School is in session, and the Long Beach Community Theater is back, ready to build community through the beloved monthly SPEAK. EASY. event, where storytellers alike come share their experiences to make us cry, laugh, and sleep with one eye open.
“Strange things happen…”— Izzy Matos
The Long Beach Community Theater replaces the reality of sitting in booths and fold out chairs by transporting the audience to a campfire setting sitting criss cross on the ground with cold drinks and even colder chills going down our spines upon hearing stories of whispering spirits, low-budget Ring Camera horror films, and the living nightmare of adolescence.
SPEAK. EASY. with the Long Beach Community Theater left an impression on me as an audience member hearing how many of the storytellers had to overcome obstacles of social anxiety and self-doubt just to be on stage to share their experiences. I admire the ability of the storytellers to push through their fears with a brave face and inspire others to do the same.
“Make art poorly, study your craft so you can make art better! Tell your stories to find your truth.”— Alex Stein
A story by Austin Nation, followed his experience as a young Black man working as a nurse teetering the line of being an actor while also navigating the not so secret truth of Hollywood: sex sells. Austin wraps his story by sharing that he did not give up his dream of becoming an actor and he even played the role of Hosre in the off Broadway show “The Full Monty.”
“It’s never too late. Dream big, & dream often.”— Austin Nation
Storytellers this month included:
- Doyle Smiens
- Giovanna Martinelli
- Austin Nation
- Brandi Glover
- Mimi Smasher
- Liam McLoughlin
- Paige Pelonis
- Izzy Matos
- Antonio Pedro Ruiz
- Alex Stein
Be sure to catch the next SPEAK. EASY. event at DiPiazza’s Thursday November 2, 2023, the topic is Mending Fences!
By Art from Ashes Creative Intern Karizzma Torres