Back in the Storytelling Saddle Again

Posted on October 8, 2013. Filed under: storytelling | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Well, I survived. I had a baby and then my life ended, for a little while, and then I started to get it back.

Two weeks ago, I think, (can’t keep track of time these days) I returned to storytelling in a big way. Basically, all in the same week my baby girl turned two months old (and I have been a stay at home mommy during these months) I had a panel discussion on storytelling at George Mason University, a storytelling show at the Auld Shebeen in Fairfax, a storytelling workshop at the Workhouse Arts Center and another storytelling show at the Reston Nature House.  Phew.


It felt good to be back out there doing grown-up stuff, and was also one of the stupidest things I have ever done.  I planned it all before my baby came into the world, not realizing that babies really do keep you very busy.  Meaning, I had very little time to write and memorize two stories, pull a cast together for two shows, prepare all the materials for a new workshop, and then make arrangements to go to all those events.

But I survived that week as well.  I wouldn’t say I told the best stories of my career, but I wasn’t booed off either stage – which is always a good sign. I had enough storytellers to fill the bill for both shows.  The panel discussion at George Mason was awesome and well attended.  And the workshop was a lot of fun.

I would write more about the whole experience but I hear my baby girl grunting, which means I have just enough time to post this before she starts crying.  Sigh. Back to work!

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The “Right” Writing Style

Posted on May 31, 2012. Filed under: Events, storytelling, writing | Tags: , , , |

I have another storytelling show this Saturday. Check out details on “Our Bodies, Our Selves” here. It is only two weeks after my last show, and I spent the past several days white water rafting, mountain climbing, and attending a wedding in Oregon.

I know, I know, likely excuse, but I really haven’t had time to write a new story for this show and I prefer to tell new stories whenever possible.  So I decided to give the traditional storytelling style a chance.  See, when I write my true, personal stories for storytelling, I write them. I try to make them conversational by speaking them aloud while writing and inserting lots of dialogue. Then I memorize them. Word for word.

I have been told that this is crazy. Most storytelling remember major plot points and then fill in the rest through talking. I know the story I am telling on Saturday. It happened to me.  I should, technically, be able to just stand up there and tell people what happened.

So I have been trying. I have “told” it to a couple of friends, and my dog, and the air around me and every time I tell it, it just sounds unpolished and like I am trying to say something but not quite saying it. It sounds a bit like I am telling a longer, more rambling version of the better story within.

The show is just a few days away. I normally have my stories halfway memorized by now. But I think I need to sit down and actually write this one out. The “just tell it” approach is really not making me feel great. It might be the “right way” to do storytelling, but it is not my way.

So it’s back to the drawing board, or laptop, as the case may be. I am going to sit here, write my story, and try to memorize it the way it works best for me, word for word. Come to the show Saturday and see if I succeed!

Our Bodies, Our Selves

June 2nd
Reston Nature House
11450 Glade Drive
Reston, VA 20191
7:00PM and 9:00PM
Buy Tickets Here!

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