non profit

Discovering Omaha Early, Afternoon, and Tonight

Early Afternoon Tonight is an Omaha based talk show styled podcast interviewing people from various creative scenes throughout the city. As founder Karl puts it, the goal of the podcast is to help “Omaha learn more about Omaha”.

Episodes air every Sunday, and 13th Floor’s very own Kellie Hayden will join Karl along with musician Topher Booth to to talk about their projects and personal lives.

Early Afternoon Tonight is available on iTunes, soundcloud, and their website.

The show is very new, with only one episode under it’s belt, but host Karl and his partner Eric show their Midwestern hospitality through a good sense of humor and charm that makes for a comfortable listen. We can’t wait to see what’s in the future for the show!

For more social media connection to Early Afternoon Tonight, you can find them on  FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

It’s Almost Heeeeeeeere

That’s right, the deadline for the Spring edition is right around the corner!

Submitting things can be scary, whether it’s the first or four hundredth time you do it. The staff of 13th Floor would like to remind everyone that whether or not your works ends up in the edition, you will hear from us. We won’t leave you alone in the dark for all the spooks and negative thoughts to get’cha, promise.

Send your treats to by October 31st!

Whether it be photography, art, poetry, non-fiction, fiction, scripts, or ravings of a madman, we’ll gobble them all!

Guidelines for submissions and frequently asked questions can be found on our site.

Don’t fear the deadline, writers!

Staving Off Stage Fright: Tips for the Publically Timid

Picture this: you’ve been writing for years, perhaps even got involved with theater in high school, but when the moment comes for you to clamber onto a stage and share your work you begin to sweat. It’s something personal, something private; even your closest friends don’t know this one. There’s feedback on the mic, you begin to mumble. You shake, rattle, and have to crawl off stage from the fear of probable rolling.

We’ve all been there…right?

Well, for those less graceful and poised than myself when it comes to the art of performance prose and poetry, here are some simple tips to soothe while public speaking.


Don’t be ashamed to have the piece handy

Now, I’m pretty sure practicing is a no-brainer, but even when the mirror and your cat could recite it back to you perfectly, an audience can throw you off. Don’t be afraid to have the piece ready for reference. Just make sure to glance up periodically to show the audience you’re still with them.

Re-write to perform

Much like drafting the piece, itself, pacing of a performance piece can influence the reading. If you notice that you seem to be stumbling over a section, or timing isn’t on your side with a scene, re-write a draft that’s meant to be performed. Make it sloppy, make it grammatically incorrect, make it what it needs to be to get that pacing down to a T. It’ll be your little secret.

Don’t be hard on yourself

Remember that this isn’t life or death. Breathe and you will get through it. When you focus on the mistakes the performance’s tone will be altered along with your mood and the two will tumble around each other in a negative cycle. Learn from every performance you make and use that to add to your next.

Treat Yo’self

Going off that last one, the little things can do wonders. Dress for the confidence you want, have a nice meal and a drink, you’ve earned it. Endorphins make you happy, and happy people read like champs.


Most of the time, open mics or slams are filled with a multitude of peers. They get it. Talk to them, and remind yourself that they are friends here to support and endorse your creativity.

Did these help? Have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments!

For upcoming slams in the Omaha area in August check out the Petry Menu and make sure to watch for events on the Nebraska Writer’s Collective  Facebook; as well as keeping an eye on news from 13th Floor, of course.

Keep calm and create on, writers!




Musicians Wanted

As briefly mentioned in posts, Changing It Up! and If You Give a Book a Playlist we are accepting music submissions to the site!

Our own Sophie Clark shared her musical story telling with her band, Clark and Company, at July’s open mic and we loved it so much that we want to hear more!

To submit your audio files or for any questions, email us at Make sure to include a short bio so that we can learn the mind behind the music as well.

In a lot of ways music can take us to places where words struggle to, show us things that photographs can’t capture, and remind us of feelings we sometimes forget. We’d love to help you share that magic, if you’ll have us.

Slipping Into Something a Little More Uncomfortable with “The Lobster”: Tone in Visual Story Telling

In a sea of summer Rom-Coms and big-budget franchise films, director Yorgos Lanthimos’ the Lobster emerged much quieter but just as decadent with an interesting aftertaste.

To briefly explain, the narrative centers on a society in which being single has been deemed illegal and the concept of love, impractical. Hours after his wife has left him, our protagonist is forced into a hotel where he must find a new companion within 45 days, based on even the most inane similarities, such as being nearsighted or be turned into the animal of his choice to try again in that realm. The plot alone is enticing, but what really makes the film work is how the story is presented. Like any good dystopian sci-fi film, the viewers are made to feel unsettled, presumably to invoke cultural or self-reflection. The Lobster is far from discreet in its criticism of a culture that commercializes swiping right to find a soulmate but it also pokes fun at the over-romanticization of “the single life”.

Although dystopian in nature, the world presented looks no different than our own, creating an eerie sense of reality that makes the subtle but strange sci-fi elements (like a random camel roaming in an out of frame) pop. It’s made even more uninviting by creating a sideline perspective; much like Scorsese’s Raging Bull, the audience watches the confrontations from a distance, from behind branches, or passenger seats of the car— almost as if we aren’t supposed to be seeing it. Yet, with long tracking shots and scenes devoid of any musical cushioning, we’re stuck. Stuck searching for any sense of warmth and relief— much like the main character.

The hotel represents the rational side of a partnership with indifference and consistency proving to be the quickest way to a mate (and if that doesn’t cut it, you get the bonus of a child to smooth things over). The environment is muted, a bland barrage of yellows and greys. Everyone dresses the same and most, if not every interaction is spoken through soft, monotone dialogue. Every act of passion is met with horrific punishment, whether its a man having his hand burnt via toaster for pursuing his “animal nature” or a woman’s screams from failed suicide attempt ignored. These shots are not short. The pacing of the hotel sequence drags and is done so to raise the tension in these characters. Stress, anxiety, and almost boredom stack on each other until the protagonist eventually escapes. Suddenly the screen is filled with a burst of color.

The second act of the film in which the protagonist lives with the Loners in the woods acts as a stark contrast to the hotel, filled with a lightness and that the audience quickly laps up. The pacing speeds up and just as we are getting comfortable a newfound and naturally intimate relationship, we’re reminded that there’s no in between in this world. The group sneaks into the city to gain supplies, posing in couples, but the protagonist and his love interest stick out without the lushness of the woods to hide them. And in this world, you are either blandly together or vividly alone. After they return the love interest is blinded, taking away the near-sightedness that had matched them.

Although we’re shown scenes of them attempting to continue the relationship, filled with the hope of a happy ending— of beating the system, the final shot is of her sitting alone. She waits for him to return after blinding himself as a sign of true love. The viewer sits waiting for a release, any sign of commitment, and we’re left wanting as the last thing we see is her alone.

The question ever-present in the Lobster is this: what is worse, being alone and “free” or being loved and less alive? And much like the ending of the film, no one knows the right answer, so, we sit and wait to decide what we would— or should—  do if placed in these circumstances. Even the promotional posters speak to this absence of an answer to what we’re really looking for by having both characters lovingly embrace empty space.

Lanthimos has created a message that stays with his audience well after the lights come back on, and he did this not only through the intriguing world he created but in the way he served it to us. Pacing, lighting, color, sound, and staging are all crucial seasonings added into the pot that makes this type of narrative so striking. Trust me, there aren’t many fish out there in the sea like this one.

To see more  discussion of visual storytelling technique and development of craft in film, check out the marvelous youtube channels, Every Frame A Painting and Channel Criswell

To read more reviews of “The Lobster”:

“The The Lobster (2016) Is Thought Provoking Indie-Weirdness – Movie Review”

“Yorgos Lanthimos: ‘I just think it’s interesting to start a dialogue’”

“The Lobster review: ‘like nothing you’ve seen before’ “

“Why ‘The Lobster’ Is So Lopsided”