There’s a certain magic in the act of storytelling. Today, with voice and video recorders on every phone, stories can be recorded verbatim in a permanent state. But in ancient times, before they could be recorded, those stories were ephemeral, only to be handed down one generation to the next through another act of storytelling, with each retelling colored by the strokes of the teller’s imagination.
When something is ephemeral, it begs the listener to listen. I’m sure that any parent who has sat at their child’s bedside to tell a personal story can attest that their little one’s eyes were probably wide with awe, mouth agape, hanging on every word so as to not miss a thing. That kind of power … the power to entrance … is mystical. That’s part of the magic inherent in the act of storytelling.
Pop-Up Magazine embodies that kind of magic. With a policy of not recording or taping any of the performances, not even for posterity, patrons are transfixed, hanging on every word, so as to not miss a thing. With superbly choreographed and produced multimedia presentations that accompany each story, the listeners’ senses are focused, allowing each story to dig deep and tap into the soul.
The stories told in Los Angeles touched upon the entire spectrum of the emotional scale. Some stories sparked strong feelings, some raised grievances and some offered laughs. I found humor in the ironic symbolism of the great bald eagle. I was enlightened about a decade of black culture (a decade that you’ll probably not be able to guess yourself) that rivals any other era’s significance. I learned that “two strings and some magnets” is all I’ll need. I realized that “life and death” does hold the same meaning for different races. I reaffirmed my opinion that the executive orders effecting immigration policy is utterly flawed. And the list goes on and on.
I have nothing but high praise for Pop-Up Magazine‘s evening of storytelling. I was laughing hysterically one moment, then nearly on the verge of tears the next. It is a superbly produced, multimedia presentation that exceeded all of my expectations. With only four more performances left of its winter tour (NYC, Austin, Portland and Seattle), I highly recommend attending; not only for the experience, but also to be touched by a little magic.