Dozens of coffee lovers filled a Rock Island java club Friday for a different kind of open mic night.|
The QC StorySLAM story-telling contest gave patrons of Theo's Java Club, 213 17th St., Rock Island, a chance to share personal anecdotes from real life, delivered in five-minute packages, for bragging rights and a $25 gift card.
While the coffee shop remained crowded, only a handful of story-tellers mustered the courage to offer their real-life dramas.
Each speaker was tasked with gripping the judges' attention by sharing a fascinating and true story from their own experiences.With the theme of the night being"Behind the Curtain: Stories of the Inside," speakers told of situations they had a unique insight into, said event organizer, Tim Suddarth.
Contest winner Jenny Farrell, of Davenport, said she had no particular story prepared when she arrived to watch her children perform in the folk ensemble, Lewis Knudsen and the Bandits.
She improvised, recounting a tale from her teen-years when she unwittingly became trapped inside a department store after hours. While it was terrifying then, Ms. Farrell said she now is able to look back and laugh at the situation.
Runner-up Allen Lindbeck, of Moline, offered his experience during the 1960's counter-culture. He admitted things were pretty wild for him back then, but he took great joy in sharing fond memories of the music festivals from his youth.
Mr. Suddarth plans to continue the contest to encourage others to share there unique perspectives in front of an audience.
"A lot of times people just talk," he said. "Here, we offer the chance to be heard."
He also said he hopes to appeal to a broader range of speakers next time, in April, with a less daunting theme: "stories of jealousy."
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