“I always felt as if I connected to audiences. You can’t reach everyone, or make everyone happy, but as long as one person came up at the end of a show and said good job, I was happy. I got better at it—finding my voice, trying to be as comfortable as possible.”
He explains, “With storytelling, you’re being intimate with strangers right away. You can be as intimate as you want to be—you can dip your toes in, or you jump right in the water. But by doing that, you’re opening yourself up. If I’m nervous, or I’m shaking, it’s ok—they understand. Just be up there and just try to be as much of you as possible. Then hope you connect and shine.”
Listening to Adam Wade tell a story is hard to explain without flirting with hyperbole, because the idea of listening to someone tell a story seems like such an everyday occurrence. His stories run the gamut—from being the adolescent odd-man-out at the local fast food joint, to losing his cool at a Hoboken deli counter, to the arguably unconventional approach of claiming he was Rick Moranis’ kid just to impress a girl.
Hearing these stories, they’re so offbeat that you have no choice but to believe it—because who would make up a story like that? They’re very specific, and intensely introspective. Wade brings an innate absence of doubt, which fosters a connectivity that is truly remarkable.
“It’s taken a lot of time to realize that I don’t need a persona,” says Wade. “I can go on stage and I can connect far better than any persona if I just go out as myself.”
“These classes aren’t just for storytellers,” says Wade. “These classes are for writers, essayists, memoirists, for people who have to speak a lot at their jobs and aren’t good at it. What’s interesting is that in the past two years, there are more and more students who are professionals from fields such as finance, PR, health, real estate and law. Storytelling is a hot buzzword in their industries and they’re taking these classes to get an edge. And it really helps, from what they tell me later on.”
“People who have been taking Toastmasters have found my class more rewarding for them because of their ability to just be themselves, rather than some cardboard person trying to give some kind of toast,” he says.
“You’re in front of a lot of people you want to use your entire personality. It’s about being real—it’s about authenticity. The world doesn’t want everybody to be a TED Talk.”
Wade has been living in Hoboken for 12 years. While he misses Ted & Jo’s as much as the next guy, he splits most of his social time these days between Schnackenberg’s and Court Street. Of course Sundays are spent with Marie—his landlady for the past six years.
“She’s been here most of her life,” he says. “Her sister lives on the first floor, she lives on the second floor and I live on the third.”
Every Sunday Marie cooks, and Adam gets his plate via a knock on the door.
“Usually you put a story on facebook, you get five or six likes. Marie would cook for me on Sundays, I’d post it and get 100 likes—so I started writing about it and I put the blog together. “
Wade’s “Sunday’s With Marie” blog is a spectacular chronicle of the dichotomy of old and new Hoboken—the twist being that they both get along so well.
“A lot of my stories have to do with celebrating good people who have good hearts, and she’s definitely one of them—just a very, very sweet person.”
Waiting Politely for His Turn
“Empathy towards others,” says Wade. “You can say what you want about my stories, but I’m always trying to find that empathy toward others. That becomes your salvation.”
He explains, “I’ve listened to a lot of speeches in a lot of different religions, and people tend to pontificate—but it’s always the ones where they’re talking from the heart that I was always in tune with. When they spoke from above your head, I was never able to connect.”
With such words of reflective maturity, one would think Adam Wade is pretty content in life.
“Oh, I’m not content,” he snaps, uncharacteristically.
“When you say live the dream and stuff like that, everybody has their goals in life. Doing this live album is my dream,” he says.
“You can talk about breaks and materialistic things—you want to be known, you want to be successful, you want to have kids, you want more money to deal with life. But there’s gonna be ups and downs. So when you have these types of things, they mean a lot to me. Because there are a lot of ups and downs.”
Regarding the live album, Wade says, “I’ve always wanted to do something like this. I’ve worked very hard and it’s a great opportunity to showcase one of the oldest forms of entertainment. I’m really excited.”
He adds, “But I wouldn’t use the word content—I have things I want to do here. I’m just getting started.”