Monday, January 21, 2013
Issue # 39

Got some news or information you would like to get out to the storytelling community?
Contact Mark Goldman -x602-390-3858x - Mark@Storytellermark.com

Out Sick

Being ill with the flu this last week has not been fun. I have done little except drink tea, pee, sleep, pee, eat soup, pee. . .well, you get the idea. I missed a lot, and will even miss more until I win the bought with this monster!

I missed Sean Buvala’s Group Coaching. This is a marvelous event, and should be considered for anyone needing assistance with a story or concept. I missed the Yarnball Open Mic. I missed Joyce Story at the White Tank Library. I missed all three of Dustin Loehr’s performances of Unconditional. I missed a performance discussion by Ira Glass of This American Life. And yesterday, I missed Sally Borg finishing the P.F. Chang’s Rock and Roll Marathon with her best time ever, of 4:36:39! I can’t imagine doing anything for four and a half hours straight, no breaks, let alone running! Congrats and kudos!
Unless I can heal, this week – 
I will miss another Yarnball Open Mic on Wednesday. The Theme is On The Move, Stories Of Our Wheels. Maybe Cassie Cushing will attend and tell of driving through the desert and the night with hubby to find an apartment near Berkley where they will now be living. She’ll be back in Phoenix this week to do some coffee roasting and tying up of loose ends before fleeing forever to the coast.
I will miss a FREE workshop with Sean Buvala (how can you not go?). Sean is offering this free workshop in preparation for next month’s Small Biz Story Slam. There will be another free workshop next week, but they won’t be free for long! Don’t hesitate – go and participate!
I will miss Friday’s Lit Lounge performance featuring award-winning author Hillary Carlip, accomplished actor Joe Smith, Phoenix’s Space 55 legend Shawna Franks and more! 
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Measuring Success

How do you measure success? Part of the answer lies in a secondary question: "What's your measuring stick?

In life, it’s natural to measure ourselves against the accomplishments of others. It’s a competitive world out there, and winning, being first or the best is what we are taught to strive for. As a young child in school, I could never measure up to my older sister who got straight “A”s, but the teachers expected me to “be the same” as her. Just as I could never be my sister, I can never be any of the great tellers I have experienced.
In storytelling, it’s difficult to not compare ourselves to other tellers. It’s important for us to know, hear and observe other tellers, especially the professionals who have come before us (Learn from The Masters). But judging ourselves based on other tellers’ abilities is a dangerous and slippery slope.
A couple of years ago, I made some contacts and was able to get booked for a day of telling at an elementary school in Nashville, just a few days before the Jonesborough Festival. I was excited! I arrived a day early and took a tour of the school with their librarian, who had hired me. At the right, is what I saw as I walked into the building.
While talking with many of the teachers, I learned that in the previous year, Connie Regan-Blake had visited, and two years earlier, Donald Davis had performed. My heart almost stopped beating. How could I measure up to those two giants of storytelling? 
As I left the building that afternoon, a thousand questions and doubts went through my mind. What was I to do? I could NEVER measure up to what they had heard in the past two years. I could see the faces of Donald and Connie, looming in the clouds above, like Titans peering down on a mere mortal, the size of an ant. Then somehow (thankfully), I realized that the librarian, who had hired both Connie and Donald, had also hired ME. She had been to my website, seen my videos, and decided I would be a good fit. I didn’t have to be like the tellers who came before me. I just had to be like me.
Here’s another example. I am a cyclist, and my friend and storyteller Layne Gneiting is a cyclist. Last summer, success for him was riding 2000 miles of steep altitude climbs and rough terrain through four European countries in two months. This would not be success for me, this would be death! Success for me, on a bicycle tour, is riding fifteen miles to the next town without falling off the bike, and finding a cheap campsite near a bakery that has great croissants!
Success is different for each person, and different for each situation they are in. Success for a beginning teller might be just getting through the whole story from beginning to end. For the intermediate teller, it might be finding and using appropriate gestures and body movements to apply to the story. Success might be performing at a retirement home and having residents share their own stories with you. Success might be getting a standing ovation at a performance, or merely seeing the smiles and wide eyes of young listeners at an elementary school or a bookstore storytelling session.
After a year of being quiet, staying in the back and avoiding eye contact, one of my 6th graders came to the front of the class and nervously “read” her story. THAT was a success!
When I was younger, and much more agile, I taught dance. Each class began with a series of stretches. Bending and twisting to limber up the body. Some students could bend over and put the palms of their hands on the floor. Some could only touch their toes with the tips of their fingers. Some could barely touch their ankles. Students would often say, “I can’t stretch as far as you can.” My response would be, “You don’t have to. Just stretch as far as you can go. . .then go just a little bit more.”
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Storytellers' Open Mic at Terra Java
First Sunday of each month - PHOENIX

Yarnball Storytellers Mic
Every Wednesday at  8 pm - PHOENIX

Odyssey Storytelling
First Thursday of each month - TUCSON

East Valley Tellers of Tales -Storytellers Guild
Second Saturday of each month - SCOTTSDALE

West Side Story Tellers -Storytellers Guild
Second Saturday of each month - GLENDALE

Lit Lounge - Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMOCA)
Fourth Friday of each month - SCOTTSDALE


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All Newsletter content ©Mark Goldman
Got some news or information you would like to get out to the storytelling community?

Contact Mark Goldman -x602-390-3858x - Mark@Storytellermark.com


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