Rachel Crowl recalls her experience at Storycatchers’ “My First Time” event. You can also listen to her unscripted, otherwise undocumented story below.
a drag gothic princess with a james earl jones voice…i was, for just a second, yet another unfortunate woman who had fallen prey to the denim jean craze of 2003.
What made you decide to tell a story for Storycatchers?
The idea of connecting with an audience again, mostly. I’d been an actor in New York City for most of my adult life and I was really beginning to miss the experience of performing. Tara had asked me a couple of times if I was interested and the night’s theme of “The first time…” immediately made me think of a story.
What made you decide to tell the story you did? Did you know right away what story you wanted to share or did you have to shift through some ideas before you landed on one?
I knew right away. I don’t usually talk about being trans but I thought this story would strike the right balance between funny and aching. There’s also something really lovely about claiming your history, y’know? Telling these things in public is a nice way of saying, “This is also me.”
What was the experience of being a storyteller at Storytellers like? Walk me through prepping for your story, the night of, during and after…
I started telling the story to myself about a week before. I tried to split it up into three parts so I’d have some kind of structure to follow. I knew I wasn’t going to write it down – part of the fun was doing it without a script! – so I just went over and over it in my head adding little details as I’d remember them. Once I was at The Draw and waiting to go on, it was more a matter of reminding myself to not go fast, look at people and improvise if cool things came to me in the moment (they did!).
Did sharing your story teach or remind you anything about yourself?
I forgot how much I like an audience. That sounds flip but I mean it, I thought I’d put my performing days behind me and it was nice to be connected to an audience like that again.
More stories at storycatcherscommunity.com.
Text: Tara Pohlkotte
Photo: Rachel Crowl