Since 2006, Lip Service has been a way for members of the Miami community to tell and hear live stories. Started by Andrea Askowitz and Esther Martinez, it also has its local roots in one of Miami’s most beloved spots.
“When I came to Miami (from Los Angeles) I was in Books & Books one day talking to a man about how I had produced a show in LA and I asked him where I could hear live shows in Miami,” says Askowitz. "And he said, 'I don’t know, why don’t you do it here?'”
That man, as it turns out, was Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books. For the first event, Askowitz invited some of her mom’s friends and collected as many stories as she could. “The first show was mostly older Jewish women,” she says. “And they loved it, so I just kept doing it."
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Much like the Moth, which is dedicated to the craft of storytelling, Lip Service’s focus is on true stories out loud told in front of a live audience. Eight people tell stories that are eight minutes or under for an entertaining mixture of theater and literature. After a successful few years, they eventually changed venues to the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables where they remain today. "It’s become a big important beautiful experience," says Askowitz. "There’s a connection that happens, just like whenever you experience great art."
Of course, all good things must come to an end; after nine years of working with Lip Service, Askowitz is moving on to something new: teaching and producing at Writing Class Radio, a podcast of a writing class. “I’m excited about this venue of a podcast as a way to get true stories out in an intimate way,” she says. “Plus, people can listen to it whenever they want.”
The next and last Lip Service show for Askowitz will take place on Saturday, October 24, under the theme of "Truth or Dare." If you're interested in participating, you have until Friday, October 2, to submit. For more details and guidelines, visit lipservicestories.com.
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