The Skin I’m In: Kyle, “Normal”

A photo of a storyteller
Kyle shares his story at All Y’all Live: “The Skin I’m In”.

Boy meets girl: It’s one of the oldest stories in the book. But when Kyle asked for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage, a challenging road lay ahead. Kyle took the stage at our August 2017 live storytelling event to share this intimate, inspiring story of love’s ability to overcome any obstacle. Kyle’s story elicited one of the most powerful audience responses that we’ve ever seen at All Y’all.

All Y’all: Lightning Round
As we enjoy a brief hiatus from organizing live storytelling events, Team All Y’all is experimenting with a new concept: short (three minutes or less) stories from our call-in hotline. If you’ve got an entertaining, unbelievable or otherwise interesting anecdote that you can tell in less than three minutes, please call our storyteller hotline at (318) 582-0665. Please call in and share your story by Wednesday, Jan. 31. We’ll edit the short stories that we receive into an all-new episode (if anyone calls!). Learn more about All Y’all: Lightning Round here.

Thanks, Sponsors
All Y’all podcast episodes and live storytelling events are supported by our sponsors: Holiday Lanes, Maccentric and Williams Creative Group. Without the support of these community-minded businesses, All Y’all live events and podcasts would be extremely difficult for us to pull off.

Like All Y’all on Facebook. 
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Introducing All Y’all: Lightning Round

A promotional photo for the All Y'all podcast
Know a great, short, true story? We wanna hear it!

Do you know a great true story that’s also incredibly short? Would you like to be a part of an All Y’all podcast episode without having to stand onstage and tell your story in front of 200 strangers? Are you under house arrest? If so, we hope that you’ll be a part of our first-ever call-in episode, Lightning Round.

A photo of Ham the Astrochimp
The first hominid to visit space was a chimpanzee named Ham. Public domain photo courtesy of NASA.

Here’s how it works: Unlike other great experiments of history, Lightning Round will not require any chimpanzees to be launched into space and no one will have to fly a kite during a lightning storm. Just call the All Y’all hotline at (318) 582-0665 and leave your entire story as a voicemail – the maximum length of the voicemail is three minutes. Leave your name, phone number, and go straight into the story. Stories on any topic are welcome. Assuming that we receive some calls, we’ll string them together into our first-ever collection of call-in short stories. If Lightning Round is successful, we can plan a future follow-up show with the very metal name Lightning Strikes Twice or More Lightning!

As a deadline for Lightning Round submissions, we have arbitrarily selected the date of Wednesday, Jan. 31. As an added incentive, we’re offering a pair of free tickets to a future All Y’all live storytelling event to anyone whose short story airs in Lightning Round, just as a way of saying “Hey, you rock.”

If you know someone with a great short story to tell, please share this invitation with them, and thank you for being a part of the All Y’all community.

I Just Work Here: Luther Cox, “Take a Dance Class”

A photo of Luther Cox
Storyteller Luther Cox shares his story on the All Y’all stage on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

Luther Cox never intended to become a dance teacher. As an accounting student at Florida A&M University, he literally wandered into a West African dance class in progress and the course of his life was changed forever. Cox went on to found the Inter City Row Modern Dance Company in Shreveport’s Cooper Road community in 1981. Inter City Row is now the oldest operating African American dance company in Louisiana.

Cox’s story gets us thinking about careers: How is it that some people accidentally wind up, through indirect routes, in roles that they were clearly born to fill? What are the chances?


Checking In With All Y’all
The 2017 season of All Y’all live events has ended, and we’re planning to release several podcast episodes during the upcoming holidays. We’re also beginning to plan the 2018 season of live storytelling events, and are looking forward to re-imagining some aspects of the show. We hope to see you at a live event – with some surprises in store – in the Spring of 2018.

Thank You, Sponsors
The 2017 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts was made possible by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. The All Y’all podcast is also sponsored by Williams Creative Group and Maccentric. Without the support of these sponsors, All Y’all live events and podcasts would be extremely difficult for us to pull off.

Like All Y’all on Facebook. 
Follow All Y’all on Twitter.

Momma And Daddy: Laura Crawford, “Robert Popper’s Song”

Laura Crawford’s father, Dr. Robert Popper, narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Nazis during the antisemitic pogrom known as Kristallnacht.  The unbelievable journey that ensues is a globe-spanning journey of courage, luck, endurance and love. Crawford, who founded the world-renowned Centenary Suzuki School, was kind enough to share her father’s awe-inspiring journey at an All Y’all live storytelling event on Saturday, March 12, 2016.

All Y’all Live: Love
The next All Y’all live storytelling event, “Love,” will be held at the Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. Tickets are on sale here! This will be our fourth Fidnto Award fundraiser event to date, with 100% of proceeds from ticket sales benefiting Martin Luther King Health Center and Pharmacy. RSVP or share the event on Facebook.

Thank You, Sponsors
The 2017 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. The All Y’all podcast is also sponsored by Williams Creative Group and Maccentric. Without the support of these sponsors, All Y’all live events and podcasts would be extremely difficult for us to pull off.

Like All Y’all on Facebook. 
Follow All Y’all on Twitter.

Love – November 11, 2017 – 7:30 P.M.

A promotional graphic for All Y'all
The 13th (!!!) All Y’all live storytelling event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017.

Let’s talk about love. The 13th All Y’all live storytelling event, “Love,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the historic Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport. The event will feature five true stories – told live and without notes – about matters of the heart. Admission is $15 and advance ticket purchase is recommended. Purchase tickets here.

Storytellers for “Love” are Aly Velasquez, Del Doughty, Ashley Johnson, Mary Dumars and Neverlyn Townsel. Live musical interludes will be performed by Highland-based electronic musician Nate Treme and a cash bar will be provided by Wine Country Bistro. All Y’all live storytelling events are recommended for mature audiences.

All proceeds from this fundraiser edition of All Y’all will benefit Martin Luther King Health Center. This is the fourth annual All Y’all event to award funds to a deserving local organization in the form of The Fidnto Award, a cash award that is presented annually to an organization or individual in recognition of their remarkable work in the Shreveport-Bossier community.   

Like all All Y’all live events, “Love” is made possible with the support of presenting sponsor, Holiday Lanes, as well as additional support from Maccentric and Williams Creative Group.

RSVP to the Facebook event for “Love.”
Purchase tickets to “Love.”

Haunted: Clay Walker, “Ghost Stories”

Shreveport, Louisiana – where the All Y’all podcast and live storytelling series is produced – is a small town in some ways. Following the announcement that All Y’all was seeking stories of the paranormal for our November 2016 event, “Haunted,” several people contacted us to insist that Clay Walker be asked to share a ghost story onstage. One friend swore that Clay told two of the best ghost stories she’d ever heard.

By the time that we sat down with Clay and heard his stories for ourselves, there was almost no way that they could live up to our expectations…almost.

A photo of Duke Lyons
Susybelle “Duke” Lyons and Ghost III. Photo shared with the permission of Clay Walker.

As it turns out, our friends were correct: Clay can spin a spine-tingling yarn. The fact that these true stories are drawn from a youth spent in Shreveport’s historic South Highlands neighborhood at the side of his well-known grandmother, Susybelle “Duke” Lyons, makes the stories that much more wonderful.

In this special Halloween episode, we present two back-to-back stories – one told live, the other recorded later  – from Clay Walker.

All Y’all Live: Love

Mark your calendars: The next All Y’all live storytelling event, “Love,” will be held at the Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport on Saturday, Nov. 11. Tickets are on sale here! This will be our fourth fundraiser event to date, with 100% of proceeds from the door benefiting a local nonprofit organization that will be announced soon. RSVP or share the event on Facebook.

Thank You, Sponsors
Without the support of our sponsors, All Y’all live events would be extremely difficult for us to pull off. Please support our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes, as well as presenting sponsors Maccentric and Williams Creative Group.

Like All Y’all on Facebook. 
Follow All Y’all on Twitter.

Podcast Exclusive: Derek Wayne Johnson, “Friends with the Cobra Kai”

Promotional artwork
Promotional artwork for the film John Avildsen: King of the Underdogs, a new documentary directed by Derek Wayne Johnson.

Derek Wayne Johnson was born in Carthage, Texas, about an hours’ drive southwest of Shreveport, Louisiana. He fell in love with cinema at an early age, developing a special affinity for the films Rocky and The Karate Kid. Those films were directed by Academy Award-winner John G. Avildsen. Through an unbelievable series of events, Johnson wound up not only meeting his filmmaking hero, but directing a documentary film about his life.

Robinson Film Center and Maccentric will present a screening of that film, John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs, on Tuesday, Aug. 8. Grab tickets to the film or RSVP to the Facebook event.

Here’s the All Y’all interview with Derek Wayne Johnson about growing up in the Ark-La-Tex, meeting your heroes and what it’s like to interview Burt Freakin’ Reynolds.

Check out the trailer for the film here:

All Y’all Live: The Skin I’m In Tickets Now Available
On Saturday, Aug. 26, All Y’all will return to the Woman’s Department Club for our 12th live storytelling event, The Skin I’m In. All Y’all is looking for six great stories of identity, acceptance (or the lack thereof) and the journey of self-discovery. If you think you’ve got a story for The Skin I’m In, please call our storyteller hotline at (318) 582-0665 and leave us a message. If you’d like to join us for The Skin I’m Inpurchase tickets here.

Like All Y’all on Facebook. 
Follow All Y’all on Twitter.

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I Just Work Here: Winston Hall, “Look at All of the Little Black Dots”

Storyteller Winston Hall shares his story onstage at the Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

Careers are tricky things. Sometimes, you pursue one career only to wind up in another line of work. Other times, a career sort of finds you – you take a job to make ends meet and, years later, you realize it’s become more than a job. And then, sometimes, you tell the owner of the China Garden Buffet in San Angelo, Texas that you’re a professional piano player (even though you only know a few songs) and – next thing you know – you’re tickling the ivories.

Wrong Note Right
If you enjoyed Winston’s All Y’all story, you may be interested in seeing his one-man show, Wrong Note Right: The Story of An Accidental Piano Man, live onstage at the Bossier Arts Council’s East Bank Theatre, Aug. 18-20, 2017. Tickets are $20 each and are available now. Grab tickets here or RSVP to the official Facebook event for Wrong Note Right.

All Y’all Live: The Skin I’m In Tickets Now Available
On Saturday, Aug. 26, All Y’all will return to the Woman’s Department Club for our 12th live storytelling event, The Skin I’m In. All Y’all is looking for six great stories of identity, acceptance (or the lack thereof) and the journey of self-discovery. If you think you’ve got a story for The Skin I’m In, please call our storyteller hotline at (318) 582-0665 and leave us a message. If you’d like to join us for The Skin I’m In, purchase tickets here.

Thank You, Sponsors
The 2017 season of All Y’all live events and podcasts is made possible by our title sponsor, Holiday Lanes. The All Y’all podcast is also sponsored by Williams Creative Group and Maccentric. Without the support of these sponsors, All Y’all live events and podcasts would be extremely difficult for us to pull off.

Like All Y’all on Facebook. 
Follow All Y’all on Twitter.

The Skin I’m In – August 26, 2017 – 7:30 P.M.

All Y'all Live – The Skin I'm In
Is your body ready? The 12th All Y’all live storytelling event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 26.

The 12th All Y’all live storytelling event, “The Skin I’m In”, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26 at the historic Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport. The event will feature six true tales of the human body, the search for identity, and what happens when the world gets under our skin. Admission is $15 and advance ticket purchase is recommended. Purchase tickets here. A high-quality cash bar will be provided by Wine Country Bistro and live musical interludes will be performed by Highland-based electronic musician Nate Treme.

Storytellers for “The Skin I’m In” include Anwar Fikri, Coleen McKechnie, Kyle Denton, Roxann Johnson and Dr. Navdeep Samra. One or two more storytellers may be announced prior to the show – follow the official Facebook event for more updates

Like all All Y’all live events, “The Skin I’m In” is made possible with the incredible support of our presenting sponsor, Holiday Lanes, as well as additional support from Maccentric and Williams Creative Group. Please consider supporting these businesses, which have proven time and again that they care deeply about their community.  

RSVP to the Facebook event for “The Skin I’m In.”

Please consider sharing our event with your friends on Facebook – a share helps more than you could possibly know!

All Y’all live storytelling events are recommended for mature audiences.

Striking a Chord: Our Thoughts on Stories of the Strings

A photo of an event
Joel Boultinghouse shows off his guitar during the first Stories of the Strings event. Photo by Casey Jones.

Bobby Roth was a heavy metal fan. His music grated on his mom’s nerves and irritated their neighbors in Broadmoor, but that didn’t matter to Bobby. He and his friends would hang out in the garage and play Slayer and Pantera covers until a patrol car inevitably slipped into the driveway. His dog was named Dimebag. His band was called Epitaph. Bobby Roth died suddenly on November 13, 2007. He was 34.

Michelle Honeycutt and Joy Roth, Bobby’s sister and mother, took the stage at Stories of the Strings – the storytelling event series that All Y’all has been hosting in partnership with the Shreveport Regional Arts Council – on Wednesday, June 21. Flanked by Bobby’s guitars, they shared their favorite memories of Bobby and his love for music. The most unforgettable moment of the night came when Michelle shared the story of Bobby meeting several members of Slayer while he was – get this – waiting in line to ride the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas.

A photo of guitars
Gary Paul Bertrand displays two of his Al Collinsworth guitars during Stories of the Strings.

The previous week, on June 14, Gary Paul Bertrand told the audience about Al Collinsworth, a master luthier who built immaculately crafted electric guitars – one instrument at a time, often from single pieces of wood – in his shed in Cedar Grove. Collinsworth, who retired from Bewley’s Furniture, also repaired guitars that others considered unfixable. But his real love was building guitars. Gary Paul brought three beautifully crafted Collinsworth guitars and played them live for a small but appreciative crowd.

What we loved most about the story of Al Collinsworth was its incredible localness. Ask a guitar player anywhere else in the world if they know about Al Collinsworth, and you’ll likely be met with a blank stare. Ask any veteran Shreveport guitarist and they may just smile knowingly, lean in, and say something like: “How on earth do you know about Al?”

That’s the kind of stuff that you’ve been missing at Stories of the Strings. These evenings are intimate, personal, moving and musical. They’re happening every Wednesday night in June and July beginning at 6 p.m. at Artspace. Upcoming events will include guitar tales from friends of All Y’all like Grant Nuckolls (July 19) and the wonderful Buddy Flett (July 26).

We’d love to see more All Y’all supporters at these events. These nights aren’t about famous people’s backstage anecdotes or wealthy collectors showing off the guitars that they never play. They’re about memories and love. They’re about Bobby Roth’s blistering power chords echoing through Broadmoor and Al Collinsworth slipping out to the shed, late at night, and turning on the light.

RSVP to an upcoming Stories of the Strings event.