Shrake

New York City

Shrake SETS:
STORY LEAGUE DC HQ –
The Ontario

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THE BASEMENT

 I found this old typewriter in the "garbage room" in the basement. The "S" key (pictured separately) is now what I use as my favicon on this and my other websites.

I found this old typewriter in the "garbage room" in the basement. The "S" key (pictured separately) is now what I use as my favicon on this and my other websites.

The first summer as an Ontarian (yes) I interviewed several other residents for the building newsletter, The Ontario Bulletin, which Nora Ephron had also contributed to when she lived there, while also writing Heartburn about the renovations on their apartment as a reflection of her tempestuous marriage to Carl Bernstein. 

 The owner of the Bernstein/Ephron penthouse apartment shows me the blueprints for it.

The owner of the Bernstein/Ephron penthouse apartment shows me the blueprints for it.

Writing for the building newsletter and also The Huffington Post was fine, but I was becoming a Yoko Ono-ish recluse here in DC's answer to The Dakota.

So I remembered a tip someone gave me about a "storytelling" group, and went. Meanwhile a good friend tipped me off to auditions for a show where I could share my childhood art onstage. I began performing, and met Cathy Alter, a DC author who helped me shape the idea for Story League. We asked photographer Abby Greenawalt to take some media shots... in the basement.

Starting from the first meet-&-greet cocktail party Shrake held in his humble apartment (see next section), The Ontario became Story League headquarters. In the basement were the aforementioned Boiler Room, an Assembly Room where we held auditions, and the Social Room, where we rehearsed under the rubric of "Story Circles" and later held classes taught by David Crabb.

 In the Social Room, here's our 1st Story Circle workshop, for our 1st show, Sins of Youth. Clockwise from back of her head:  Natalie E. Illum ,  Alexandra Hewett, Adam Ruben, Dan Gasiewski, Cathy Alter, Shrake, Diane Ivey, Jennifer Tress  &  This American Life  senior producer  Jane Feltes , who came down from New York to story-coach us.

In the Social Room, here's our 1st Story Circle workshop, for our 1st show, Sins of Youth. Clockwise from back of her head: Natalie E. Illum, Alexandra Hewett, Adam Ruben, Dan Gasiewski, Cathy Alter, Shrake, Diane Ivey, Jennifer Tress & This American Life senior producer Jane Feltes, who came down from New York to story-coach us.

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SHRAKE'S APARTMENT

 I hosted Cougar Dens for years at holiday time.

I hosted Cougar Dens for years at holiday time.

  Rehearsing one of my first stories , about my first concert, holding the original program for Tina Turner's Private Dancer tour.

Rehearsing one of my first stories, about my first concert, holding the original program for Tina Turner's Private Dancer tour.

Haunting photos taken the day I moved out... 

THE ROOF

Now grab your bottles of wine, as we always did, and head up to the roof with me.

 Luke looks out toward the Washington Monument.

Luke looks out toward the Washington Monument.

 Story Circle on the roof with Derek Hills.

Story Circle on the roof with Derek Hills.

 Pointing out the monuments to a guest. Very roof proud, in a city of roof-proud people.

Pointing out the monuments to a guest. Very roof proud, in a city of roof-proud people.


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Shrake traded this panoramic view of Washington, DC...

For this view from his balcony in New York City. 

A NEW ERA BEGINS, BUT SHRAKE IS SO GRATEFUL, PROUD & BRIMMING WITH NOSTALGIA FOR THE GREAT 7 YEARS HE LIVED AT STORY LEAGUE HEADQUARTERS IN DC. 

Copyright © 2018 Shrake Productions