Local Storyteller and Librarian Extraordinaire, Elizabeth Matson is movin' on up...north, that, is to Wisconsin. "Lizzie" has been a stalwart member of East Valley Tellers of Tales for several years, and served as the president in 2016. She is a marvelous storyteller with an eclectic repertoire or tales for many different ages.
She will be taking on the role of Head of Youth Services position at the Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, WI. We will miss her terribly, but wish her good luck in the cold north which she prefers to our Sonoran heat. The residents of Janesville will be lucky to have her.
Tuesday, March 28th - 6-8 pm
Woods Memorial Library - 3455 N 1st Avenue, Tucson
Tellers of Tales in Tucson will hold a “WOW! Story Swap” this Tuesday from 6 pm to 8 pm in the large meeting room at Woods Memorial Library.
This is a free storytelling support and peer group session to practice stories-in-progress.
(WOW! stands for Working our Work.)
Arizona Storytellers:Stylish Stories
Wednesday - March 29th - 7:00pm
Phoenix Art Museum
From high-end glossies to high school outfit-of-the-day Instagram looks, fashion and beauty help us define ourselves as cultures and individuals. Join azcentral.com and The Arizona Republic for a night of stylish stories.
Deb Van Tassel - storytelling coach at Arizona Republic
Joanna DeShay - designer, Black Russian Label
Liz Warren - executive director, SMCC Storytelling Institute
Alexandra Evjen - stylist, AVE Styles
Janell McClelland - associate director, Arizona State University
Titus Fauntleroy - model, Agency AZ
Angela Johnson - designer, Angela Johnson Designs
Details: 6 p.m. check-in, stories 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 29. Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue, Phoenix. $10, Students are $5. 602-444-8605, tickets.azcentral.com.
All Arizona Republic and azcentral subscribers receive a complimentary, gourmet brownie from Fairytale Brownies at check-in.
Saturday, April 1st - 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.
Odyssey Storytelling in Tucson Thursday, April 6th - 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
Cotton mouth, sweaty palms, and squirming. The pregnant pause after you ask someone when they are due. The taste of your foot in your mouth or the smell of stepping in it. Come get awkward with Odyssey as these storytellers bravely share true 10-minute stories about situations that probably could have gone better:
East Valley Tellers of Tales Guild Meeting Saturday, April 8th ~ 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.
Loren R. Russell Tribute Concert April 22nd - 2:00pm - 3:30pm North Mountain Visitor Center 12950 N 7th ST., Phoenix
We’ve all lost a gentle upstanding Valley man and entertainer.
A tribute concert will be held to honor the life of Loren R Russell, a local Native American flute player, storyteller, member of the musical trio, Silverback, and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community. Loren also told his stories and played Native American Flute at Wild Horse Pass Resort.
A suggested $10 or more donation for the 90 minute concert will benefit Loren Russell’s surviving family.
The concert will feature the music of Silverback, The Arizona Flute Circle, the West Side Story Tellers and other professional entertainers. Our M.C. will be the one and only Sule Greg Wilson, another great storyteller, teacher and musician.
Silverback currently consists of John Mahoney, percussionist/instrumentalist, and Eric Laubach, guitarist, pianist, singer/songwriter. All the storytellers and musicians that knew Loren will be participating in this concert. Every five minutes a different entertainer will pay tribute to this gentle soul. 18 magnificent 5-minute shows. If you would like to participate as a performer, contact John Mahoney ASAP.
Mark your calendars to come out and have a great time paying tribute to this gentle soul. Even if you did not know Loren, you will leave this tribute a better person, and he’ll know you were there.
The tip this week comes from one of my favorite performers, Taylor Mali. Taylor is one of the most famous and prolific Spoken Word Artists. He created a widely popular (and often misatributed) piece called "What Teachers Make." He is brilliant with WORDS!
In addition to "ums" and "ers", one of the most difficult habbits to break speakers (or tellers) of is "extra words", such as, "like" and "you know." Mali has written an incredible piece titled, "Like - You Know." I show it to my students each semester. I think it says it all.
Lin Manuel-Miranda on Sondheim and Rap
Last week I heard a snippet of an interview with Lin Manuel-Miranda on NPR's Fresh Air. Manuel-Miranda is the creator of the Broadway hit, Hamilton, A "musical" done almost entirely in rap. Terry Gross is the interviewer. in the segment below, they talk about how Lin was influenced by Steven Sondheim and about using and writing rap. As always, I believe there are correlations to storytelling.
The thing that [Sondheim] always sort of stressed was variety, variety, variety, variety, variety.
When you're dealing with a constant rhythm, no matter how great your lyrics are, if you don't switch it up, people's heads are going to start bobbing. And they're going to stop listening to what you're saying, so consistently keep the ear fresh and keep the audience surprised. And, you know, that was his sort of watchword throughout the writing of "Hamilton." I'd send him a batch of songs, and he'd say I'm going to say it again - variety, variety, variety. And so I - that was my mantra during the writing of that show.
GROSS: The Sondheim song that's closest to comic rap is, in my opinion, "Not Getting Married" which is done...
GROSS: It's so tricky. It's so fast and the words are so just kind of like dense and funny and rhymy (ph). And so, obviously, you know that song by heart more or less, and have you thought about that song a lot in terms of intricate rhyme schemes and what the human is capable of without totally tripping up?
MIRANDA: Honestly, I think about that song more when people ask me how did you think rap was going to work on Broadway? And I'm like, oh, nothing in my show is faster than "Getting Married Today" in "Company."
MIRANDA: So I don't know what you're talking about. There's so much precedent for the work in both, quote, unquote, "hip-hop" and not in terms of patter for the stage. But, you know, what's amazing about "Getting Married Today" is it's also in a masterclass in making a lyric easy. There are consonants on which you waste air. H - there's no H's in that because if you say (imitating H sound), you've lost half the air in your lungs. So it's very T's and P's. (Rapping) Thank you all. Is everybody here? Because if everybody's here, I'd like to thank you all for coming to the wedding.
It's more about breath control than being - it's not a tongue twister. It's very consciously not a tongue twister. It's about being able to say it in one continuous breath and getting out of the way and choosing words that do not require any extra air or any extra tongue or jaw work. So it's actually not about trying to making it hard. It's about making it easy.
GROSS: So did you learn that intuitively or did Sondheim tell you that that was his intention to stay away from as many H's as possible and to keep it to things that could easily be said?
MIRANDA: I think I read about that in a conversation he had at some point, but I also knew that intuitively because of the hip-hop artists I liked who rapped fast, you know - they're not trying to make something that's hard for them to perform every night. They're trying to make something that sounds impressive and is a joy to deliver every night. I'm trying to think of, like, a really specific early '90s example. Queen Latifah - (rapping) Snatch ya stature. Your broken looks more like a fracture. Catch that rapper. Latifah will be back to crush ya.
That's Queen Latifa in 1992, and it's fast. There's Queen Latifah's "U.N.I.T.Y." She goes (rapping) there's plenty of people out there with triggers ready to pull it. Why you trying to jump in front of the bullet, young lady?
No H's. So you learn intuitively that, like, the writer is trying to make something that flows easily off the tongue.
GROSS: So did the writer of Alexander Hamilton try to avoid H's in writing the lyrics?
MIRANDA: Well, you will observe that Hamilton is not in any of the fast rapping that happens onstage, right? George Washington goes "Hamilton" and then Jefferson is the one who goes (rapping) sir, he knows what to do in a trench, ingenuitive and fluent in French, I mean.
------------------------------------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