What is Storytelling?
Storytelling is the art of sharing imagination, of bringing people with you to witness events, real or imaginary, as close to first hand as possible.
The Moment: Every storytelling event is unique. The story, the audience, and the teller all play their part in making it real. For me, storytelling is about the moment when, for everyone, the story is the only thing that matters.
The lasting effects: When I first came across the story 'Hans in Luck' from the Grimm collection I decided it was too odd to tell and discarded it. Or so I thought. Six months later, It began dancing around in my head. Suddenly the story spoke to me. Now I take a great delight in that story. I doubt I understand the story fully, but that doesn't matter. 'Hans in Luck' is part of me forever.
The safe distance: Sometimes it is a lot easier to process difficult emotions when they aren't our own. Stories allow us a safe distance to do that. For creator, teller, and audience alike.
The freedom: No-one owns traditional stories. They change and grow with each telling. They are always re-imagined, so everone is free to play with them.
Where do the stories come from?
Traditional: Every culture has a tradition of story telling, from the most ancient peoples right up to today. The stories I tell can come from any of these.
Anansi's spider stories come from Africa and later Jamaica, the Grimm collection from Germany, Chaucer recorded known stories and put his own frame on them in Middle Age England. Aesop lived in Ancient Greece. I tell some of his fables and also his own life story.
Original: It is hard to spend so much time around all these stories, and not find yourself creating your own original or highly mashed up stories.
It is also fun to take a traditional story everyone knows well, and twist it significantly. For example how did the Emporer outwit two curious tailors who tried to sell him invisible wares.
Historical: The stories of real people matter, simply because they lived. But we are also able to see the results and consequences of thier choices, both in their own lives and the world at large, and this can change how we live today.
You: One of my favourite activities with a group is to compose a story together.
What do I offer?
Quite simply, I come and tell stories for about an hour per group. I can happily accomodate any theme you would like to work with or just follow the mood.
Along side the story time, I can run a workshop, teaching how to tell traditional stories.
In the workshops we look at:
- Imagining a story, vs remembering a script
- Breaking apart a story structure, and building a new story
- At the scene. Looking around
- Becoming a character
- Practicing and refining a story
The workshops can be either one or two hours, and can be repeated throughout the day to multiple classes.
I look forward to hearing from you.