Claire Hennessy, in addition to running Six Feet Apart Productions, is also the host of a blog called The Bonkers Brit. Six Feet Apart has taken the Northern California online storytelling scene by storm, offering monthly and sometimes bi-monthly shows featuring the biggest names in storytelling in the Bay Area and beyond. She recently hosted SAC's "Stories in Living Color," which featured four tellers, two pairs of a Black teller and white teller, plus an MC, in this case the veteran teller, Kirk Waller. I was pleased to be able to open for Bil Lepp last summer on one of Claire's episodes, whereupon she invited me to be a guest on her podcast.
Claire made it easy. She is so natural and fun to have a conversation with, and our discussion went everywhere, from how I became a teller to my more recent endeavors to explore the interface between folktales and personal stories. She then put in some hours editing out my "ums" and stumbles, so it sounds really nice. Here is what Claire wrote about the episode:
Episode 33 – Moments of Magic with Brandon Spars My guest this episode is one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet: Brandon Spars. He is not only a talented and hilarious storyteller, but he is jolly clever too! A high school and college teacher, he is the author of four books with another on the way. He is a five-time Moth StorySlam winner and two-time Moth GrandSlam winner, plus a TEDx speaker. Brandon shares a funny fact about himself that makes his dog tilt his head in confusion. He spent a few years living in Indonesia and the Marshall Islands and shares a funny story about a giant who terrorized the islands. We talk about The Moth and Brandon shares an inspiring tidbit from when he met the founder, George Dawes Green. He also talks about the moments of magic when hearing a traditional tale prompts a deep personal connection. We discuss his new book about controversial Balinese Goddess, Rangda, with beautiful illustrations by his daughter, Clara. Finally, Brandon gives a master class in how to tell a hilarious and yet moving story, highlighting deeper issues of the commonalities between panic disorders and trance, called A Method to my Madness. A dream guest.
I was so pleased to be able to tell the new story I had been working on, giving "A Method to My Madness" its debut on her podcast. I recorded this story later in the week in my school's sound studio, and it will be featured in The Woodland Opera House Halloween event, "Boo!" on October 30 and 31.
Just after the release of the podcast, Claire contacted me about performing for Six Feet Apart again in December. This will be a reunion of tellers from the year we have spent online because of COVID-19. How could I not jump at the chance to tell a story for this fun, funny, fabulous Brit, Claire Hennessy!
Podcast Live on August 6, 2020