4th Annual Night at the Improv Media

Our improv storytelling show is wildly popular and so we keep on doing it! This year marked our 4th Night at the Improv. The show featured storytellers sharing true, personal stories inspired on the spot from audience prompts. Hosted by Robert Lovejoy, storytellers included Richard Barr, Mary Supley Foxworth, Sunil Saxena, Jessica Robinson, Davine Ker, Jack Pelar, Derek Hills, Sandra Hull, and Tom Croce.

Normally I like to share each video on its own, but for our improv storytelling show, most of the storytellers told twice and there are just too many to make fit nicely in one blog. So here they all are – in one playlist!

And here are the wonderful photos taken by David Supley Foxworth of all the fun at The Auld Shebeen in Fairfax, VA. My favorite thing to do with these photos is look at the people in the background during the group improv storytelling sessions – and wonder what they’re thinking!

 

The year of storytelling – improv or otherwise – has come to an end. But we have two storytelling shows already booked in January and lots of storytelling workshops. We hope to see you there.

Have a great rest of the year!

 

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Great Gifts for Readers, Writers, Storytellers and Storytelling Fans

If you love someone who considers themselves a storyteller, a writer, a reader, or a storytelling fan, then we have gift options for you! We tried to make it easy by offering Gift Certificates, early registration, and multiple options for shows and workshops. Here are some ideas for you.

Gift Certificates! We’re offering gift certificates for Better Said Than Done workshops or shows here. This is great if you think your loved one wants to attend a show or workshop but you aren’t sure of their schedule.
Check out our gift certificates offered here

Storytelling Shows! Get your friend a gift certificate for 1 or more admission tickets to a Better Said Than Done show at The Auld Shebeen in Fairfax, VA.
Upcoming storytelling shows are listed here

Books:
Caged by Jessica Robinson
A urban fantasy novel described as “like Die Hard with vampires.”

 
 
Roar: True Tales of Women Warriors by 21 female authors
An anthology of true, personal stories about the obstacles women face on a regular basis, and how we overcome those obstacles to roar our voices loud and clear.
 

Storytelling Workshops:
Where to Begin $39
A 2 hour workshop at The Insight Shop in Vienna, VA focusing on that burning question all storytellers face – “where to begin” followed, of course by, “how to end?”
January 22, 2018
Details and Registration Here

Spotlight on You $85
A 3.5 hour workshop teaching structure, character building, and how to win the audience over, through our teacher’s method of storytelling coaching. For storytellers of all levels.
Several classes offered starting in January 2018
Read more or register here

Take the Stage $199
Three classes, over three weeks, to help you develop secondary characters, dialogue, non-linear structure, enhanced performance skills, and stories of varying lengths to be performed on stage. Students are encouraged to pick an upcoming show to prepare for during this three week workshop.
Starts February 26, 2018
Read more or register here

Spotlight Storytelling  $275
Over the course of six weeks, we’ll work on how to mine your life for details that build not only a powerful story, but also a deeper understanding of your life events. You’ll leave this class with one heck of a story to tell, and the skills and confidence to shape other stories and perform them on stage or in social or professional settings.
Starts January 16
Details and Registration here

Workshop for Writers:
From Writer to Author $39
This panel of published authors, publishing and marketing experts, will share strategies for mapping the path from writer to author by capitalizing on your individual, personal and professional strengths. We offer practical advice and strategies for how to manage the shock of the transition and create steps for selling your book and your brand, whether or not you have an agent.
February 5, 2018
Details and Registration Here

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Fall for the Book Storytelling 2017

Better Said Than Done once again participated in George Mason University’s Fall for the Book Festival this October. First, storytelling teachers Jessica Robinson and Mary Supley Foxworth led a presentation called “Where to Begin,” covering that impossible question of so many tackling true, personal stories – where to begin, and how to end.
Mary and Jessica are leading a two hour intensive workshop on the subject this winter at The Insight Shop in Vienna, VA.
Read More and Register Here

Better Said Than Done also produced a storytelling show for the Fall for the Book Festival at our usual haunt – The Auld Shebeen, in Fairfax, VA. Below are photos and links to videos of the night’s storytellers. Each storyteller shared a true, personal story on the theme of “Air Guitar: music, faking it, and playing with heart.”

Watch Jack Scheer’s magical music story here.

Follow Jessica Robinson as she fakes it – running a marathon – until she makes it.

Watch Mary Supley Foxworth‘s near miss at the airport.

Paul White’s tale of a childhood adventure.

Miriam Nadel‘s musical childhood.

Robert Lovejoy and his prop talk love.

Our last show of the year is November 25, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. If you are in the Fairfax area, join our family of storytellers for “Where the Heart Is: stories of home, family and love.” Advance, discount tickets here.

Read more and register now for our 2018 storytelling workshops. Or purchase a gift certificate for a friend!

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Storytelling Science Fair for Nature

Better Said Than Done storytellers shared true, personal stories on the theme of “Science Fair: stories of science, nature and fairs,” at our annual fundraising event for the Walker Nature Center in Reston, VA. While the audience got to listen to stories that proved life is better in the telling, we raised over $650 for the Nature House.

Sorry if you weren’t in the room when it happened, but hopefully these videos of the storytellers will help you feel like you are a part of our storytelling community, even if you weren’t a part of this great night out.

Watch the videos and then come to our next storytelling show!

Storyteller Erin Benbennick’s tale of volunteerism.

Dr. Sunil Saxena, a graduate of our Spotlight on You storytelling workshop, shared a story about both sides of the ER.

Another first timer to the Better Said Than Done stage, Rachel Nusbaum’s nature vs. nurture.

Sonia Patterson joined our storytelling community for the first time. Watch her watching birds.

Just when you thought you’d finally gotten that song out of your head, watch storyteller Bill Burton‘s total eclipse of the sun.

Watch first time storyteller Cyndi Wish’s story of dogs and gossip.

David Supley Foxworth took the theme literally. Watch his science fair story here.

Better Said Than Done hosted another great night out, and brought our storytelling community into nature.

Join Better Said Than Done storytellers for our last storytelling show of 2017 – “Where the Heart Is: stories of home, happiness, and love” – November 25th, 7PM, The Auld Shebeen.

Details and advance discount tickets here.

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Science and Nature House

At our annual fundraising night for the Walker Nature Center in Reston, VA, Better Said Than Done storytellers shared true, personal stories on the theme of “Science Fair.” More importantly, we raised over $650 for the Nature House. What a fun way for people to donate money to a great cause. What a great reason for our storytellers to perform in a fun storytelling show.

And it was truly fun. Katie Shaw, of Friends of Reston, opened the show.

Storyteller Erin Benbennick shared a story about volunteerism which was perfectly in tune with the night’s fundraising goal.
storyteller

Dr. Sunil Saxena, a first time storyteller and graduate of our Spotlight on You storytelling workshop, shared a behind the scenes look at an ER doctor’s life.

Another first timer to the Better Said Than Done stage, Rachel Nusbaum talked about nature vs. nurture.

And yes, we had another new storyteller! Sonia Patterson grew our storytelling community a little more with her presence and with her story about another community – bird watchers!

Long time friend to the Friends of Reston, and longtime storyteller, Bill Burton took us on a trip to try to catch totality with his solar eclipse story.

First time storyteller (what a great night for the Northern Virginia storytelling community!) Cyndi Wish took us over the rainbow. Or, at least, to Massachusetts, where there were some rubies!

And an old timer, by our standards, David Supley Foxworth closed the night out with a story about trying to win the coveted Science Fair prize!

Better Said Than Done has a long history of fundraising for non profits. It’s our way of giving back when and how we are able. We were glad to have donated our time, shared our stories, and raised some money for a great organization.

Join our storytelling community for our last storytelling show of 2017 – “Where the Heart Is: stories of home, happiness, and love” – November 25th, 7PM, The Auld Shebeen.

Details and advance discount tickets here.

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Improvise This!

On October 28, 2017, the Better Said Than Done storytellers put their lives in your hands!
In our 4th Annual Night at the Improv, YOU, the audience, get to tell us, the storytellers, what topics we’ll be talking about as we improvise our stories – stories from our lives – right there, on the spot!

Join storytellers Richard Barr, Mary Supley Foxworth, Derek Hills, Sandra Hull, Davine Ker, Jack Pelar, Sunil Saxena, and Cyndi Wish, and host extraordinaire Robert Lovejoy at The Auld Shebeen for this great night out in Fairfax, VA.
4th Annual Night at the Improv
October 28, 2017
The Auld Shebeen (Downstairs)
3971 Chain Bridge Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22030
6:00PM Doors Open
7:00PM Show
$15 Tickets at the Door
$10 Advance Tickets



This is our 4th year performing what many have called “the best show of the year.” Join our community of storytellers and storytelling fans to see what improvised storytelling is all about!

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Fall for the Book 2017

Autumn is my favorite season. Apples. Perfect weather. Trees changing color. And free events! Specifically, George Mason University’s Fall for the Book Festival. We, at Better Said Than Done, love participating in the festival, and attending as many of the free events as possible.


Check out Fall for the Book here.

Check out the Better Said Than Done storytellers’ bios here.

 

Join Better Said Than Done storytellers and authors at the following events:

 

“The End: a storytelling workshop on how to end, and where to begin”
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
3:00PM – 4:15PM
George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center
4400 University Dr
Fairfax, VA 22030
FREE
Join Better Said Than Done storytelling teachers Jessica Robinson and Mary Supley Foxworth for this lesson on choosing where to start and how to end your true, personal life stories.

“Air Guitar: stories about faking, music, and playing with heart”
Thursday, October 12, 2017
7:00PM Show Starts/6:00PM Doors Open
The Auld Shebeen (Downstairs)
3971 Chain Bridge Rd.
Fairfax, VA 22030
FREE
Join Better Said Than Done storytellers Jessica Robinson, Jack Scheer, Paul White, Miriam Nadel, Robert Lovejoy and Mary Supley Foxworth for true, personal stories about faking it until you making it.

“From Writer to Author: Panel discussion on what to do once the book’s written”
Saturday, October 14, 2017
10:30AM – 11:30AM
Merten Hall, Room 1202
George Mason University
4441 George Mason Blvd
Fairfax, VA 22030
FREE
Join Better Said Than Done Founder, author of Caged, and co-author of Roar: True Tales of Women Warriors, Jessica (JP) Robinson; Meredith Maslich, of Possibilities Publishing; Jennifer Crawford, of Social Media Rescue; and Joanne Lozar Glenn, co-author of Memoir Your Way, for this panel discussion on successfully transitioning from a quiet writer’s life, to a public author’s world.

See you at Fall for the Book!

Better Said Than Done storytelling is true and personal and our storytellers’ performances will prove that life is better in the telling.

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Roar at Bards Alley

Join several of the authors of Better Said Than Done’s anthology, Roar: True Tales of Women Warriors, at Bards Alley Bookstore in Vienna, VA on October 20th for storytelling, readings, and conversation about women, writing and warriors. It’s a free event, but you can purchase copies of Roar, as well as wine and food. Did I mention that there’s wine!

Roar: True Tales of Women Warriors, a book anthology of true, personal stories about obstacles and empowerment, is available for purchase
at Bards Alley Bookstore in Vienna, VA.

Book sales benefit the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Roar Storytelling and Book Event
Bards Alley Bookstore
October 20, 2017
7:00PM Start
110 Church St. NW
Vienna, VA 22180
Free Event
Seating is limited. First come, first served.
Wine, drinks, and food are available for purchase.

Watch the book trailer, with readings from several of the authors:

Here’s some information about the 9 female authors who will be appearing at the book event at Bards Alley on October 20.

Sandra Hull has long used storytelling in her day job as an eLearning Instructional Designer, but only recently has she embraced storytelling to entertain and educate live audiences with her personal experiences and truths. She’s been a member of Better Said Than Done since 2015. Previously, she performed with a handful of DC-area amateur improv troupes and was a regularly published contestant in humor-writing contests in the Washington Post, the Toronto Globe and Mail, and New York Magazine. Learn more on Twitter and her blog

Bushra Jabre is Associate Faculty, Senior Communication Advisor of The Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs / Bloomberg School of Public Health. She was the Project Director of Arab Women Speak Out and the Emerging Leadership Project. She directed the annual Arabic Advances in Development Communication Regional Workshop 1992-2006. She held the post of Regional Advisor in Health Education and Women’s Programs with the UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa in Amman Jordan.
She has published Sophie’s Book, a memoir about her mother in 2016, Arab Women Speak Out, in 1998, Emerging Leadership in the Arab World in 2004 and many technical articles, newspaper articles and books in Arabic, English and French. More at LinkedIn and Facebook

Urmilla Khanna, a board-certified pediatrician, came to United Sates as a young bride in 1963 and pursued her medical career until 2000. Besides publishing her essays in newspapers and magazines, she has published two of her short stories in Patchwork, Stories from the Dining Table. Her first book, Boundaries of the Wind, a memoir, was published in 2015 and is available on Amazon in both kindle and print.

Mary Nicol Lucas is a marketing consultant to the credit union industry. Her areas of expertise include name development and rebranding; creation of advertising materials, collateral, website development and PR. She started her marketing career with the advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson USA, and she worked for DDB Needham Worldwide before spending 19 years as a corporate Director of Sales and Marketing for CORT, a Berkshire Hathaway Company.

Kim O’Connell is a writer whose articles and essays have appeared in national and regional publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Brain, Child, Yahoo News, Ladies Home Journal, National Parks, PsychologyToday.com, Thread, and more. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in Little Patuxent Review and unFold Poetry, and she has been a writer in residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and at Shenandoah National Park. Visit her website, www.kimaoconnell.com, LinkedIn and Twitter

Laura Bowman Pimentel is a full time real estate agent, part time food tour guide and single mom. Her writing includes blogging about food escapades around Washington DC as well as short stories and essays based on her personal experiences with parenting, marriage and relationships. Because of her experience with her ex-husband’s struggle to adjust to life in the United States and the resulting mental health consequences, she is inspired to speak out and dispel misconceptions about both mental illness and immigration. More at her Blog, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram: @lauralizbp

Jessica Robinson is a storyteller with, and the founder of, Better Said Than Done, with monthly, themed storytelling shows featuring true, personal stories, and with storytelling workshops for non-profits, corporations and individuals. Jessica’s first novel, the urban fantasy Caged, was published October 2016 under the pen name JP Robinson. Jessica is currently working on the sequel, Rise. Her true, personal story, “The Game,” was published in the short story collection Sucker for Love, and “What Are the Odds” was published in The Northern Virginia Review, Volume 29. Follow JP Robinson on her website, Twitter and Facebook

Mary Supley Foxworth, tells true, personal stories with Better Said Than Done and leads workshops in the art of storytelling. Though she has been an editor of and contributor to other non-fiction books, her story in Roar is her first credit as an author.

Anne B. Thomas is the 2013 National Storytelling Festival Slam Champion. She has been featured on national US storytelling programs such as The Moth, Storycorps, and RISK!. She’s been published in the New York Times and is a coauthor of the book, Sucker For Love. Anne spent most of her career as a civil rights attorney, conflict resolution expert, and leadership development innovator. She is currently writing a memoir that will be published in 2018. You can learn more about Anne at her website, annebthomas.com and on LinkedIn

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Vacation Videos

Host Jack Scheer made sure to keep our storytelling family together on this “Vacation: stories of family, fun and disaster,” the Better Said Than Done August storytelling show at The Auld Shebeen in Fairfax, VA.

Fortunately for you, we took video and you can watch each of the storytellers below.

Jack told a short host story before bringing up the first, official storyteller of the night, Catherine Calvin.

Watch Jennifer Greene shower. Totally SFW!

Sandra Hull’s story about family and disaster.

Take a trip with Robert Lovejoy to Paris.

Allison Stevens’ ride through the highlands.

Or journey to exotic Canaan with Elinor Klein.

Miriam Nadel knows all the best tourist traps.

Watch Tom Croce swim in the ocean. Totally NSFW!

This Better Said Than Done storytelling show, performed by our family of storytellers, was filled with fun and totally not a disaster!

Our next storytelling show, is a solo, feature length story by Better Said Than Done founder Jessica Robinson. Join us on September 10th for “Tech Babies: Baby Making in the Modern Age.”

We have our next Storytelling at the Lake show September 20th, at Lake Anne Coffee House in Reston, VA.

On September 30th, we are hosting a fundraiser for Friends of Reston, at the Walker Nature Center, in Reston.

You can read about all our upcoming storytelling shows here.

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Jessica Robinson’s Tech Babies

On September 10th, at 5PM, Better Said Than Done founder, Jessica Robinson, will perform her solo, feature length storytelling show, “Tech Babies: Baby Making in the Modern Age” at Epicure Cafe in Fairfax, VA. Details about the storytelling show here.

Jessica Robinson has been performing true, personal spoken word stories since 2007, when she first took to the stage at a SpeakeasyDC show.  Since then she’s played with different formats – telling stories in conjunction with another storyteller, hopping on stage at the spur of the moment for some improv storytelling, and sharing longer form stories for Better Said Than Done as well as for The Grapevine, Stories in the Round, and at Friendship Heights.

September 10th, Jessica brings “Tech Babies” to Northern Virginia, a story about struggling with what seems like a simple thing, making a baby. The story is of an adult nature, covering topics like sex, IUI, IVF, pre-natal testing, genetic disorders, and many other intimate parts of the modern baby making experience.

Unlike an 8 minute story you’d see at a typical Better Said Than Done show, this story called out for a feature length spotlight because of its complex nature, covering a long period of time with a lot of personal and medical ups and downs. But it’s an important story to tell, one that so many people can relate to, but so few have actually talked about or heard told. The storytelling show will run approximately one hour long, followed by a Q & A with the audience.

We hope to see you at our final Summer Spotlight show on September 10th.

Join us for this and other upcoming shows. Details on storytelling shows here.

Storytelling at the Lake
Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 7:00PM, Lake Anne Coffee House, 1612 Washington Plaza N, Reston, VA 20190, FREE

Science Fair: Stories of science, nature, and fairs
The show is a benefit for Friends of Reston
Saturday, September 30th, 2017, 8:00 PM, Nature House, 11450 Glade Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191, $15 per person at door or here

Air Guitar: stories about faking, music, and playing with heart
Fall for the Book Festival Storytelling Night
Thursday, October 12th, 2017, 7:00 PM, downstairs at The Auld Shebeen, 3971 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Virginia 22030, FREE

4th Annual Night at the Improv – Improvisational Storytelling
October 28th, 2017, 7:00 PM, downstairs at The Auld Shebeen, 3971 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Virginia 22030, $15 per person

 

Jessica Robinson is a storyteller with, and the founder of, Better Said Than Done, Northern Virginia’s spoken word storytelling troupe, voted one of the “Best Performing Arts Companies in Virginia” by Virginia Living Magazine (2012 -15).  Jessica’s first novel, the urban fantasy Caged, was published October 2016 under the pen name JP Robinson. Jessica is currently working on the sequel, Rise.  Her true, personal story, “The Game,” was published in the short story collection Sucker for Love, and “What Are the Odds” was published in The Northern Virginia Review, Volume 29. Her story, “The Talk,” appears in the anthology Roar: True Tales of Women Warriors.

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