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Storyteller Brings Heart and Humor to Fort Wayne

Performance - Reginald Eldridge 2

Photo credit: Reginald Eldridge

Performance - Reginald Eldridge 2
Written by: Colby ShoupFebruary 01, 2017

After performing his work professionally all over the country, Shannon Cason said he looks at his stories less as narratives and more as songs.

“I used to do music back in the day, so I think in song more than I do about structure,” Cason said. “I want you to emotionally tap in. That’s what you create a song for. You want the person listening to feel emotionally attached.”

Cason has been telling his stories ever since he entered and won his first Moth Story Slam in 2009. Now, for the first time, he’s bringing his stories to Fort Wayne.

The Trap Door February Showcase will feature Cason headlining a night of local storytellers from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Feb 16 at Artlink Contemporary Gallery.

The goal of The Trap Door, and other storytelling shows like it, is to showcase everyday people telling true stories from their lives in front of an audience.

The series has been going on every month since October, but it’s the first event to feature a professional storyteller headlining.

When Ben Larson, founder of The Trap Door, first had the idea to bring in an out-of-town performer, Cason was the first person to come to mind.

“I like everything about Shannon Cason’s storytelling,” Larson said. “He always tells simple, honest stories and is never afraid to make himself the bad guy. Because of that, he brings a kind of genuineness to his storytelling that you don’t always see. Plus, his delivery is great, his stories have a nice mixture of humor and poignancy, and he seems like a decent fella.”

Cason said he achieves this mixture of humor and heart by taking a conversational yet literary approach to storytelling, which comes from his background as a writer.

However, not everyone has to have come from a writing background to be a good storyteller, Cason said.

“If you’re a great storyteller, you can make the horrible things in life relatable and the mundane things in life fantastic,” Cason said. “It’s not always about what story you have to tell, but the way that you tell it.”

Cason looks for a moment of personal growth or change in his stories and often makes that his main focus, but that is only one of the many ways storytellers can make their work resonate with people, he said.

Tickets to The Trap Door February Showcase are $10 at the door or $8 if bought in advance through the event Facebook page.