Walker is a public speaking coach and Rolle a voiceover actor and musician; both wanted to find a reason to be on stage and, as big fans of The Moth Radio Hour storytelling podcast, they decided to start their own story slam in Boulder last year. Now they host the show and interject original songs and one-line stories in keeping with the theme.
Past themes have included Edge, Committed, Heat and Busted. Some of their favorite stories have been from a Boulder policeman who was the first responder to a forest fire, a biker who became a quadriplegic and a girl whose injury helped her gain confidence in her Spanish skills. To tell a compelling story, Walker says, there needs to be some intrigue.
"Life is going on normal, then something unexpected happens and we learn something new," she says. "There has to be some mystery and some suspense. You don't want to let the audience know how it's going to turn out. People need to be curious."
One of the most important facets of the slam is its focus on honesty. People have such good material from their own lives that there's no need to invent a story, Walker says.
And honesty puts people on the line. "You have to share what really happened in your life and it lets the audience see you," Rolle says. "Sometimes the stories are really heartbreaking. When you see someone who's really worked on their story, it's very powerful.
Each slam showcases a few pre-selected speakers, and this month's will feature Eryc Eyl, a fan of Truth Be Told. He says the main goal of his stories is to resonate with the audience. "I feel like when you share something of yourself that connects with other people, and can maybe help other people in a similar situation, there's an element that I gave something of value to someone," Eyl says. "That's the rewarding part for me."
Follow Amanda Moutinho on Twitter at @amandamoutinho.