Bill Harley
My Favorite Tidbit - Bill Harley at TEDx

I go back to this video about The Power of Storytelling time and time again. It is so rich, I see and learn something new each time.

I love listening to Bill Harley tell stories. He's a kid at heart, and that shines through everything. But underneath his playful nature is a deep and studied teller. This TEDx Talk is my favorite Tidbit, and one of my favorite videos, In just under fourteen minutes, Bill talks about the power of story in helping a young boy in making sense of the death of his father. He also tells about his own spontaneity and openness during a set that led to a very sweet, and now, memorable moment. 

Kim Weitkamp

Four Minutes of Pure Delight

It's no secret that I am a fan of storyteller Kim Weitkamp, and here's one reason why. This four minute video of a story recorded last summer at Timpanogos has all the elements of perfection. She paints familiar images with humor and pathos, and takes us on a childhood journey that leaves us laughing and smiling with remembrance of what might have been, or should have been in our own lives.

Syd Lieberman

Syd Lieberman was one of my favorite tellers. Watch this video of him telling from the "role" of his Aunt Helen. See how he takes a moment (short, as Syd is practiced and has taken the time to craft this story well) to take on the persona of his great aunt Hellen. See and hear how he subtly maintains the character throughout with his breathing, body, face and voice.

Sadly, Syd passed away on April 12, 2015. He will be missed by many. He will always remain one of my heroes. 


Taylor Mali

One of the best and most prolific spoken-word artists. This is a classic.

Taylor Mali

Like, You Know, Whatever

This one is quite brilliant.

Taylor Mali

The The Impotence of Proofreading


Sarah Kay at TED

Many of you know that I have been making the rounds of the Open Mics in the Phoenix area. Most of the performers are poets, or what is more commonly called spoken word artists. I have a great deal of respect for many of them, like Jason Lalli and Robert "Flipside" Daniels. Take a look at this video of then, 26 year-old Sarah Kay from New York in a TED talk. What an incredible artist and performer.
Micaela Blei
I Have Fallen In Love Again!

Now I have fallen again, this time for Micaela Blei. She has won several Moth slams. She has been an elementary school teacher and is now the Moth Education Program Manager. Here is one of her winning stories from the Moth. It is beautifully crafted, has deep self-disclosure, humor, pathos...everything that a good story should have. Oh yeah...and she's a redhead too!


Ward Rubrecht

Twin Cities Moth GrandSLAM (Theme: On the Rocks)
 October 9th, 2016
Winner of MANY slams and an incredible MC. This is a masterfully crafted and told story by Ward Rubrecht. Become aware of the structure, listen to the language, marvel at the choices...and enjoy a great story!

Antonio Rocha -
At Jonesborough Storytelling Festival

A mime and storyteller extaordinaire. Watch the creativity of the crafting of this story. Have you ever watched someone with virtual reality goggles on and how they navigate their virtual suroundings? This performance is amazing story of what VR looks like from both the inside and outside.
Antonio Rocha -
A Walk to Remember
TED talk about the power of storytelling.
Jay Thomas and the Lone Ranger Story

Leanard Nimoy

Reach to Your Roots for Inspiration

I discovered this video story by Leonard Nimoy explaining how he found the classic "V" hand gesture greeting for Vulcans. It was not created by the writers or the director. As the character of Spock in Star Trek, Nimoy felt that there should be some ritual "greeting" when Vulcans meet, similar to a handshake or a salute. The answer came to Nimoy from his childhood, from deep within the roots of his Jewish upbringing.

This is a great story. It not only tells about the origin of the classic "Live long and prosper" symbol, but also shows the process of the actor thinkingstruggling, questioning; the process of "crafting".

Mandy Patinkin

Mandy Patinkin
Living in an Imagined Reality

Mandy Patinkin talks about playing the role of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride. In this interview he alludes to the Willing Suspension of Disbelief ("I spend 99% of my time in an imagined reality.") and distilling the story into One Sentence. This is powerful stuff from an incredible and passionate actor.

Bryan Cranston

Valid for storytellers too!
At the September 2013, Academy new member reception, Actor Bryan Cranston, star of Breaking Bad (not looking much like his character, Walter White), shared his advice to aspiring actors. He is speaking specifically about auditioning, but his thoughts fit for performances as well, and storytelling. He tells actors they need to "serve the text". Not too dissimilar from my blog of March, 2012 about serving the story.


Donna Murphy

Backstory - Extremely important!

First of all, let me say that I love this woman. She is a consummate actress. She played Anij, the 300-year-old woman whom Piccard fell in love with in Star Trek Insurrection. She had such a calm persona and could slow down time.

I have seen her in many other movie and TV roles. Recently, she played the lead in Hello Dolly on Broadway. One might think, "Broadway Musical", Dolly, energetic music and dancing, the role created by the flamboyant Carol Channing. Just get out there and do it with energy and a big smile!

But no, this prolific actress talks about "her" Dolly before the play starts. Who was she? What was she like growing up? What's her back-story?

Listen as she tells you about who this character is, how she relates to her, and how she deals with and portrays the emotions on stage.

How to Use a Microphone.

Betty Buckley singing Memory from Cats.

On the Johnny Carson Show, 1983



Twenty-five years later, 2008, Betty Buckley singing Memory. A completely different interpretation and phrasing. See how she and the "story" has evolved and changed.

Circle & Triangles - What do you see?

In the year 1944, the psychologists Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel conducted an experiment in which subjects watched a short, animated film and then described what happened in it.

How do you make sense of this video? If you’re like most viewers, you didn’t just see shapes moving around a blank background: You saw a story.  Heider and Simmel found that the vast majority of their test subjects did the same—they saw characters (with emotions and agendas), conflict, plot, and resolution.

But really “saw” isn’t the right word to describe this phenomenon. You, and Heider and Simmel’s test subjects, didn’t “see” a story that was already made, rather, you created one on your own. You constructed your own meaning from geometric shapes bouncing around on a screen.


The Power of Storytelling

Quite a powerful and interesting take on the power of storytelling from David JP Phillips.

Winnie the Pooh  
Mark Flying
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