The NSN Conference is over. What a whirlwind four days! I come away with my head stuffed with new ideas, techniques; handouts, books and new appreciations for storytelling and tellers.
An eye-opening workshop with Elizabeth Ellis (never knew she was so funny); afternoon intensive with Rona Leventhal about Beginnings, Middles and Endings; fun breakout with Judith Black on Leadership Stories and a quick-moving workshop with Noa Baum on Voice and Presence. Having breakfast with Kevin Kling; dinner with Elizabeth Ellis, Laura Packer and Diane Wolkstein and dinner with friends Ginny Cunningham and Michael Baefsky - whom I met two years ago at the L.A. conference and haven't seen them in since!
I had fun telling at three different story swaps. It was quite nice to have folks stop me in the hallways between breakouts to give me kudos and appreciations for my tellings. I saw many old friends and made several new friends. I was surprised at how many people recognized me from Facebook. One person squinted and then said, "Oh yeah. You're on Facebook, you're very prolific!" When my name was picked from the hat at the All Regions Slam, I jumped for joy. Then when I stood on the stage before 300 of my peers and many "A List" tellers that I admire. . .I got a lump in my throat. It was a bit daunting.
There were very funny presentations by Kevin Kling and Bill Harley and an incredible final concert with Elizabeth Ellis, Jim May, Bill Harley, Kevin Kling, Charlotte Blake Alston, Bobby Norfolk, Laura Sims and a moving holocast story from Carol Birch. It was a power-packed end to a great conference.
On a very personal note, the best moment of the week was when Syd Lieberman (one of my favorite tellers) came up to me and told me how much he liked the ending to my "Kite" story at the slam. I could not have asked for a better gift!
I came away, as always, with a renewed sense of what storytelling can be, affirmations of my own abilities, and the knowledge that I still have, "miles to go before I sleep, miles to go, before I sleep."