Back Fence PDX SuperFan | Chava Boyett

Hello, friends! Meagan Kate here. The Back Fence PDX crew is honored to have a group of amazing story lovers who’ve supported and helped to spread the word about the show over the last four years.

We’ve gotten to know faces and names, and wanted to show our appreciation for the folks who have been with us since the beginning. So, we’ll be showcasing some of those who’ve been with us the longest through a series of blog posts this summer, all about our Back Fence PDX SuperFans!

We know there are more of you mad storytelling lovers out there…if you haven’t already, please introduce yourself to us at a show, we love getting to know more about the people who attend regularly!

The third SuperFan is Chava Boyett who has been with us for years, and her lovely face always makes Nathalie & I happy at the front door when we’re rushing to get everyone into the doors as quickly as possible. Also, she took this lovely headshot just for this blog post. What a good sport!! We heart you, Chava!
How long have you been coming to Back Fence shows? Do you remember your first?

Since fall 2008, four years. I found out about BackFence from my friend Aaron Tersteeg who is an extremely social “man about town” and always knows what’s happening. Aaron had posted on Facebook about the Back Fence show at Urban Grind, a coffee shop in NE Portland (sadly it is now closed but not before being immortalized in an episode of Portlandia, the Japanese tourist sketch). It was $8 at the door and it was packed! There was an electric underground speakeasy feel about it. Like you were only in the audience if you were plugged into Portland’s zeitgeist. Slim Moon from Kill Rockstars was a storyteller. So was Sarah Gilbert, a financial-analyst-turned-DIY-mom. I took my mom to that show, she had introduced me to poetry slams years before, and we both became huge Back Fence converts that night.

What stories or themes have resonated with you most?

The big issues. Love, Death, Abandonment, Shame, Redemption, Overcoming Fear, Forgiveness, Humanness.

Stories I still reflect on are Jennifer Lauck’s childhood of loss and love and redemption. Jeff Hardison’s overcoming his feelings of rage and revenge. Molly Norton’s diet coke-fueled parties (Editor’s note: sadly, this show was not recorded). Trace Shannon’s drunken ravings past curtain call. Jimmy Radosta’s sexually explicit date blunders (Note: This memory is from Jimmy’s story in one of our Lightning Rounds!). You know, just the wholesome family values stories!

What makes you come back to us?

You never know what you’re going to receive from a live performance, it’s a surprise every time. One storyteller may have you squirming in your seat with awkwardness, another will bring you to tears connecting with their pain, then the next will have you absolutely rolling in the aisles with roaring belly laughs! It’s an emotional rollercoaster and each show I’m left with profound admiration for people who are willing to stand in front of a crowd, emotionally exposed and invite us to journey with them. I draw strength from all of these storytellers. Strength to face my own life’s challenges because if they have the guts to bare their souls, to be emotionally dissected before a roomful of strangers then I have no fucking excuse to be fearful of anything. It is inspirational to witness.

What would you like to see Back Fence do next?

Perhaps incorporating poetry readings would lend itself to the existing format. Or known/published author’s readings. But that is less immediate. I value the immediacy of the unrehearsed story that comes from an authentic, heartfelt place. Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s working.

Would you fight other SuperFans in an octagon?

Hmmm… I don’t know what this means but because I am a SuperFan I will ignorantly heed your bidding no matter what. So, of course! 🙂

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