"Ho, Ho, Ho!" Yes, that's what a lot of scam artists (I hate that we call them artists) will be saying this holiday season as they rake in money from unsuspecting folks - just like you and me!
And even more than cash, they can "phish" around inside your computer and capture vital INFORMATION; Your contact lists, e-mails, even your bank and credit card info.
Have you been hacked? There's only one way to find out and fix it - VIRUS and MALWARE software. You need to have this software on your computer, up-to-date and running. Scan your computer regularly! (Malwarebytes is excellent, and a low cost virus program is AVG)
Needless to say, there are few of us out there who still believe we can become millionaires by answering e-mails from the wife of some deceased royalty in Nigeria, or perhaps, Bombay. But there are a great many other scams out there to be aware of.
NEVER click on a link in an e-mail that looks like it came from your bank - It didn't! Even though it looks genuine and the logo looks the same, it's not legit. It's linked to a fake site where you will be "spoofed" and asked to log in with your password...and then they have you! ALWAYS delete the e-mail, go to your bank website login on your own, and log in. Banks will NEVER e-mail you with a link to check your account.
Be suspicious of e-mails from friends that are generic: "Hey, I thought you would like this." Then they provide a link that again has phishing software that can infect your computer. If you think that your friend really DID send you a link, call or e-mail them and ask if they did. Better safe than sorry.
You may get e-mails from organizations or institutions that claim thay are trying to "process" your payment and need more info. Or you might get one that you would SWEAR comes from UPS, and they are trying to deliver a package. Don't belive it. UPS and the Post Office will always leave a note on your door or in the mailbox...they won't e-mail you.
During this holiday seson, and actually, always, when you are on the internet or e-mail, be like that one listener in your audience that always asks, "Is that story real?" It will serve you well. Happy Holidays!
NEW - Storytelling Showcases at NSN Conference
Here is an opportunity to perform at the National Storytelling Conference in Kansas City, Missouri June 29-July 2, 2017!
NSN will offer story showcases during the daytime sessions (opposite workshops and other options) for storytelling producers and organizers and all who wish to enjoy storytelling performances.
There are some guidelines and there is a process for requesting to perform.
Winter's Light at Community Christian Church
1701 S College Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85281 Sunday - December 18th - 7:00 pm
Stories of Light Entering Into the Darkness of our Lives
For the last nineteen years, storyteller/pastor Doug Bland has presented storytellers from diverse faith traditions gather together each December to tell stories and light candles in a show of unity and hope. "Winter's Light" is a joyous, multi-cultural, inter-faith storytelling event for the holidays.
Then It Got...Weird - Bloody Good Holiday Ball Tuesday - December 20th - 8pm - 10pm
“Some balls are held for charity and some for fancy dress but when they're held for pleasure, they're the balls that I like best.” – AC/DC
Join host Marnee Burrus for a hilarious night of storytellers & comedians celebrating holiday weirdzy at our first annual Bloody Good Holiday Ball. ‘Tis the season for tellers to share funny stories about awkward festive moments. See you at the Crescent Ballroom on December 20th for a bloody great time.
Featuring stories by Jessie Balli, Marnee Burrus, Sean David Christensen, Megan Finnerty, Dan Hoen Hull, Tania Katan & Anwar Newton.
THEN IT GOT... WEIRD is a curated comedy storytelling show which seeks to explore and reclaim the awkward and embarrassing moments of life.
Join azcentral.com and The Arizona Republic in the Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom at the Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria resort, for TWO SEPARATE nights of stories about Christmas, Hanukkah, and all the wintertime adventures we carry in our hearts. This night is best for children who understand the complexities of the holidays. Choose Wednesday or Thursday!
General Admission tickets ($12) include hot chocolate and fabulous holiday cookies as our gift to you. Full cash bar. (No dinner.)
Supporter Seating tickets ($30) include hot chocolate and holiday cookies, plus priority seating in rows 2-4, a souvenir Arizona Storytellers Project glass from local maker Refresh Glass, and a holiday card with two free tickets to any 2017 show.
Self-park is free and is to the West of the property in the convention area. Valet is free, but tips are customary.
This night is best for children who understand the complexities of the holidays.
Megan Finnerty, director of the Storytellers Brand Studio
Alexus Rhone, associate producer with the Storytellers Brand Studio
Charlie Steak, playwright and actor
Kindra Hall, storyteller and narrative coach at kindrahall.com
Kathy Cano-Murillo, artist and storyteller
Dr. Carl Schwartz, psychologist
Elizabeth Wunsch, community teller
Calvin Worthen, education consultant and host on radiophoenix.org
Liz Warren, director at the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute
Check out the highlights from last year's holiday storytelling event here.
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 email@example.com.
It’s an old joke, but it still holds true: A young man with a violin case under his arm stops an older gentleman on the streets of New York City. The young man asks, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The older gentleman replies, “Practice, practice, practice!”
The same advice goes for storytellers, whether your destination is Jonesborough, the neighborhood library or the nearby elementary school: “Practice, practice, practice.”
How does one practice or rehearse storytelling? In front of the mirror; in front of the wall; telling to your cat or dog? Or do you just “think” about it? I have heard many tellers say that they “just run through it over and over in my mind.” Sounds a bit like Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man. He professed to teach the “Think System” of learning to play an instrument. Just think about the music, and you will be able to play it. In the storyline of the musical, it worked (a little). In real life…not so much.
In addition to crafting the story, you must also craft your performance. When will you speak louder, softer? When will you use a character voice, and what will it be? How will you gesture, in what exact way, and at what exact point? To be effective, you must make intentional decisions about these things, and then rehearse them intentionally. Just thinking about how you will do it when you get on stage will not cut it. (BTW, here's a great video on gestures from 25-year storytelling veteran Sean Buvala)
Storytellers must find a way to actually get up and rehearse the story out loud. You don’t have to do the whole story, start to finish, without stopping. Eventually you will need to rehearse it all the way through, but at the beginning, break it down into smaller, bite-size pieces.
I’m not a fan of practicing in front of a mirror, although it does work for some people. If you start that way, so you can observe yourself, eventually I believe you must move away from the mirror, and at minimum, face the empty room. Otherwise, you will always be focused on “what you look like” vs. being in the moment of the story, even in rehearsal.
Sometimes, rehearsing by yourself is the only option. If you must practice alone, here's a suggestion. Imagine your audience, whoever they may be, right there in front of you. As tellers, we see the images of the story in our heads and then describe the images to our audience. When practicing, we can do the same type of seeing an image of the audience before us. It should be the audience we will be telling to, a large group in an auditorium, a small group of students in a classroom, etc. Try putting yourself there, in the space that you will be in with your audience.
It is important, though, to make every effort to eventually practice in a group or even with one other person. Over and over; again and again. Do it over the phone, or use Skype, or have a coaching session, or practice with a “story buddy”. If you don’t rehearse with a real, live person, you are only practicing in a vacuum. You need that human factor to experience the rehearsing in full storytelling mode: story, teller and audience.
How do you get to a villa in Tuscany? Here’s the story.
One of my favorite tellers is Regi Carpenter. She is a mesmerizing storyteller who has won many awards and performed at many storytelling festivals, including Jonesborough. She is also on the faculty of Ithaca College in New York. In February of 2012, Regi decided to tell at Massmouth, a story slam in the Cambridge area. She won that week, and returned several weeks later to compete in the final “mouthoff”. She won first place. The prize? A one week stay in a villa in Tuscany, Italy!
Here’s the story behind her story.
The four minute story Regi told was a condensed version of a much longer story she had already been working on. Did she practice? You bet she did! She told the story to as many people as she could. She told it over the phone. She rehearsed by herself in her living room. She told it with friends on Skype. She honed and perfected her story and her performance. She told it with groups of trusted friends. Over and over again. Regi spent close to 60 hours on a four minute piece. Over half of that time was spent practicing on her own, or rehearsing in front of others. I submit that if she had used the Music Man’s “Think System” — that right now she would only be “thinking” of Tuscany vs. deciding what to pack! (Click here to see a video of Regi's perfomance from the February Slam)
Nature abhors a vacuum. Storytelling is the same. You don’t tell in a vacuum, so you shouldn't practice in one.
And Speaking of Practicing...
Some of you may remember the old FedEx commercial with a "fast talking" executive. I offer it here as another example of "practicing." Nowadays, they can speed people up digitally, but back then, they had to be able to do it live.
John Moschitta, Jr., also known as "Motormouth" is the actor that most people didn't know in the 1981 FedEx commercial. Moschitta had been credited in The Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Fastest Talker, with the ability to articulate 586 words per minute. And he HAD to practice a lot in order to do that.
His record was broken in 1990 by Steve Woodmore who spoke 637 wpm and subsequently by Sean Shannon who spoke 655 wpm on August 30, 1995. More and moe practice!
Raised with five sisters, Moschitta said that he needed to talk fast "just to get a word in edgewise".
------------------------------------THERE'S A LOT GOING ON EACH MONTH -------------------CHECK EACH WEBSITE OR CALENDAR TO CONFIRM DATES AND TIMES ---------------------------------CALL TO MAKE SURE THE EVENT IS STILL ON
East Valley Tellers of Tales -Storytellers Guild Second Saturday of each month - SCOTTSDALE - *NO meetings in July & August http://www.evtot.com
Storyfind 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