Show and Tell is social without the media

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Do you remember the elementary school tradition of Show and Tell?  Standing nervously in front of your fellow classmates as you talk about some cherished, strange or gross object you brought with you?  XuaXua Productions has taken that simple children’s learning tool and turned it into an evening of adult conversations.

The concept is as simple as you remember it.  Each person brings an object of their choice and must be prepared to talk about it to the rest of the attendees; everyone is expected to participate, no exceptions. After talking about the object, the floor is opened up for questions with the instruction that any question is fair game, although the sharer is given the option not to answer, no doubt designed to prevent things from getting too personal.  On the night we attended no questions went unanswered.

“[We had] wanted to come up with a community storytelling event for ages, one that is spontaneous and intimate, with interactions between everyone involved,” explains XuaXua’s Andrea Loewen.  “People get to feel safe because they’re talking about an object, while still revealing something important to them.”

While claiming nerves, those in attendance on the night we attended appeared at ease and animated as they took to explaining the object and its significance in their lives.  While the objects will obviously change, that night they included an eclectic mix including a rock, a gold coin, a set of coasters and even a broken bike helmet (photo right by Andrea Loewen).

A fellow attendee commented at one point that it was “great to get together with a bunch of people that you don’t know to share something positive”.  While this may be true, it is obvious that the underlying attraction of Show and Tell is a desire to connect and meet other people, something producer Dani Grant confirms.

“The Vancouver stereotype of being uninterested doesn’t exist in the room,” she says.  “Everyone is willing to get honest and is really interested in learning about each other. We stay open after the show so people can continue talking and it is so rewarding to see people who were strangers at the beginning of the night bond over something that they have in common and continue to share their stories with each other.”

It is easy to imagine how Show and Tell could evolve by offering singles nights, a gay night or even an evening themed around similar objects.  By bringing together like-minded people the possibilities of making more meaningful connections is greater.

This truly is social without the media.  Leave the smartphone at home … unless that happens to be the item you’re going to Show and Tell.

Show and Tell
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Cocoanymph West, 3739 West 10th Avenue

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Mark Robins on Google+

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