TELL YOUR STORY ON RISK!
RISK! is not like other storytelling shows. It’s a place “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public.” We encourage our storytellers to step out on a limb, be brutally candid and emotionally raw. This is an uncensored show where taboos are tackled and people talk about things they ordinarily might not share in mixed company, but might save for their therapist. Stories can be hilariously funny, horrific, sad, beautiful…anything goes.
Listen to an episode or two; you’ll see what we mean!
In general, we look for stories that meet one or more of these criteria:
• The stakes are high. You felt there was a lot to be lost and/or gained in the circumstances.
• You are emotionally invested. You really cared about or were fascinated by the situation and ended up thrilled or crushed or frightened, etc.
• The experience was highly unusual. Your story features subject matter we’re not likely to have covered on the podcast so far.
• Sharing this takes guts. Normally you’d only share this with a close friend. Or perhaps this reveals a side of yourself you rarely show.
PITCH US YOUR STORY
Want to tell a a full-length (10+ minutes long) story on the RISK! podcast, or maybe at one of our live shows? These might be on stage, or recorded one-on-one with a story coach. Either way, first watch the video above! Then send us a written summary of what happens in the beginning, middle, and end (no cliffhangers— don’t leave us hanging!) in about 300 words. For your best chance at success, review the Tips for Pitching section below.
If you strongly prefer to send us audio of you pitching the story:
• Make a 2–5-minute long recording of your synopsis.
• Make sure the audio quality is clear. Tips!
• Sound conversational rather than memorized. Please do NOT read from the page. Tips!
• Include your name in the file name.
Either way, email your pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org. If it’s for a specific show on a specific date, include the show’s location (e.g., “Austin Pitch”) in the subject line. Please see the Themes & Deadlines section below for details.
Tips for Pitching
Here’s what we like to see covered in a pitch:
SET THE SCENE
Where were you in life when this began? What was your “deal”?
WHAT GOT THE BALL ROLLING?
What motivated you to want to give, get or do something?
WHAT WAS AT STAKE?
What hope or fear drove you? What did you stand to gain or lose? Were you surprised by complications?
HOW YOU TURNED THE CORNER
What finally changed this situation, for better or worse? Did you succeed or fail or feel a shift?
Why do you feel it’s daring to be sharing this? Why would a stranger listening to this story find it significant, affecting and worth remembering as they go about their lives?
THEMES THAT APPLY
In addition to the stated themes for specific shows, here are some themes we are always looking for stories on:
• This Can’t Be Happening: a time you thought, “I really don’t know if I can handle this.”
• Turning the Corner: a time you broke through something or took a huge leap of faith.
• Still Makes Me Laugh: a situation that became completely ridiculous.
• Power: A time you felt like you were terrified or thrilled by a shifting power dynamic.
NOTE: We are always looking for more stories from marginalized populations, people of color, groups that are underrepresented in the media, etc.
For some great tips and a deeper storytelling education, visit our Storytelling Resources page.
Themes & Deadlines for Upcoming RISK! Live Shows:
|Please feel free to pitch us your ideas any time! If your location or availability does not fit any of these upcoming shows, still pitch us any ideas you may have. We will keep them in mind and let you know if they’re a good fit for a future show.|
A note about our show themes: RISK! offers optional themes for storytellers to brainstorm around, but we are much more interested in great stories that fit any theme than stories that adhere closely to our optional themes but are not as interesting, so please pitch your strongest stories, regardless of theme.
Upcoming Live Shows:
- NYC shows: Four times per year on a Thursday at Caveat in the Lower East Side at 9:30 PM ET.
- LA shows: Monthly on the second or third Tuesday of the month at Hotel Cafe at 7:00 PM
- Tour shows: Two shows are currently on the books
- Portland: Friday, 5/6/22 at Revolution Hall – Showtime: 8:00 PM
- Seattle: Saturday, 5/7/21 at The Vera Project – Showtime: 8:30 PM
Portland – Show Date: Friday, 5/6/22
Submission deadline: 03/25/22
Optional themes: Themes: Longing, We Were Young, or Costume
Seattle – Show Date: Saturday 5/7/22
Submission deadline: 03/26/25
Optional themes: Perfection, Tradition, or Losing
LA – Show Date Tuesday, 5/17/22
Submission deadline: 03/15/22
Optional themes: Glorious, Fake, or Perfection
New York – Show Date Thursday, 5/19/22
Submission deadline: 3/11/22
Optional themes: Sleazy, Pure, or Strangers
LA – Show Date:Tuesday, 06/14/22
Submission deadline: 4/12/22
Optional Themes: Brilliant, Breakdown, or Gotcha!
New York – Show Date: Thursday, 6/23/22
Submission deadline: 4/15/22
Optional themes: Blindsided, Magical Creatures, or Nostalgia
LA – Show Date: Tuesday, 07/19/22
Submission deadline: 5/17/22
Optional Themes: Brilliant, Breakdown, or Gotcha!
New York – Show Date: Thursday, 7/21/22
Submission deadline: 5/14/22
Optional themes: Misfits, Adventure, or Love
Ferndale, MI (Near Detroit) – Show Date: Saturday, 7/30/22
Submission deadline: 6/4/22
Optional themes: Confrontation, Delicious, or Intuition.
Chicago, IL – Show Date: Sunday, 7/31/22
Submission deadline: 6/5/22
Optional themes: Dream Come True, Cowardice or Who are you?
LA – Show Date: Tuesday, 08/16/22:
Submission deadline: 6/14/22
Optional Themes: Guilty Pleasure, Home, or Coincidence
LA – Show Date:Tuesday, 09/20/22
Submission deadline: 7/19/22
Optional Themes: Healing, For the Money, or Burn it down
New York – Show Date: Thursday, 9/22/22
Submission deadline: 7/15/22
Optional themes: At My Worst, Ingenious, or The Real Deal
LA – Show Date: Tuesday, 10/18/22
Submission deadline: 8/16/22
Optional Themes (Halloween Show): Frightful, Boo! Ghostly, or Boo!
LA – Show Date: Tuesday, 11/15/22
Submission deadline: 9/13/22
Optional Themes: Hilarious, Different or Cowardice
New York – Show Date: Thursday, 11/17/22
Submission deadline: 9/16/22
Optional themes: Animal, Ecstasy, or Poison
LA – Show Date: Tuesday, 12/13/22
Submission deadline: 8/11/22
Optional Themes (Holiday Show): Celebrations, Gifts, or Magic