Folk Stories

Episodes about Storytelling:

13: Creating Film and Community with Vivian Hua

March 25th, 2019 (59 minutes)

Vivian Hua is the director of the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) , a non-profit film and arts center dedicated to public dialogue and creative action through collective cinematic experiences. Prior to NWFF, Vivian was Communications Manager for ICANNWiki, a collaborative resource dedicated to simplifying the complex issues, policies, and players in the sphere of internet governance. Vivian was also editor in chief of REDEFINE Magazine, a print and web magazine focused on music and the arts.

Vivian got a BA in sociology focused on Law, Society & Justice. Social justice has been a central theme in Vivian's life and is reflected in the work she pursues. In 2017, Vivian released Searching Skies, a narrative short film about a Syrian refugee family. The film was screened in 50 venues across the US and accompanied by a discussion series where people could meet a Muslim person, sometimes for the first time, and ask questions.

In today's episode, we talk about Vivian's vision for the NWFF, Vivian's sudden decision to pursue film upon turning 30, and exploring social justice with film.


When I turned 30, I had a personal revelation. I spent my entire 20's supporting other peoples art … So how do I work on my own now and had a calling to do film

– Vivian Hua


  • what is NWFF
  • getting started in film
  • divination and following signs
  • typical day
  • hosting film discussions
  • searching skies
  • current projects
  • routines to recharge
  • vr and film
  • community and diversity at NWFF
  • marketing art


  • inspiration
    • being inspired by the person that you're with
  • surprising fact
    • used to be a huge raver and gamer
  • principles
    • be authentic to who you are
  • closing
    • anyone who has a cool idea, reach out to Vivian and the NWFF
    • open to random emails


  • LinkedIn
  • Email:

9: Telling Stories with Paul Currington

November 19th, 2018 (93 minutes)

Paul Currington runs the Fresh Ground Stories(FGS) meetup in Seattle. If you're not familiar with FGS, its a meetup that comes together ones a month to share personal stories (based off "The Moth"). Every month, there's a theme and people tell stories based on that theme. Anyone can go up on stage and tell a story, provided that they are true, personal and under 8 minutes.

I've gone to a couple of these events and have always been struck at how raw some of these stories can get. I also told two stories at FGS and found the audience there to be overwhelmingly supportive and kind hearted. I've been wanting to talk to Paul ever since I started this podcast because I think the work that he does, both in telling his stories and enabling others to tell theirs, is incredibly important and has touched the lives of many people, myself included.

Paul has a history in stand-up comedy and has done that for over a decade before switching over to storytelling. He was drawn to the format because he found it to be a richer medium in which to tell stories that were not just black and white. Paul is a man of many stories and a lot of them center around the theme of mental health and depression (themes which we will cover in today's podcast).

In today's episode we'll talk about FGS, storytelling and why you might want to share your own story, we'll talk about the dark nights of the soul and how Paul got through some of the lowest moments of his life and what he's learned, and we'll talk about Paul's principles, how faith is a choice and how turning something into a story can be the start of being able to live with it.


  • fresh ground stories (FGS), what it is and how Paul got involved with it
  • how FGS brings out really personal stories from people
  • storytelling vs stand-up and how pro-life and pro-choice people can be moved by the same story
  • Paul's first memories of depression
  • what happened on December 2012 and life afterwards
  • AA and the 12 step program for depression
  • why Paul doesn't monetize FGS
  • how Paul started talking about depression publicly, starting with a conversation with his son
  • advice on talking to a significant other about depression
  • advice for people who want to help people with depression

Closing Questions

  • inspiration:
    • an African American musician who got a clansman to burn his robes through empathy
  • surprising fact:
    • Paul is a fan of boxing (life is punching you in the face every day and it's how you deal with it)
  • principles:
    • faith is a choice
    • if you can turn something into a story, then it's the start of being able to live with it
  • closing notes:
    • try telling one (safe) person something thats scary and see what that feels like