My Thank You

I had always wanted to see Auckland get a regular storytelling event so that I could go to it. That was it really, my selfish want of a type of entertainment that I could hear others were getting when I listened to their podcasts. So I emailed The Moth, one of my favourite storytelling podcasts, and asked if they planned on coming over any time soon. They politely replied that they hadn’t finished spreading their wings over America yet and so a trip to New Zealand wasn’t on the cards just yet, but why don’t I start one of my own? I had never thought that it could be me that started one of these, but the people at The Moth thought I could so I listened to them. I got hold of Elise at The Basement and asked if she would give me a venue, 'cause at least then I had a starting point, and in classic Elise fashion she said “hell yeah”. I asked my good friend Oliver to host, and he too jumped at the opportunity, then asked Zoe for some kind of branding (she nailed it with a brief about as basic as that) and then just asked 6 of friends to tell a story each. And hey presto I had organised something.

60 odd stories later and I have managed to keep it going. However, it is the collection of people hanging out around the watercooler talking things over with me, and making sense of things that I wasn’t aware of, are the people I couldn’t have done it without.

With that I want to thank a list of people for giving me their time, constructive criticism, energy and high fives.

Oliver, boy oh boy your enthusiasm is the best, thanks for calling me up after our first show and saying “yip, there’s something here let’s keep going”. Thank you Elise, Sam and the others at The Basement for being so open and welcoming to the idea. Thank you to the Candlelit kids for your round-table of ideas that planted a lot of seeds in my mind. Thank you Gather and Hunt for letting us talk about ourselves a lot on your website. Thank you Sam Mence for turning up one night and noticing how lost we were and sticking around to help and sticking around ever since. Thank you Zoe for giving my little idea an identity, and such a beautiful one at that. Thank you Finnius for your support and enthusiasm from the beginning. Thank you Claire, Julia and Hamish for letting me vent and contemplate with you one hung-over morning. Thank You Ju, for coming on board and helping us out. Thank you Jono for making me feel like what I was doing had worth. Thank you Dad for letting me take up precious studio time at your work to edit our initial podcasts (and not making it awkward when you heard Oliver’s fantasy-porn story). Thank you, mum for always being good in a crisis and being my constant support. Thank you Hannah for being. Thank you to all the people that keep coming along and watching and listening to the stories month in and month out. Thank you to The Wireless for seeing the merit in what we were doing and partnering up with us to give these stories a wider audience. Thank you Joseph for coming on board and being such a delight to work with.

Lastly, thank you to anyone who ever told me their story; I am constantly humbled and honoured to hear these stories and to be trusted with them in a way that I never thought I would be. There are so many amazing, heartbreaking and hilarious stories to be told in New Zealand and every single one that was shared with me will stay with me for a very long time.

I’m heading off now to see what my story is and I leave the local running of The Watercooler in the capable hands of Romain Mereau. Now that I have a right-hand man, I hope to bring more to The Watercooler than I could before and I hope that everyone keeps telling their stories, whether or not it’s on our stage.

Thank you,