I have lived a long and colorful life. Are there some topics that are taboo for storytelling?
First of all, congrats on your long and colorful life!
Second, the answer depends on your audience.
If you are with long-time friends at a bachelor party in Vegas at a strip club, it’s probably OK to tell your funny story about what happened the first time you went to a strip club when you were 18. If you are in a training class for a new job with people you don’t know including your new boss, then I’d pass on the telling that story.
If you are telling in a show in a public space, hear are some ideas…
- Rated G – This is the way to go if there will be kids, you are in a work setting or your audience might be sensitive.
- Rated PG – This is for adult audiences, with some adult themes and some cursing. Most storytelling live shows are 18+, so you have some leeway here to use themes and language that feel right to you.
- Rated R – These are stories that have more than an unusual amount of violence, sex or cursing. These can be told in some shows, check with the producer if you aren’t sure.
With some stories, you can make G, PG and R versions of them, for different audiences.
Third, are some topics always off-limits? Maybe not, for the right audience, but certain styles are:
- A mean-spirited story that attacks another person.
- A self-congratulatory story that talks about how great the teller is, without humility or vulnerability.
- A story that offensive to a gender, race, religion, etc.
I hope that helps!