Interview with Robin Maxfield

MBACC: What do great stories have in common?

RM: And ability to completely enthrall engage the listeners such that they forget that they are listening and think that they are part of the story. 

MBACC: Is there a #1 thing that story tellers should avoid?

RM: Storytellers should avoid memorizing a story and delivering the story as if they were on the outside of it.

MBACC: How did you get into comedy/story telling?

RM: I always wanted to be in comedy and saw storytelling as a safer way to get started. After getting involved in storytelling I realized it was an artform in its own right and I love it. I did however find that I could take the funny part of my story and string them together to make a stand up set.

MBACC: What’s your favorite story?

RM: Some of my favorite stories are part of this American life and they have to do with people overcoming extreme odds and disadvantages. Those stories tend to stick with me and help me when I feel like having a pity party.

MBACC: What advice do you have for novice story tellers? Advanced story tellers?

RM: Novice and advanced story tellers are an interesting concept. I have seen people come in who have never told a story before and completely blow everyone away. I have also seen very slick professional storytellers fail to engage the listeners and come off sounding too rehearsed. So my advice would be the same for both of these be authentic, be president and don't worry about being perfect. Find the humanity in your story.

MBACC: Do you have a favorite story slam theme?

RM: One of my favorite themes is "pets". The variety of stories that we had as well as the outpouring of emotion made for a magical night of story.

MBACC: Have you ever competed in a story slam yourself? What was the outcome?

RM: Yes before I became an MC I competed in the story slams and I won a few times! One funny time when I won I told the story of meeting my husband however I was in the process of divorcing him. And wouldn't you know the metro decided to do a front page story on it because they thought it was so romantic! The photographer for the metro made me kiss him for the photo over and over again and it was torture.

MBACC: What’s your most embarrassing/awkward story from being on stage?

RM: There have been lots of little moments with wardrobe malfunctions mis-statements getting peoples names wrong etc. what I have learned is this in gears one to the audience makes them feel more comfortable that they too don't have to be perfect so I can't say that I have ever been devastated by anything that's happened.

MBACC: What do you do to prepare as emcee?

RM: The only thing I do to prepare is bring my full presence into the room so that I can help the tellers feel comfortable and the listeners feel as though they can relax because I am taking care of the details. Of course there are lots of details to attend to but this is what I do as far as mindset.