Monday - November 21, 2016
Issue # 238

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


I hope you will also take a look at last year's Thanksgiving Message, and have a happy Holiday

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This Week


Liz Weir Concert in Tucson

Sunday, November 27th - 2pm
222 E 14th Street, Tucson

You are invited to attend a storytelling concert in Tucson by the incomparable Liz Weir. This one-time-only concert of stories told by an internationally-acclaimed master storyteller from Northern Ireland is a gift from Liz to Tellers of Tales and the Tucson storytelling community. (While there is no cost to attend, we may pass the hat to let her know how delighted we are to have her in Tucson.)
Doors open at 1:30 pm, and seating is limited, so please RSVP (520) 629-0270 or send an email: tellersoftalestucson@gmail.com.

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Coming Up


Arizona Storytellers: New Veteran Narratives
Monay - November 28th - 6:30pm
Crescent Ballroom

Join azcentral.com, The Arizona Republic and Alliance Bank of Arizona for a very special night of young veterans telling stories about their lives as a way to mark the legacy of the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Emcee: Megan Finnerty, Storytellers Project founder
Featured tellers:
Kyle Mitchell, personal and Navajo storyteller and former Army Ranger
Ryan Sadler
Kelley Stewart
Mario Avent, Army Veteran, student storyteller, life-long learner 
Ryan Kitchell, former Photographer's Naval Mate Petty Officer 3rd Class
Become a subscriber: All Arizona Republic and azcentral subscribers receive a complimentary, gourmet brownie from Fairytale Brownies at check-in. Click here to learn about other great subscriber perks. 
Accessibility Note: If you require ASL Interpretation Services for this event or a future Storytellers event, or if you require accommodations related to mobility or seating, contact Alexus Rhone at arhone@gannett.com.

Info & Tickets
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Thanks. . .for All The Story Possibilities

Yes, this is a "retread" tip, from four years ago, but one that I think has value. You may not have seen it, or you might have wanted to be reminded of it on this Thanksgiving week.

On Thanksgiving, we are always asked, "What are we thankful for?" I am suggesting that we might use this as another opportunity for story creation. Think about both the good times and the not-so-good times in your life. With each incident, there's probably a story that goes along with it. Especially the not-so-good times. One of the ways that storytellers can make lemonade out of lemons is to tell the story! Here are just a few of mine:

  • I am thankful for the time that the chorus put one over on me and I was left on stage with one brown shoe and one black shoe. (The Dance General)
  • I am thankful for the time my nephews were five years old and came to see me in Disney On Parade. (Winnie The Pooh & Nana) 
  • I am thankful for the time I was scared half to death on the Colorado river. (Big Water)
  • I am thankful for the time I was scared half to death in the train station in Antwerp Belgium. (Big Escalator)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving this year, and don't forget about the times in your life that you are thankful for, because they gave you a great story to tell!

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Q & A - Universal Appeal
Last week, I suggested that folks E-mail me with questions about storytelling and I would do my best to address their concerns. Storyteller, colleague and friend Mark Compton responded right away with this question:

I always have the concern that what I find interesting is not interesting to the rest of the world. How does a storyteller make sure his story has universal appeal?

That's a great question. Many of us have been there; We have a personal or a family story that we LOVE.  Just the thought of the story makes us laugh. Now we have to ask the ultimate question; will the audience love it? You will never know 100%, but there are some ways to evaluate it.

What is universal appeal? This usually comes back to an important question regarding your story: what's the story about? What is the theme or thread of the story? Beyond the characters and events in your story, is the theme something that's important or of interest to MOST people. 

What is the emotional arc? Is it something that most people experience; a struggle; a joy; an anticipation; a fear? These things are generally experience by the majority of people in the world. Stories from cultures other that our own demonstrate this. Aladin's hope for riches, and longing for the "un-attainable" mate; the turtle's desire to win the race and "triumph" over the bully rabbit; the abusrdity and foolishness of stories from Chelm or other knucklehead, noodlehead or Jack tales; These are situations/feelings that most of the universe can relate to.

Two examples: Doug Bland's stories of his Grandmother have universal "themes" of wisdom and close relationships. People often feel as if his Grandmother is LIKE their own, or wish that theirs was like her. Liz Warren's Horney Toad story shows us the thrill of a girl who wishes to "own, have (perhaps control) a small "free" animal as a pet, and provide it a home." She shows us the wisdom of her Grandfather (or was it your Father, Liz?) who explains that the horny toad has parents who may be missing him. These are universal themes and emotions.

Antonio Sacre said, "Choose a story that matters to you and then ask if there is anyone else besides friends and family that needs to hear it? 

Are the characters appealing or likeable? Beyond the fact that it is your brother, or uncle in a personal story, are the characters ones that most people can identify with in one way or another? What archetypal characters might they be like? Is there some way you can make them relatable? The oldest, the middle and the youngest are archetypes that may fit the characters or people in your story. Will helping to expand and clarify their roles allow people to relate more to them?

Here's a rule of thumb: If it's a story about your Uncle Joe that the family "retells" every Thanksgiving and the family laughs hysterically as they recall the events - it may not appeal to others. Or...can you tell it in a way that it will appeal to others? Try telling it to a few "others"; friends or colleagues that are not privy to the everyday peculiarities and connections that the family members have to Uncle Joe.

And one must also assess your particular audience (as always). Is your story relatable to the demographics of your audience? Will they relate to it in a positive way? Perhaps the themes are not in line with their religious, political or cultural make up. If not, then it probably is "not quite" universal, and should not be told to THIS section of the universe.

I hope that helps, Mark. Who's got the next question?

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------------------------------------THERE'S A LOT GOING ON EACH MONTH
---------------------------------CALL TO MAKE SURE THE EVENT IS STILL ON

Infuse Open Mic
Second Sunday of each month - Phoenix

Pink Slip Open Mic
Every Monday at  8 pm - PHOENIX

Chatterbox Open Mic
Every Wednesday at  8 pm - PHOENIX

FStorytellers - Female Story Tellers - Tucson
Usually sometime during the first week of the month - but check their website) at  7 pm - TUCSON

Odyssey Storytelling
First Thursday of each month (usually but check calendar) - TUCSON

Third Friday (usually) of each month - PHOENIX

Tucson Tellers of Tales - Storytellers Guild
First Saturday of each month (except July and August) - Tucson

West Side Story Tellers - Storytellers Guild
First Saturday of each month - GLENDALE *NO meetings in July & August

East Valley Tellers of Tales -Storytellers Guild
Second Saturday of each month - SCOTTSDALE - *NO meetings in July & August

Fourth Saturday of each month (usually - check calendar) - *NO meetings in June & July
SMCC Storytelling Institute
A monthly workshop designed to help storytellers build community and deepen repertoire.
See the Calendar

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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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