OKSO Tulsa: A Storytelling Event

A night full of emotional, hilarious and true stories.

Friday night, the Living Arts building in downtown Tulsa opened its doors for the OKSO Tulsa storytelling event. OKSO Tulsa is an amazing event where anyone 18 years of age or older is invited to listen to the true stories of others related to the night’s theme. Anyone who comes to the event has the opportunity to put their name in a drawing to be one of the 10 storytellers of the night.

The rules are simple: Stories must be true and must be told in five minutes. Sometimes, the stories can go over, and speakers will get a warning ring at five minutes and a final ring at seven minutes to end their story. Judges sit mixed into the audience to judge the storytellers on the delivery of the story, the overall message and how well it fits into the theme. At the end of the event, the top three storytellers will be recognized.

The theme for last Friday’s event was rebellion, leaving everyone excited about the stories to come. For those who were not comfortable with getting on stage and telling their story, the hosts Michelle Bias and Branda Piersall passed out index cards where attendees could write a short story of their most rebellious act. Three of the anonymous index cards would be read by the host in between storytellers.

The Living Arts Building is located in the Arts District of Downtown Tulsa, just beside ONEOK Field. The art gallery is always changing, so attendees can walk around the exhibit and admire the creative works during the intermission. For those 21 and older, a small bar is available to serve attendees throughout the two-hour event.

This event holds an admirable atmosphere as individuals from different generations who have lived such different lives get together and share their stories. Everyone is welcoming, making those sharing their stories feel confident on stage.

The stories range from funny to tear-jerking, and no two stories are ever the same. The variety of stories makes this event feel so diverse as everyone can express how different their lives were and how they perceived the world when their story took place.

The winning story by Alycia Williams and her experience in a sex dungeon had the whole crowd laughing. Her delivery of the story was hilarious as she was a sex and relationship therapist who only wanted to observe for educational reasons. But in the end, she let her curiosity get the best of her and educational observation went out the door. But the overall message of her story was quite inspiring as she described her ability to let herself go and relax in a new environment. The final statement of her story consisted of her finding out that rebellion is just another name for liberation.

Many other stories consisted of their most rebellious acts, like sneaking out in high school with a broken collarbone, only breaking it more and having to sneak back into their house. The most tear-jerking story was from a woman who rebelled against death. She was a Jehovah’s Witness who chose to fight for herself and accepted blood against her family’s wishes to save her own life.

All stories were inspirational and entertaining in their own way. Unfortunately, there could only be one winner.

If you would like to enjoy the true stories told at OKSO’s events, they take place every second Thursday or Friday of the month. The next one will be on May 31 at Cain’s Ballroom. This is the Grand Slam event, where the winners from the previous months will compete in a friendly competition to be named “The Best Storyteller in Tulsa.” Tickets can range from $7 to $10, and the grand slam tickets start at $25. You can buy your ticket on their website, oksotulsa.com

Post Author: Isabella Herrera