Before I discovered RISK!, I can’t remember the last time I purposely drove the long way home. It was taking up my music listening time – no, not just taking it up, it was dominating it. I listened to RISK! for five hours the first day I tuned in. In the kitchen I laughed over stories of homosexual nudists adventures. I cringed as I listened to a woman speak about almost killing her mother at a young age. I sobbed in my car as I took that long way home, learning about the realities of miscarriage and adoption on all fronts.
I am a storyteller, and I have based my life around words and the power they hold if we give them weight. The concept of RISK! – a podcast of stories that people never thought they would dare tell in public – is the kind of thing that is the heartbeat behind humanity. These are the things that connect us and make us human – the telling of our lives and experiences. It’s easy to keep it bottled up inside, but comedian and RISK! creator Kevin Allison has produced a platform of storytelling that inspires people to want to keep telling.
Like the stories told on this podcast, its roots grew from Allison’s real life experience. After a friend commented on how he hoped Allison would start telling some of his own stories on stage, the element of risk involved with such full disclosure eventually turned into the now monthly event that takes place in both Los Angeles and New York City. Allison starred in the mid-90’s show The State on MTV, and since leaving to create RISK!, some prominent names in acting and comedy have been featured on his podcast, such as Sarah Silverman and Janeane Garofolo.
It seems to be what he noticed most about the success of this live story-telling was in the reactions of the audience. It’s not quite theater, and it’s not quite stand-up comedy. The stage offers a place for humans to talk about themselves and their relation to the world. What began to happen was an organic process – a purging, if you will. People feel like they can relate to a person more when they can look them in the eye. That relationship becomes stronger when they start to talk about things people can identify in themselves. It’s a safe place to feel vulnerable about something you probably would never divulge on such a public level.
This idea of live story-telling has done exactly, what I think, Allison’s intentions were: it’s helped people to see the value of the meaningful relationships they have with other people. It’s easy to believe that our lives are not paramount in comparison to what is falsely portrayed on TV and in the media, but this … this highlights the little moments in our lives that really do shape the people we are, the way we think, and why we take the risks we do.
Homeslice Productions, Fresh Bakin’ and “Welcome to Cincinnati, NV” are proud to present RISK! on April 4 at 9 p.m. at the National Automobile Museum. RISK! is a live storytelling show and podcast featuring Kevin Allison. The theme of the night will be “mixed emotions.” 18+ only, tickets are $15 in advance and $20 day of show. Doors to museum at 7 p.m., theater at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m. Purchase tickets online through www.www.staging.freshbakin.flywheelsites.com or at The Melting Pot World Emporium.