the living art of storytelling in Massachusetts

Michael Anderson
  • 59, Male
  • Somerville MA
  • United States
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Michael Anderson's Discussions

Some magical, unconventional places to tell
6 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Norah Dooley Aug 18, 2008.

Do we need another weekly/monthly venue?
5 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by andrea lovett Jul 24, 2008.


Michael Anderson

Storytelling is a kind of propaganda. It's just unauthorized, off-the-record, confidential, something other than The Official Legend.

We are trying to enter the unconscious dream life of strangers, to intervene somehow for the better. This is risky business, no matter how warm and fuzzy we feel about it.

A story has to be confusing, disorienting in some way. Otherwise, it's just boring, a kind of repetitive advertising.

Mortality may be necessary for storytelling.
Does God tell stories to God?
Or is it we who must urgently tell each other
what we’ve seen of God in this short time we have?

A comment on Brother Blue: If you have discovered the radiance of your soul, if you can close your eyes and see all the lilies of the field in Technicolor, and then you open your eyes and see a world in gray, drowning in fear and silence, wouldn't you want to turn the brightness and contrast of your own image all the way up? Not because you expect to change the world, but just to keep the world from changing you.

I don't always identify with the word "story teller." It sounds bureaucratic, like we work at the Bank of Enlightenment, and customers walk up and say “I’d like to take out some Truth, please” and we oblige them “(twenty thirty forty fifty) here’s your truth, have a nice day.”

Not for me thank you. I wanna be a story liberator, a story rescue dog, a story pirate! (Arrrr!) A story bandit, redistributing stolen truth to the people!

I believe in aristocracy. . . — if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. They are sensitive for others as well as for themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure, and they can take a joke. Again and again Authority, seeing their value, has tried to net them and to utilize them as the Egyptian Priesthood or the Christian Church or the Chinese Civil Service or the Group Movement, or some other worthy stunt. But they slip through the net and are gone. -EM Forster

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Comment Wall (12 comments)

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At 9:24pm on October 20, 2011, andrea lovett said…

Hi Michael,

Consider this your personal Invite.

massmouth is breaking the rule – this is a one-time opportunity to tell your story in costume!  – Saturday, October 22 – massmouth’s Halloween fundraiser gives you an opportunity to try out a Halloween costume (optional), tell a personal story (optional) and support massmouth (not optional!).



"Feed The Mouth" Fundraiser is happening October 22nd from 6:30pm-9:00pm, in the community room of offices at The Haymarket Building, 42 Seaverns Ave. Jamaica Plain, O2130.

 Transit: Orange Line Green St. Station (0.2 mi walk) or #39 Bus to Myrtle Street and Centre from Copley Sq, or Seaverns and Centre, from Forest Hills (0.1 mi walk)


Our special guest storyteller will be Judith Black, 1st place winner of Big Mouth Off, 2010.


Put your name in the hat for a mini-slam on the theme "spooked".  Bring your 5-minute spine tingling story and you may win a prize.  Wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres will be served.


Tickets are $20.00 and available online at

At 8:13am on August 20, 2010, Paula Plum said…
Michael, Nora invited me into the group.... I am intrigued, though, as I admitted to her, terrified to work without a script.
At 5:34pm on March 31, 2010, D. Adriane Spunt said…
Hi Michael! Just got your friend request and am glad to be in your circle! Saw ASP's Othello today -- amazing! Talk to you soon.

At 7:13am on December 9, 2008, Vernon L. Cox said…
I just posted an update for the two Michaels show Game theory!
I hope folks from all over New England can see this great show.
I have ony seen peices and can not wait to see the whole event
At 10:20am on November 4, 2008, Katie Green said…
Hey Michael. I think it's great that you will be at Karen's new venue. I am hoping and hoping that I will be there. Want to bring my lawyer hubby and watch him smile. Today is voting day, and I notice a lot of smiles in my small town. Last night I telephoned people in NC for Obama, and it was neat to hear so many people so enthusiastic about voting for him.
At 8:16am on October 15, 2008, Vernon L. Cox said…
Michael your Event for Jan 9,10,11 2009 has been posted on
Thanks again for a great show at the Northstar and for traveling way up heahya
Learnin' Vernon
At 9:52pm on September 8, 2008, Norah Dooley said…
Hey Michael-
Sorry I missed mouthoff at Toscis = our daughter's 24th birthday!
by the way
You are chosen to "represent" in NY !
Deatails to come.
At 11:08pm on August 18, 2008, Norah Dooley said…
From Bambi Good - thought of you -
Check out p. 8 of today's Globe Calendar for a possible new venue for a sports storyteller, the new supper club at Gillette Stadium with room for, gulp, 508 people, but nobody is more than 35 feet from the stage. Here is a great challenge for someone!!! Booking is handled by Blue Note.
At 9:28am on August 18, 2008, Peggy Melanson said…
Michael... It's so wonderful to see you doing so well with your performing. When are you going on Oprah? I think she would love the Storytelling Satirist Attorney.. If you do get a gig with her, call me, I'll go along as your pet older person. I'll even wear a collar and leash if she will let me tell a story too.


At 9:19am on August 18, 2008, Kate Chadbourne said…
Hi Michael!
What a cool page you've made! That Forster quote: "an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky..." I believe in that, too - and I want in!
Hope you're brimming with inspiration, tales and pluck these days -
and thanks, too, for kindly be-friending me -


Grand Prize for South Shore Grand Slam Story Slam generously donated by Nicolette Heavey and Stories In The Streets (A Maine Get Away)

Stories in the Streets in an outreach literacy program that focuses on families in at-risk areas and fosters community engagement in storytelling by: 1) Creating opportunities for public storytelling wherever families gather — a farmer’s market, laundromat, or food line; and, 2) Offering storytelling workshops that raise family engagement in literacy, cultural awareness and community understanding.  The program is currently active in Lawrence, Brockton and Randolph.


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What is a story slam? Get the FAQs! 9 Replies

Started by Norah Dooley in Uncategorized. Last reply by Tamara Safford Feb 4, 2014.

Press Clippings 2012-2013 - Links and as a Pdf

Started by Norah Dooley in Sample Title Jun 26, 2013.

Storytelling is front page news in Boston...12/22/12 2 Replies

Started by Norah Dooley in Sample Title. Last reply by Brendyn Schneider Dec 23, 2012.

Grand Slam Story Slam Fuller Craft Museum May 7th

The South Shore story Slams presents The GRAND SLAM STORY SLAM MAY 5TH @The Company Theater 6:30PM the winners of Doyles and SS Story Slam Season compete for Maine Getaway valued at  $1,000. Get your tickets before they are gone $25.00 in advance $20.00 members at door $30.00 non members 



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