On October 28th, I received a call from a friend. It sounded urgent. It was: she had called to offer me a week-long stay at Princeville, Kauai. I was thrilled to think of jetting off to Kauai, and said I would see if I could clear my calendar. As we hung up, she said “Okay, but I need to know by 3pm.” As soon as I hung up, it dawned on me that I had scheduled the next “Chew On This Storytelling” for November 5th. I called her back right away to say, “I can’t take you up on the offer to go to Princeville for a week – I have my show!”

As a novice producer, I don’t know much, but I do know it’s important to put on a show when it’s scheduled. It’s a show about the unknown, so even though there is always something unexpected that happens, I never would have anticipated what happened next.

On November 5th, at 3pm, I received a call from another friend. This time it was my friend and storytelling mentor, Joe Klocek. As I answered the phone, I wondered why he needed to talk just 30 minutes before I would see him. Joe had agreed to share a story about hitting a cow with his car, aptly named “Cow Accident.”

“Hi Cici, I’ve been hit by a car. What time is the show tonight?” Joe’s words rolled out of his mouth smoothly, but I struggled to understand.

I asked “What happened? Where are you? I can cancel the show!”

Joe’s voice came through calmly “I’m at the emergency room. I can’t quite believe it. What time is the show? 7pm? I think if they can x-ray me in time, I may be able to make it.”

I said “No, you’re not coming to the show. If you really think you are okay there, and have a way to get home, I’ll still do the show. How did this happen?”

Joe sighed and said “I was just walking along, practicing my story, when this lady hit me. She feels bad. I feel bad for her. Ouch. I’d better go.”

With a promise to let me know how he was, I agreed to keep the show going that night. I had prepared a story for the evening, but when it came time, I decided to save it for another time, and instead share the story of how I met Joe, how he became my storytelling mentor, and one his key pieces of wisdom from improv: “Practice the notes, practice the notes, forget the notes.”

The audience responded with a tremendous swell of support, asking to be kept in the loop about Joe’s progress, and several asked when he would be available to tell his story, “Cow Accident.”

The good news is: Joe is okay! Yes, some bruises, and a slight fracture, but up and about. And he is ready to bring his improv and comedy skills to help teach at our January 27th “Storytelling and Improv for Entrepreneurs.”

My deep thanks to the Chew On This Storytelling audience, team members, and our valiant storytellers and guests for the evening: Dave Thompson (Founder, Epic Coffee), IdaRose Sylvester (Founder, Silicon Valley Link) and Rajiv Shah, award-winning filmmaker (“Dumpling”, “Run the Tide”).

Rajiv has a new project set in Hawai’i. Maybe we’ll have a future “Chew On This Storytelling” out there after all!

“Chew On This Storytelling” heads to Sydney in December, and will be back in San Francisco on January 23, with special guest, author S.G. Browne. Be sure to get your early bird tickets!