Out/Spoken Performer Spotlight: Kelly Madrone: Author, Storyteller, Massage Therapist & Mom
In this interview, first time storyteller Kelly Madrone talks all about her role in the Out/Spoken show, her writing that has helped the LGBTQ community, and how her experience as a massage therapist helps her creativity!
So how did you find out about Story District?
“I am a very big fan of the genre. I love Snap Judgment and The Moth. I was kind of a clown as a kid. In school, my friend Jen and I turned our assignments into comedy sketches. I thought it would be fun to try storytelling. So I searched online and found SpeakeasyDC, now Story District. Life kind of got away from me and I had to bookmark it for a while. Four days before the Out/Spoken submission deadline, I decided to go for it.”
“Storytelling is really important to my teaching. My degree is in secondary education English. But my experience as a student teacher led me into a career in publishing, writing, corporate communications, and massage therapy. But somehow I knew it would all loop me back into teaching.”
How did you think your specific experience would lead back to teaching?
“Massage is a juxtaposition between science and personal interaction. Communication is an art that I love to teach. You have to build trust really quickly. How do you manage this sixty-minute relationship with this other person and their body? How do you respectfully hold this space open for another? Recently I wrote an article about this very thing in Massage Magazine. Two very different people start out miscommunicating. Down the road comes understanding and respect, but it certainly doesn’t start out that way!”
How is storytelling different from writing?
“Certain stories lend themselves to being told. Words spoken out loud have to work differently than words in print. There’s inflection, timing, body language. I love David Sedaris, the NPR essayist. His stories are much funnier when you hear them on the radio!“
How are you liking Story District?
“As a first timer, I am really enjoying the process. I love having a theme that pulls people together. I love the time limit. It’s a good exercise in distilling your story. Kind of like tweeting! I love coming up with short, impactful messages.”
What are your thoughts on the Out/Spoken tour to Atlanta and Birmingham?
“I wrote a book: GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens. Every once in awhile, I get a letter from a teenager from an area where it’s especially tough to be out, like some rural areas or parts of the South-- about how happy it made them when they discovered my book at the library. That’s why it’s especially meaningful for me that Out/Spoken is traveling to places where kids aren’t always as comfortable being out. I hope some of them might actually get to see it.”
To find out more about the show or get tickets, click the link below!
Out/Spoken: Queer, Questioning, Bold, & Proud, True Stories Told through an LGBT Lens