Analog Waco sparks vulnerability through storytelling

Photo courtesy of Matthias Wagner | Unsplash

Madison Day | Assistant News Editor

Stuck in the top of 10-foot-tall trees in France after a minor paragliding crash, Diana Castillo watches the sun meet the horizon as hues of peach and rose dilute the sky. Although not her intended destination, Castillo had a front row seat to the most beautiful sunset.

Diana Castillo shared this story with the Analog Waco audience at their first event, titled “Lost in Waco,” and attended each meeting since.

Analog Waco is a confessional storytelling event — each event driven by a certain theme. The idea behind this storytelling group is to be open, vulnerable and authentic with one another, according to Adam Moore, creator of the group. True personal storytelling is the phrase coined by Moore to describe the type of sharing presented at each event.

“The goal is vulnerability and authenticity in storytelling, rather than performance,” Moore said. “There are storytelling groups that are more performance oriented. This group is less about who can tell the best story and more about that kind of vulnerability in storytelling.”

In society today, people are so often lost in technology and distracted by superfluous things. Moore said he wants Analog to be a forum for people to stop and listen to one another and go back to our roots as humans. Diana Castillo said she believes Analog does just that.

She said she thinks Analog indeed does provide a space for people to open up among strangers and shows people they are not alone in their struggles of life.

“I think a lot of times in our daily life we just go and are not always as raw and vulnerable as I think we should be sometimes,” Castillo said. “So, I think its a great space to just have people be OK with that and intentional with it. It was a platform for me to share my story, and to have other people that may have experienced similar things know that they aren’t alone in their struggle. They could have someone to talk to if they wanted.”

Castillo graduated from Baylor and now works with Adam Moore in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core offices as an admissions analyst.

“I shared a story that started off in France,” Castillo said. “I took up paragliding in France while I was studying abroad there. So I started off my story with that crash, but really to say that when I came to Baylor, I was very much expecting it to be flawless and for me to paraglide through college. But as life happens, there are lots bumps in the road, and sometimes I will be hanging — as I was hanging from 10-foot-tall trees.”

The theme of “Lost in Waco” really spoke to Castillo, and as she was thinking about what she would say at Analog, she said she realized that everyone is finding their way here in Waco together.

“Waco is so quirky in that you could do that — be lost in Waco and be OK,” Castillo said. “There’s that mural in downtown Waco that talks about how this is a city with a soul, and I think that the city really carries itself in that way. Where you can sort of be on this search in your own life and figure out, what is it that I’m doing? Why is it that I’m here? There’s still beauty in the ups and downs. It takes you two places where you truly find yourself.”

Castillo finds herself and other attendees captivated and engaged throughout the Analog events and sees that each person speaking or listening has something unique to bring to the table.

Moore wanted the storytellers and audience members to be a diverse group of people who would not have met otherwise.

“I think having a space where people from different backgrounds and walks of life can share stories from common experiences is valuable,” Moore said.

Moore said he noticed looking around the room, it was a group of people who would not all be in the same room for any other reason.

The themes for the Analog Waco events so far have been: “Lost in Waco,” “The Sound of Failure” and “The Darkest Night of the Year.” Each theme helped to set different tones for the events.

“The last one was ‘The Darkest Night of the Year.’ We had people share a lot of hard things and places of darkness in their lives, and again, it’s just beautiful to connect in those hardships. Because a lot of times we put on this façade as if everything is OK. When we get to unravel all the hard things, it really makes you have more of a connection,” Castillo said.

People are invited to share their stories in whatever form feels most comfortable to them. Whether that be through speaking, painting, singing or playing guitar — various forms of expression come out when people tell their personal stories.

Analog is a great place to meet and find a community of unique people, according to Castillo. Moore believes these events have benefited the Waco community greatly and hopes to continue growing Analog by partnering with a group called The Cozy.

“[The Cozy] hosts these community dinners, and the person behind it is Natalie Ramirez. She’s hosted these community dinners at different places — some in homes and at Cultivate 7Twelve. We’ve talked about partnering for a small Analog event that would be around a meal,” Moore said.

The next Analog Waco event is at 8 p.m. on March 2 at 8 p.m. at Brotherwell Brewing at 400 E. Bridge Street. For more information about Analog Waco, visit their Facebook page.