We were thrilled to be part of Pickathon this year! We had the honor of being the first non-musical act ever to be given a time slot on a main stage at the festival! We put together an amazing line-up of storytellers and preformed our show about “being out of your element” at The Lucky Barn at Pendarvis Farms on Friday, August 5th.
Brianna Barrett is a playwright, filmmaker, Portland native, and punch-card-carrying regular at every locally-owned tea house in town. She was just recently voted Best Storyteller in Portland for 2016 by the readers of the Willamette Week. She performs and teaches workshops for Portland Storytellers’ Guild, and acts as head storytelling coach for Notes of Hope, a charity event benefiting adolescents and young adults with cancer. She also teaches a therapeutic writing workshop for cancer patients and survivors every Wednesday night at OHSU. Most recently, she was seen directing/producing/performing in The New Vaudeville at Clinton Street Theater.
Becky Braunstein is a comedian who grew up in Eagle River, Alaska on a mountain. Like, a MOUNTAIN. You know the high altitude cooking directions on the back of the box? That was her. She skied down to Portland, Oregon to find out what food carts were, and has been keeping Portland weirdly enamored ever since. Her insistent, wild-eyed enthusiasm makes you feel like you need to be friends with her immediately – and you should, because she is a great friend. A top-5 finalist for Best Comedian in the Willamette Week’s Best of Portland poll, Becky was featured in Helium Comedy Club’s 2015 ‘Best of Portland’, is a repeat semifinalist in the Portland’s Funniest Person competition at Helium Comedy Club, and hosts at Harvey’s Comedy Club. She recently headlined at the Columbia Theatre in Longview, Washington, and was the winner of the first Tonight’s Funniest Comedy Competition at Capitol City Theater. Becky has performed in the Hudson Valley Comedy Festival, the Synesthesia Festival, and as a cancer survivor herself, hosts the annual ‘Notes of Hope’ benefit show for young cancer survivors. She studied for one term at the same acting school that Liam Neeson went to, and has a specific set of skills – which include illustrating #FatAnimals, being able to lip sync the entirety of ‘Pehla Nasha’ from the 1992 hit Bollywood film Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, and demolitions.
Jacob is a kind of a nice guy (affable?), properly aged, and goes with any kind of wine, including Franzia. He was accidentally dropped into some benign metaphysical goo when he was just a babe, and is waiting for some clerical superpower to show itself. His life has been about crafting and facilitating storytelling, which explains the theater directing degree, and the mounds of writing he has yet to finish. Jacob snores, he has no pets, and he grew up in Colorado. The rest of his life is under review, and will be disclosed at a later date.
Straight out of film school, Jason was pretty desperate for work and eventually landed a job on a world traveling cruise ship. After sailing the seven seas for three years, he came back to the states with lot’s of stories to tell. After telling his stories over and over again at various bars, porches, campfires, parties, brunches, family gatherings, and to random people on the bus he realized that it might be fun to tell those stories on stage. This began his obsession with live storytelling! Jason founded the Affable Gentlemen Storytelling Show in Portland in 2012. He’s been a producer for various shows on MTV and VH-1 and has worked for eight years in stop motion movies. He recently co-produced and co-hosted The New Vaudeville at The Clinton Street Theater.
Ryan Stroud is a storyteller and the founder and director of CommuniTalks, an applied storytelling project that leverages personal narrative to empower individual and social change. He holds an M.S. in Conflict Resolution and a B.A. in Communication from Portland State University, and a Diploma with Honors in Mandarin Chinese from the Defense Language Institute. He is currently an Oregon Humanities Conversation Project Leader facilitating discussions about homelessness all around the state of Oregon. In 2013, he was awarded a Collaborative Governance Service Award from the National Policy Consensus Center for his facilitation work in the field of public policy. He originally hails from Southeast Alaska, and has lived half of his life in wilderness areas. He is the father of two children, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.
Amanda Trudell loves stories and cats. She likes black coffee, whisky, elderly couples who hold hands, and quite possibly you. She dislikes weak tea, needlessly spilt alcohol, couples who sit on the same side of the booth (unless they’re hand-holding elders), and quite possibly you. Her natural habitat is the dive bar, where there are always stories to be heard.