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The Tell, Fargo: What they told to win

The Tell, a storytelling event in downtown Fargo


The Tell, running it's third season coming this summer, had its season 2 finale last weekend on Friday April 4. Held downtown Fargo in Suite 222, a place known for it's great events where attendants desire more seating space, the event was packed. Reserved tables took up a majority of the front half of the room-seating and returning Tellers conversed with the night's finalists.

To get to the finals, the Tellers had to have won The Tell once between November and April. A full set of the rules and description of the event is on their website. At each monthly event, the hosts took names from a hat to pick each night's Tellers. If they won, they could not Tell for the rest of the season until the Finals.

To begin the night of the Finals, the host told what The Tell is all about--their purpose is quite inspiring: It is an event for the sole purpose of bringing people in the community together by storytelling. The stories are relatable. From the advertisement, flyers, and facebook event information, I gathered as much, but had the impression that there would be professional, comedic Tellers. When the first couple of Tellers told, I was impressed--these were just ordinary people with an interesting story to tell. Some told stories with twist endings that made everyone gasp, others told stories about bad sibling responsibilities that was full of "no way"-moments, and one man told a very detailed and hilarious account of how Grandma "treated" sickness in her grand kids. The entire audience-induced belly laugh allowed for his deserved, winnings check.

However, there were clearly a couple Tellers that stuck out, to me. As an English writing major, I have a thing for stories, obviously. So every story was interesting to me, but I can tell why my some of the friends I attended with may have felt so-so about the event as a whole.

First, the middle-aged emcee was very blunt and discussed her body parts almost every time she approached the stage. Personal, private parts. Once or twice is funny, more times is awkward.

Second, the storytellers that went up on stage with a whole life story covering years seemed to give off less laughing gas and invoked more sympathies and "where is this going?" thoughts. I understand these occurrences as the beauty of differences. Even though this was my first Tell event, however, I think these stories, while well-told, might chop up the evening too much. They could be inspiring when read, but should probably have a focused theme and include more humor to make this event shared and talked about.

Overall, The Tell holds some gems of stories that people all over Fargo-Moorhead should hear. I could even see myself Telling one day. I do not know how my public Telling voice would excite, but I'm looking forward to attending more.