How to Tell the Ultimate Bar Story with James Braly


A bad story – like bad wine – is sadly commonplace. This class will help you craft a gem of the form: five perfect minutes that will hold the attention of even the most demanding audiences, and ultimately help you develop a skill you can use on a daily basis in your professional and personal life—as well as in creative writing and performing.

The only pre-requisite for the class is that you’re willing to tell the truth about your life in a way that engages and entertains an audience. The focus of the class will be writing and performing short weekly assignments.

All building to the final class: a public performance of a five-minute autobiographical story in a bar setting, with the audience watching you tell your story to friends.


JamesBralyBioInstructor: James Braly is the first two-time winner of The Moth GrandSlam, a contributor to This American Life, the writer and performer of the New York Times’ Critics Pick Off Broadway monologue Life in a Marital Institution: 20 Years of Monogamy in One Terrifying Hour, and the author of Life in a Marital Institution: 20 Years of Monogamy in One Terrifying Memoir, published by St. Martin’s Press.

James has performed at The Whitney Museum, Symphony Space, and on a 14-city national tour presented by Meredith Vieira Productions. His autobiographical stories have been broadcast nationally on NPR, Marketplace, and Selected Shorts, and his personal essays have been published in The New York Times and Redbook.

Currently, James teaches storytelling at Fordham University and is developing the television series based on Life in a Marital Institution with Meredith Vieira Productions. His new album, Life in a Marital Institution: LIVE from Bass Performance Hall was just released on iTunes and Amazon.

Dates & Times:Mondays TBA
Cost: Early Bird Special: $500; $525
Course Size: Limited to 12
Location: Ideasmyth HQ in West Midtown

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