Saving Jim: Unplugged with The BTK Band

I woke up a few days ago thinking that I should share this story I told here in New York last December. Does that ever happen to you--right after waking a little courage slips through your carefully guarded cracks? So I got out of bed and pulled up the video and watched it. And immediately changed my mind.

This started an interior debate over which was the true wisdom--the whim or the reason?

My rational mind has tallied it up, and there are 512 reasons why I shouldn't share this video. I'm dying to inventory every one of them right here, but they have this very tedious and exhausting quality to them and the compassionate side of me is begging to spare you that.

To be honest, I am failing at coming up with a single reason why I should. But it's haunting me a little, this vague sense that maybe just one person needs to hear it, for some reason I simply cannot imagine. And then I watched Brené's last talk, and I'll confess it's made me feel momentarily just the tiniest bit brave.

Last fall Peter Aguero asked me to do this experimental new Unplugged show with The BTK Band, his improvised storytelling rock band. Usually raucous and wild with a full line-up of guest storytellers, in the Unplugged show BTK would be dialed down, with one guest storyteller sitting in for the whole night. The set-up was: four stories--longer and looser than we usually tell (he begged me to stay loose), with the band breaking out of their usual verse-chorus-verse-chorus-verse-chorus mode and letting the music be longer and looser as well. There were even chairs. (I had never sat down onstage.)

I brought four stories that had never been told onstage (some of which I don't tell off-stage, either). It's unrehearsed, completely improvised. Just me jumping, with the band and some friends in the audience my only net.

This wasn't the first time that Peter did something that almost made me lose it and cry onstage. I'm guessing it won't be the last. Jeff Scherer (off camera) sings the chorus. This was the second story I told that night. (Contains explicit language.)

Now I'm going to cook dinner and pretend I did not just post this.