A Q&A with General Manager Angie McMahon
Door County Brewing Co. will host a new storytelling event this weekend – a pilot in what it hopes will become a regular series. The theme is Tales of the Trade, and storytellers may share their most embarrassing, funny or shocking stories about their experiences in the workplace. This event offers an opportunity to band together and bond with the people who serve in the industries that make up such a large part of the Door County identity.
To learn more about why the Door County Brewing Co. and Write On, Door County wanted to collaborate on this project, we asked Angie McMahon, general manager of the taproom, a few questions.
Celeste Benzschawel (CB): This is a pilot in what you hope will become a regular storytelling series. Where did the idea come from, and why does the brewing company want to start doing it?
Angie McMahon (AM): I love real stories told by the people who experienced them. Being around a group of people who are telling any kind of interesting story can be a kind of therapy. Laughter, crying and just being absorbed in the moment are not things that happen in this day and age of social media. It takes us away in a sense, and it increases empathy toward our fellow human beings when we share parts of our lives.
CB: You had an earlier storytelling event called Mortified. How did that one go?
AM: Our event Mortified didn’t do well. On our own, it was just hard to gather people willing to put themselves out there. When Lauren Bremer from Write On, Door County reached out to me, I knew this could create the partnership needed to at least get the first one going.
CB: Why did you choose Tales of the Trade for the theme? Do you plan to have different themes going forward? Any you’d care to share?
AM: Write On, Door County came up with the theme. What better theme than a Tales of the Trade storytelling event in March? Assuming and hoping we do have more of these events, I would love to revisit Mortified. The theme here is reading from your middle school/high school journals. There’s real gold there.
CB: Do people have to sign up prior to attending, or is it first-come, first-served for storytelling?
AM: We have people who have already signed up, but we have also purposely left a few openings for anyone in the audience who is inspired to share.
CB: Do you have personal experience in storytelling?
AM: Yes and no. As a younger person, yes, I could hold my own. But these days, there’s just too much real life on my plate.
CB: What do you hope these events will do for the community?
AM: I hope they will make us laugh and think; let us see insecurity, strength, hilarity and humbleness coming directly from people we know; and open our own minds that we’re all okay and in this together. Ultimately a damned good time – all of us together.
Tales of the Trade will take place March 14, 7 pm, at the Door County Brewing Co. taproom in Baileys Harbor. Dan Klarer, part of the Door County theater scene, will host; and Marcus Trana and Nick Orlock will provide live music between stories. Ten to 12 storytellers will have up to 10 minutes to share a story.