Performer’s Spotlight - Michael Baireuther
Before the performers of Sucker for Love hit the stage, we decided to sit down with Mike Baireuther to talk about his experiences with Story District. Here are quick highlights and great shots from his time on stage:
Were you scared the first time you got up on stage in front of all of those people?
I've been telling stories for like 5 years and I'm terrified every time I get on stage. It's what I love about it. Performing is exhilarating and my emotions are so ramped up that when I'm performing I function purely on instinct. Nothing else makes me feel so present in the moment.
What kind of advice can you give for someone who is thinking of going up to perform for the first time?
Be humble and earnest. No one is going to think less of you if you forget something or you don't blow everyone away on your first try. If you're up there trying your best, and you don't walk on stage like you think you're some genius or star, the audience is going to root for you to do well. Everyone wants you to have fun, they're an incredibly sympathetic audience.
What do you prefer: funny or heartwarming stories?
Most of my stories are funny, so I guess I prefer funny, but I think what makes Story District so strong is that both styles work and are equally appreciated by the audience. If Story District was just humor shows I don't think it would be nearly as interesting.
Has your story telling training affected you in any other parts of your life? For example, do you feel any more confident making presentations or talking in front of a group? Better at making a joke at a party?
I've always been an extrovert, so storytelling hasn't necessarily enhanced that side of life, so much as indulged it. More than anything storytelling has made me a more conscious and open minded person. All the different perspectives and amazing stories have made me more empathetic and understanding of viewpoints and cultures I never would have been exposed to.
What keeps you coming back?
The community. I love the people that make Story District what it is, and I just want to bring more people into this big family whose culture is so inviting, fun, and crazy smart.