Imagine that you came home, opened the door to your house, and NOTHING was there! I mean nothing: no furniture; no appliances; no carpeting; nothing in the closets; nothing in the cabinets…nothing. What do you do?
Call the security company that monitors these things. What do they say? “Yes, we can see that there is nothing in the house. Did you give the key to someone?” NO, I did not. Everything was there yesterday, now it’s gone. What the hell could have happened? “We don’t know.”
Has anything like that ever happen to you? A violation and truly a mystery as to HOW or WHY someone would have done it!
The above story is just a metaphor...it didn't really happen to me.
What DID happen was that on Christmas Eve morning I woke up and went to my computer and tried to access my website, Storytellermark.com. it wouldn’t come up. In fact, what came up was the ”welcome” screen that is displayed when you start a website but haven’t loaded any files. Hmmm.
So I called the Hosting company. The guy said, “Yeah, you have no files on the server. Did you give anyone else access to your account?” NO, I did not. The site was working yesterday, now it’s gone, every single file is gone. What the hell could have happened? “We don’t know.”
Well…the upsides are that it wasn’t my bank account (which has much less in it than my website) and the fact that I had all the files on my home computer. So I spent three hours uploading everything to the server, in order to restore the site.
It’s still a mystery that I cannot solve. I have no idea HOW this could have happened, or even WHO could have or would have done it…unless it’s one of this semester’s students that failed. Hmmm...
An unsolved mystery story, but with a happy ending.
For the third year in a row, my sister and I celebrated Chistmas with a dinner at Chompies deli. A new "Holiday Tradition". I wrote the following a year ago, Christmas 2015:
Christmas is different now. And that’s okay.
Although we are of Jewish heritage, we have always celebrated Christmas. Years ago, we all exchanged gifts every year. Eventually, we began exchanging “gift cards” to the places that each of us liked, and the amounts of money we spent seemed to balance out each year. Gradually, we realized that we all had all the “things” that we really needed and we collectively decided that exchanging gifts was not necessary. The gifts had become tokens, and we realized that we didn’t even need the tokens.
Many other things have changed too. My sister Sally's husband passed away five years ago. Over the past years, our mother’s health and mental capacity has declined and she is now in a 24-hour care facility. We go to visit every week…some days she is there, some days not. Sally had a kidney removed and her diet has changed significantly.
This year has had its share of events. In May, We lost our sister Robbie to cancer. Just a few weeks later I had knee surgery. Then in August I had Bell’s palsy. Fortunately, that cleared up in less than two months. Many of you know that just three weeks ago I had a heart attack. Now MY diet and lifestyle will significantly change.
Life has happened all around us, as it always does.
Through all of this, one constant has remained. Sally and I love each other and take care of each other. Sometimes it’s hard to even remember some of the sibling rivalry from our childhood. Life has changed our relationship over the years, and that is as it should be.
So for Christmas Eve, we did not gather for a huge meal of turkey and all the fixin’s. We went to Chompies deli. I had matzo ball soup and a potato pancake. Sally had a cheese blintz. That’s how we celebrated Christmas. That’s pretty much how we celebrate each day, and honor our relationship. We love each other and take care of each other.
And isn’t that what the season, and life is really about?
Odyssey Storytelling in Tucson Thursday, January 5th - 7:00 pm The Screening Room, 127 E. Congress Street , Tucson
This curated Storytelling event in Tucson is in its 13th year! Six people are invited to tell ten minute, personal stories on a theme in front of an audience. The stories are not read or memorized, they are told from the life experiences and creativity of the teller
Theme: Hard work. Sometimes much harder than we expected. We’ve all been there in some way. What keeps us going? Are the fruits of our labor what we thought they would be? And who determines the conditions? Come listen to true local stories about digging deep and getting it done.
Joe Silins, Penny Bussell, Vic Roych, Cam Juarez, Jema Patterson, Monserrat Caballero and Lorena Parra Howard!
Tucson Tellers of Tales - Guild Meeting Saturday, January 7th - 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Unscrewed Theater, 3244 E Speedway.
The Unscrewed Theater is a great place for TOT to meet. It is located across the street from The Loft Theater in a strip mall next to Walgreens. There is plenty of parking in the back of the building, and the entrance to the theater is next to the parking lot.
repə(r)ˌtwär/ noun a stock of plays, dances, or piecesthat a company or a performer knows or is prepared to perform.
When we start out as a storyteller, we usually begin slowly, choosing stories one at a time. Finding stories that we "love" isn't always easy to do. I remember taking days of searching and reading stories on line and books until I found the first story that I liked and thought I could tell.
Just a note here: In storytelling class, we begin with Folktales or Fairytales because they already have the basic structure that beginners need to learn. Next come Legends that still have a structure, but deal with larger concepts and archetypes. Then, we progress to Fact-Based where we need to choose and add structure to the "elements" of the story. Personal stories come last (even though we think they are the easiest to tell) as they need more structure and attention to theme and emotions.
By the end of our first course, we should have 4-5 stories that we are "ready to tell" when the need arises, or the call comes in. Aye, there's the rub...when the call comes in...what then? What if the client wants a set of stories that we don't have? Christmas stories; Earth Day stories; stories for children; stories of exploration or adventure; etc. Whoa...now what? Time to start building our repertoire!
What kind of stories might we get a call for? Since yesterday was Christmas, let's start with Holiday stories. What stories will fit a particular season or time? Christmas; Hanukkah; Easter; Thanksgiving; Memorial Day; Earth Day; Sadie Hawkins Day (look it up); etc. Remember that some stories can fit into several categories. For instance, a story about what we are thankful for might fit BOTH Thanksgiving and Christmas. An Earth Day story might also fit into stories about Values or Making Choices.
While searching for stories you "love", remember that you must also have some sort of affinity for the potential audiences you might have. If you DON'T connect with a particular audience or "type" of story, then DON'T tell that story, and don't tell to that audience. Pass the gig along to a colleague. I don't do Sacred Stories. I would pass that along to Sean Buvala or Donna Martin. I would pass on Irish stories and pass the gig to Liz Warren, or Laura Rutherford. But when the Jewish Community Center calls...I am there in a heartbeat!
Don't forget that listening to other tellers is a great way to gather stories. You certainly will not want to tell a story the same way that someone else does, but find a way to make the story your own. Find three or four different versions of the story, then pick and choose which parts you like. Delve into why you love this story, what connections to your own life can you discover? Then you are ready to claim it and make it yours.
Make sure you find a way to keep a list, or keep track of all the stories you tell, and the ones in progress. You can use a simple pencil and paper, a Word document, an Excel spreadsheet, etc. You may want to try my Storytellers Database. This is an online program that allows you to keep track of all your stories, when and where you have told them, and what the themes and content of the stories are. Check it out, there are short video tutorials to walk you through the process step-by-step. Here's the link: Storytellersdb.com.
As you move along in this process, you will be building your repertoire with many different stories that will fit for many different situations. Your "blocks" will begin to be different from each other, and they will begin to pile high.
Two things to remember as you add one block, one story at-a-time. to your collection - my first two rules of Storytelling:
Tell stories that you love!
Tell stories that you believe your audience will love!
A Different Face on Facebook
As yesterday was Christmas, there were MANY holiday wishes from friends and colleagues, Also, many good wishes from "friends-of-friends" that were seen due to "tagging". I was struck by the fact that on this day of celebration of both a season, and for many, a deeply rooted religious faith, that the posts were positive, warm, inviting and caring! So different from the past several months!
I wonder if...the world - read "WE" can sustain the type of messages of "good will toward men" beyond this day or season?
Just a thought. I believe that it simply comes down to one thing:
In the coming days, months, seasons and years, be good to yourself, and be good to others.
------------------------------------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