Monday - December 5, 2016
Issue # 240

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

Winter Is Here!

Yes, winter is finally here in Arizona. The temperature has dropped to a daytime chill of 68 degrees. 

Do you know how to spot a "tourist" in Phoenix? They're the ones in shorts and T-shirts. The "Phoenicians" are all walking around in down jackets! 

I know this to be true as when I first came here to visit my Mother, I wore shorts and a T-shirt, and even went swimming in the pool! Now, after living here for more than 35 years, I go out with a down jacket, and wouldn't even think of swimming!

But on rare occasions, there is snow on the cacti (usually in Tucson)

Such is life in the Great Southwest!

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.   
  1. Must be a current NSN member.  If you are NOT an NSN member, you may join now and submit your application!  (NSN members, help us share with all your colleagues who are not currently NSN members to let them know about this opportunity.  Reminder:  NSN membership rates will increase on January 16, so get your membership in before then to save.)
  2. Must have at least two years performance experience
  3. Must pay your own expenses to be at the National Storytelling Conference  on Friday, June 30, Saturday, July 1, or Sunday, July 2 (the date will be determined as the showcase schedule is finalized.)  You will also need to purchase either a conference performance package ($100)*, a daily registration for the day you are performing ($150)*, or a full conference registration ($340)*, depending on your preference.  
  4. *These rates are the adult early-bird NSN member rates that will be valid through  April 30, 2017. All the registration options are not yet available, but if you register for the FULL conference by the 'pre-early-bird' January 12 deadline, you can save an additional $10 and take advantage of a 6-month payment plan (January-June 2017):  www.storynet.org/
The conference hotel (Kansas City Marriott - Country Club Plaza) will be giving NSN conference-goers a $125/night + tax rate that will include free internet and free self-parking; rooms can be shared to reduce costs.  
Note:  There is no honorarium payment or travel expenses paid for your performance.
Send an electronic video recording (You Tube or URL) of the 10 to 20 minute story you would like to tell at the showcase - your best story that fits the conference theme, "All Our Voices: Stories of Immigration & Migration". 
Your story recording must be RECEIVED by Tuesday, January 31, 2017, along with the title of the story, your full name, home address, email address, and phone numbers, e-mailed to Karin Hensley (karin@storynet.org).  We require a digital video vs. a physical one so it can be sent to all the reviewers.
The quality of the video will not be judged - as long as it is clear in picture and sound, only the telling will be evaluated, so cell phones, digital cameras, flip videos, etc. are fine.  You likely have a friend or family member who has one of these tools to help! 
There will be a review process to make showcase selections, and individuals will be notified by April 10, in time to register by the early-bird deadline. 
Deadline for your submission to be RECEIVED:  January 31, 2017.  

Airfares are Currently Around $600!

11 Days on the Ground!

We are finding the lowest airfares I have seen in the past seven years! Currently, round trip is $600. That makes the total cost around $2400! Last week, one participant was able to purchase a ticket for $363 - AMAZING! I am checking fares daily, so contact me if this piques your interest.

This time, the plan is to also visit Dublin and some of the surrounding countryside, like Blarney Castle (kiss the Blarney Stone), the Cliffs of Moher; ride the storytelling bus in Dublin; visit many pubs in the Temple Bar district; and walk the historic grounds of Trinity College. That's in ADDITION to all the other cities and venues in England!

Last year's tour was a great success. Mostly, we laughed! Everyone said it was a great tour and they loved it. Three students and two teachers from GCC had a great time on the scheduled events and were extremely happy about the large amount of "free time" that they had to explore on their own.

The dates for next summer are May 16th through May 28th. That's eleven days on the ground, for sightseeing, telling stories, doing a little teaching and coaching, and laughing a lot! I guarantee you'll have the time of your life, and live happily ever after!
More info here

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This Week


East Valley Tellers of Tales Guild Meeting

Saturday, December 10th ~ 10am - Noon
Join us to celebrate storytelling successes. 

East Valley Tellers of Tales is a Phoenix area guild of Storytellers and Storylisteners. A truly safe place to share your story! We are an affiliate of the National Storytelling Network. Come and find out what this means, and how it benefits you!

East Valley Tellers of Tales is looking at ways to create outreach, new ideas for the group, plans for the future and more. Join us and lend your talent and energy to help us grow.

At this meeting, we'll be electing new officers. Throw your storytelling hat into the ring!
Click here for details & info

Tucson Storytelling Concert - Stories at the Rail Yard

Sunday - December 11th - 
Doors open at 1:30pm, Show at 2pm 

610 S Park Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719

Stories at the Rail Yard

Tales of 
Peace, Hope, and Good Will

A storytelling concert for grown ups with

Glenda Bonin, Jordan Hill, and Debra Olson-Tolar

Join these three professional storytellers for an entertaining afternoon of traditional and personal tales. The Rail Yard is a relatively new venue in Tucson that the tellers are very excited about!
Glenda Bonin has made her living as a full-time storyteller since 1996. She is equally comfortable telling stories with her puppets to 5-year-olds, western history tales on local ranches, and personal reminiscences to memory-care patients. Glenda recently presented a workshop at the National Storytelling Conference. See http://www.storyworksgroup.com/ for more info on Glenda.
Jordan Hill is an immensely animated professional storyteller and folktale-twirler, telling traditional tales bursting with energy and enchantment. He roots himself so firmly in the stories that listeners cannot help but join him there with imaginations and hearts flying alongside of him through worlds wonderful and joyous. Jordan has been telling stories professionally for over a decade, weaving tales for groups ranging from NASA and national museums to festivals, retreats, and cultural organizations. See https://jordanhillstoryteller.wordpress.com/ for more info on Jordan.
Debra Olson-Tolar is a storyteller, actor, and speaker. She was the first storyteller asked to join the J. Paul Getty Museum’s initiative to pair original story with pieces from their permanent art collection. As an actor, Debra has appeared on television, film, and stage, including a performance on Comedy Central’s Key and Peele that went viral. See http://www.DebraOlsonTolar.com/ for more info on Debra.
Doors open at 1:30pm, Show at 2pm 
Suggested donation $8 (proceeds go to the artists)
Entrance to Rail Yard is on 16th St., east of Barrio Brewing.

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Coming Up


Then It Got...Weird - Bloody Good Holiday Ball
Tuesday - December 20th - 8pm - 10pm
Crescent Ballroom

“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.

Arizona Storytellers: Holiday Spectacular
Wednesday & Thursday - December 21st & 22nd - 6:30pm
Crescent Ballroom

Join azcentral.com and The Arizona Republic in the Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom at the Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria resort, for a night 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.
  • 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
Featured Storytellers:      
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 arhone@gannett.com.

Info & Tickets

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Create Your Own Stage! - A How To Guide

Last week's tip suggested that it is the storyteller's responsibility to "create our own stage." I ended with the question: "How will you create your next stage?" So, let's go!

Wherever you may be performing, you must create an atmosphere that is conducive to the process of storytelling. Whether it be on a stage in an auditorium, a classroom, a breakout room at a conference, under a canopy at an outside fair, or a street corner where you may be busking, How can storytellers create a space where listeners will feel welcome and want to join you in creating a story? And remember, this must happen BEFORE you tell your first story. There are several things to consider. The first, and most important, as always, is: who is your audience?

Your audience: Is your audience mostly adults, children, teenagers, mixed? What are the demographics, or "make up" of the audience? Are they from an urban or rural area, the deep south, the bible belt?  Are they middle-management executives or a group of church-going housewives? One must always consider the audience, not only in choosing stories, but also, how you will be perceived. And this starts even before you walk into the space!

Your introduction: How will you be introduced? Who will introduce you? Have you written an introduction? Will the MC be reading it word-for-word? Do they know you? Will they be speaking off-the-cuff? What are the things you WANT the audience to know about you? What are the things you DON'T WANT them to know? Will this audience welcome you if they are told you recently won an award for the "sexiest story slam", or would it be more prudent to leave out that information? I dislike having the MC "read" an introduction; I also dislike reciting a long list of accomplishments. I prefer to spend a few minutes with the MC to make sure they are comfortable letting the audience know the two or three most important things about you. And make the "last" thing that the MC says be on the lighter side, or even a humorous, perhaps cryptic statement. 

"And before becoming a storyteller, Mark travelled all over the country as Winnie-The-Pooh - and perhaps he will tell you a story about that! Please welcome, Mark Goldman."

Your entrance: How will you come into the space / walk onstage? Where will you be just before you come into the space? I absolutely abhor when performers come from the farthest place away from the stage, walking slowly to the front! Don't make your audience wait for you. Be close to the stage when the MC is about to finish the introduction, so you are there, ready to go. If the MC is center stage, it's always nice to connect with them, with a handshake or hug, or even a simple nod/bow to them. Those first few seconds, yes - seconds, as you enter or come on, tell the audience something about you. Have energy, smile, maybe even nod, point or wave to a friend in the first few rows. Be warm and inviting. Show the audience they can expect something wonderful.

Engage your audience: Smile! Greet them warmly. If appropriate, it can help to thank them and let them know you are happy to be in their city, or with their organization. Share something that connects you to them: "Over the years, I have adopted three shelter dogs, and it's great to be here with you folks who work so hard to rescue and find forever homes for all the animals." Now I have them in the palm of my hand.

Children: An entirely different animal than adults! You will want to decide if they will sit on the floor, in chairs, in rows or a half circle. What will be the best configuration? If it's a classroom, discuss with the teacher(s). If it's outside, choose a place with the least distractions. Keep your entrance and beginning short and sweet. "You all look great today. Are you ready to hear some stories?" Don't keep them waiting with long-winded explanations about storytelling. Don't give them time to get distracted. Get to it! 

Your story intro: Now you need to set the stage for them to listen to your story. If you are at a storytelling conference, and your audience is made up of all storytellers, you may not need an intro to your story. You may want to simply take a moment, breathe, and then begin the story. Or perhaps you want to engage the audience, to make sure they are with you. A question or statement can work as a teaser to get them interested and want to hear more.

Children: "You all know that stealing is wrong, right? Do you think someone can 'steal a smell'? Well, let's listen closely as I tell you the story of Stealing Smells"

Teens: "Have you ever been accused of stealing something, but you didn't do it? I know I have. Sometimes it's hard to prove you didn't do it. And sometimes people won't even listen to you. You know, I've got a story about that. It's called Stealing Smells."

Adults: "Stories come from all over the world. And sometimes, one story can originate in many different places and cultures. The story I am about to tell you has origins in India, Peru, and even Europe. I would like to share with you my version of Stealing Smells"

Busking - Street Performing: Energy, Energy, Energy! - You will not only have to create the space, you will probably have to find and gather your audience - much like the circus "barker" who calls out to the passers-by.
"Ladies and gentlemen - gather 'round to hear some fantastical stories! Stories of kings and queens, witches and wizards, the high and mighty, and the downtrodden too, and maybe a story of people just like you! Come near, come near, and you will hear: stories that make you laugh, stories that make you cry, and stories that make you remember that look in her eye - the feel of his skin - stories for everyone - come closer, come in."
All of this has to do with you! You are the creator of your own stage. Let the light shine on you so your audience can see and hear your stories!
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Donna Washington on Audience Participation
Colleague, friend and veteran teller Donna Washington has a fantastic Blog! The latest post is one that I believe connects with this week's tip. It's the first in a series about "audience participation" as a way to engage your audience. As a teaser, here is the first part of her post. Click on the lick below to read the entire article.

The audience is a critical tool in the art of storytelling. Being able to connect with an audience, convince them to follow you on a wild escapade through the imagination, and give you permission to invade their minds with thoughts, images, and ideas is a must for a successful telling experience.
So, how do you do it?
Well, for starters, assume that every audience member has their own battles that they were fighting just before you began.
Your goal is to make them lose track of those battles and stand beside you in whatever quest you have planned for them. In order to do that, you must be present with your audience. Storytelling only happens when you and your audience are sharing something between you.
Audience participation is an excellent way to achieve this...

Link to Donna Washington's Blog
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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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