Watch the video below to hear my story about struggling to feel like a mother, as part of the Moving Stories live show with a sold-out crowd at the Dance Complex in 2017
My Co-Teacher and Friend, Andrea Lovett
Recovery Storytelling At Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery
I threw my name in the hat at my first Moth Story Slam in 2016. I told a story about being a risk-taker all my life, from breaking both arms riding horses as a kid, to chasing a drug high into back alleys and jail cells and almost into the morgue. I left the stage to thunderous applause, lots of people hugging me and talking to me after, and I won first place.
I realized I’d found a whole new way to tell my stories of addiction, incarceration and recovery — creatively and entertainingly, but still packing the same punch of recovery advocacy and criminal justice reform that I’d been passionate about doing as a public speaker for years. And it meant I could reach a whole new audience.
I dove headlong into the world of personal storytelling, and learned firsthand its power to transform my way of looking at my life and experiences, and its power to change how people view me and others like me. I’ve been at it ever since.
I’ve performed for WGBH at Stories from the Stage, at PRX’s Podcast Garage, at Fugitive Production’s Showcase at the Kickstand Cafe in Arlington, and Massmouth's City Winery and Riot Theater series. I’ve participated in countless story slams produced by the Moth, Massmouth, and South Shore Story Slam, with numerous wins, I've participated in two Moth Grand Slams, and I won South Shore Story Slam's Grand Slam title for the 2017-2018 season.
In 2017, I co-founded Phoenix Tales Recovery Storytelling with Andrea Lovett, teaching personal storytelling to people impacted by substance use disorder and empowering them to share their stories with the public and put a face and voice on recovery.
Also in 2017, I joined Moving Stories Foundation as Co-Director, teaching workshops and weaving storytelling and dance together into performances that tell the stories of women directly impacted by addiction and incarceration, in their own voices. We had three sold out shows in December, 2017, and January, 2018, and have gone on to teach more workshops and perform in other venues.
There is great power in these stories for both the tellers and the listeners. They reduce stigma, build community, educate the public, and offer hope in the face of the epidemics of addiction and mass incarceration. Check out my Workshops page to find out more.