Life After The Slammer: A journey of inspiration, insight and oddity. 


For just over five years Geraldine was involved in bringing creativity, hope and inspiration into Maryland prisons and jails, first as a volunteer and then, for almost two and a half years as a chaplain at the Maryland Correctional Training Center – Maryland’s largest men’s prison.

Since then she has been catapulted into the world of professional storytelling and speaking, traveling throughout the US and as far away as New Zealand bringing programs that cause people to laugh and think. She has performed everywhere from people's living rooms to being a featured performer at the National Festival in Jonesborough, TN - the jewel in the crown of the storytelling world.

Join Geraldine as she writes about her life after hanging up her chaplain's hat and taking to the storytelling road.

Entries in Washington Folk Festival (1)


Drunk Nuns and other Adventures

What a delicious  story-filled long weekend!

A few months ago friend and Storyteller Andy Offutt Irwin told me that he would be in town doing a house concert at Laura Hagmann’s house in Silver Spring, Maryland (one of my favourite storytelling venues) and a set with the two-time Grammy award winning musical duo Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer at the Washington Folk Festival. 

He asked if I would arrange a couple of events that we could do together to round out his stay. 

Some years ago I was an events director for Jackie Cooper PR - at the time the largest independent PR agency in London – and I was delighted to put my old skills to use.

I swung into action.

The result was two wonderfully fun evenings. 

On Thursday May 31st Andy and I did a storytelling workshop entitled “Humor and the Narrative Arc” for Speakeasy DC held at the Hamiltonian Art Gallery on trendy U street in Washington DC.  What a delightful quirky space!  That night it was packed with talented participants – all eager to learn- who ended up telling their own amazing stories.  The room reverberated with wild tales, excitement and laughter.  SpeakeasyDC’s executive director, Amy Saidman, wrote that she was really pleased with the result and declared the evening to be a success. Yea!

The second event was an anthology storytelling show “Drunk Nuns, Sober Spirits and other Storytelling Misadventures held on Saturday June 2nd at the Frederick Cultural Arts Center. 

The show got excellent pre-publicity from the Frederick News Post and the Gazette and we had a lovely, enthusiastic crowd including one woman, Meredith Miller, new to storytelling, who later wrote:

 “I absolutely LOVED the show tonight! It was amazing - captivating - hysterical - and tender. I think I experienced every range of emotion possible in those few hours.  I was so swept away with the canvas portrait of stories that were shared ... you literally *took* me there with you to those points in time. What an incredible, joyous ride. Thank you SO much for inviting me.

Cannot wait until the next time!”

Another person hooked on storytelling. 


 One of the delights in this storytelling journey is the people you meet along the way – and I had a wonderful time getting to know Cathy Fink over three days as we spend time together at the workshop, the excellent house concert the following day (where I met Marcy – albeit briefly -  for the first time) and at the Drunk Nuns show.  Cathy and Marcy are virtually neighbors and so I look forward to sharing more laughter with them in the days ahead.

On Sunday I performed at the 32nd annual Washington Folk Festival at Glen Echo Park on the Storytelling Stage.  My eccentric great aunt, princesses bruised by hidden peas and ferocious tigers eventually tamed, all lived - and were received with great enthusiasm by the audience!

I finished the day off with a carousel ride.  Built in 1921, the award winning Glen Echo Carousel is a work of art.  The galloping horses and jungle animals, the beautifully painted pastoral scenes and the Wurlitzer organ were a perfect backdrop to mull over the storytelling excitement of the previous few days.

The horse looked a little wild eyed by the time I disembarked - but I was ecstatic!