told, and definitely never thought you’d tell in public.
RISK!, the “high-stakes” storytelling podcast, would like you to tell that story on stage for an audience in Tampa at the RISK! live show June 8 at the Attic, 1510 E Eighth Ave., in Ybor City.
Then they’ll probably take the audio and make it available on an episode of the podcast, downloaded by more than a million listeners each month and available to pretty much everyone on the planet with an internet connection.
The suggested themes for Tampa storytellers are “worst case scenario,” “intuition” and “dreams,” but according to the show, all that really matters is that the stakes are high, "you were very emotionally invested" and it's "something that feels revealing to unpack."
The show has featured stories ranging from funny to emotionally wrenching (and often both), told by everyday people, but also celebrities such as Samantha Bee, Michael Ian Black, Sarah Silverman, Trevor Noah and Kumail Nanjiani.
Why would someone want to share “the funny, the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all,” as host and storyteller Kevin Allison puts it, with the general public?
“RISK! is an incredibly cathartic experience for both the storytellers and the audience,” Allison said. “When you can witness a person speaking for 15 minutes or more about a life experience they never thought they’d dare to share about in mixed company, you feel what it means to be human. ... A storyteller will sometimes worry that their story is going to be all about them, almost like taking a verbal selfie. But when that storyteller really bares their soul and shares ... they are often amazed by the feedback.”
The podcast is very un-censored, so while we can’t describe some of RISK!'s best stories here in detail, they’ve included tales of a breakdown while reluctantly hunting kangaroos, a Mormon whose pro-abstinence magazine article backfired when she learned the joy of sex and a teen who tried impressing a girl at a lake only to end up bleeding, nude and hanging upside down off a pier.
People have told stories of accidentally discovering their mother’s heroin addiction or confronting their rapist years later at a BDSM club, but also lighter stuff like soiling their pants during a date and an epically misguided audition for a TV commercial.
The deadline to submit stories for Tampa is May 4. You can find details and tips on what to submit and how submit it at risk-show.com/submissions. If you’re still not sure about it, Allison suggests checking out some of the “Best of RISK!” compilation episodes below.
If you just want to see the show on June 8, tickets are $20 and already on sale at ticketfly.com.