In the last two weeks I have been very busy: A Story Swap; A House Concert; conducted two workshops and coached several tellers. I appreciate all the people involved with those recent activities: Pam Faro, my host and workshop partner; all the workshop attendees and all the tellers who courageously were willing to collaborate with me to help them craft their unique stories.
During this time period, I have also received many appreciations from participants and colleagues. It has been a very humbling and gratifying experience. I gained so much from all the activities and the people who participated.
Note to other presenters: After much thinking, I have changed my traditional "Workshop Evaluation Form" to align with the concept of "Appreciations" and have altered the language to reflect that.
So, thanks to everyone who has touched me and helped me both recently, and in the past. You have helped to shape my storytelling and my career, and I appreciate you!
Kansas City - Here We Come!
Next year's NSN Conference dates are set! July 30 through August 2, 2015 are the dates for the tribe to gather in our NEW home in Kansas City MO. Exploring the PATHWAYS where storytelling can take us!
SAVE $75 on Early-Bird Pricing until May 12th!
Check out the schedule - then make your plans to attend!
New Blog Post About Using Action in Coaching and Crafting
I have written a new Blog Post. If you haven't already read it, I invite you to take a look at Using Action in Story Coaching and Story Practice.
Recently, in a workshop, one participant wanted to work on a story that sparked strong emotions. She wanted to be cautious about both her own emotions, and those of the listeners. She was concerned about getting “too” emotional, or being “completely detached”.
Joyce Story will be telling at the Nature Center of the White Tank Mountain Regional Park.
Joyce tells mesmerizing nature stories. They are all original, fact-based stories about the flora and fauna of the Sonoran desert.
20304 W. White Tank Mountain Rd, Waddell, AZ 85355
Thursday, April 2nd, 11:00 a.m. - Nature Center - Tales of the Sonoran Desert
Saturday, April 11th, 2:00 p.m. - - Tales of the Sonoran Desert
Tuesday, April 21st, 10 a.m. - White Tank Mountain Library - Owl Stories, for children
Odyssey Storytelling in Tucson
Thursday, April 2nd
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
From traffic lights to people's rights, some rules are made that some will break or bend or skirt or follow.
For there may be feelings they are good or bad or strange or hollow.
Laws to live by, what not to wear, or things we really ought to say
Sensible steps, righteous behavior, proper manners night or day.
Regardless where one stands on all the policies and orders, this much is true...
we all face rules including you.
Storytellers: Author, David Ellis Dickerson; visual artist, Heather Gray; elementary school teacher, Karla Campillo-Soto; journalist, Maria Inés Taracena; and reporter/producer, Pam White.
Location: The Screening Room,
127 E. Congress Street, Tucson, $8
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., Show starts at 7:00 p.m.
I have written previously about the use of pauses, but here's a term I just made up to describe a particular kind of pause and transition in storytelling. My thanks, and credit goes to Pam Faro for so deftly demonstrating how she uses pauses and breathing in her storytelling, that led me to this observation.
There are many differences between "written language" and "oral language." One of the most noticeable is that the storyteller controls the rate at which the story unfolds. In a book, the only real "pauses" are between chapters. One may go immediately to the next chapter, but in the story, usually, "some time has passed" before the next chapter.
The "chapter pause" in oral storytelling does just that. It denotes the passage of time, short or long. It is a longer pause than usual. It's enough to let the audience know that "something else is happening...I won't tell you all of it, because the important part is coming up."
Pam told a story of when she was a little girl and got a new puppy. A heavy item fell on the puppy, and there was a flurry of activity, consternation, worry and fear. As her "small self'" she bent over and described all of the commotion in that moment.
Then, she took a long breath and pause. She stood up, changed her demeanor, her face and her body. She let "time pass". She then went to "the next chapter" in the story and said, "I remember being in the car with the puppy, and holding it on my lap."
What a great way to transition and move the story along! We didn't need to hear all about the blood, the accusations and recriminations, or even how they rushed to get the puppy in the car. The pause allowed us to know that time had passed, and the important part was that she was now sad and fearful as they drove to the hospital. The rest was not important. The next chapter was.
This is also a great way to "shorten" your story when time is limited. Cut out all the superfluous action; take that long pause for time to pass. Then turn the page and start the next chapter of the story. Trust me; your listeners will turn the page with you.
My Path to Storytelling
Many people have asked me about how I got to storytelling, "So, have you been telling stories all your life?" The answer is, "Yes and No."
I have always told people that I have had a very eclectic life. I have done many things that led me on the path to storytelling. However, as I look back on the major careers I have had, they ALL were about storytelling, just in different ways.
In the beginning (11 years old) I was an actor, dancer and singer. I realize that as a performer, what I was really doing was portraying characters and bringing their stories to life on the stage. Without the "story" (even in dance) there was little to show. The story was what it was all about.
When I was 31, I began to study Psychodrama, an "action oriented" form of therapy. I learned from my mother, who had studied with the creator of the method, J. L. Moreno. Later, my mother and I worked as co-therapists. In most therapies, the client's story is the beginning. In Psychodrama, we asked the client to "role play" and basically "act out" scenes from their life. Once again, it was about the "story" and the motivations and consequences of their actions and choices.
I then transitioned to Mediation. My role as a mediator was to assist parties in a dispute and help them "listen to the story" of the other. I also helped people find ways to "tell" their story to the other person in a way that they would be heard. I realize that I was "coaching" them in how to "tell their story."
For a brief stint (8 years) I worked for a Speakers Bureau. We booked keynote speakers for conventions and meetings. I coached other speakers (and helped them with their stories). I also sold sponsorship packages for some major conferences that we put on. Again, my role was to help the client find out what their story was, and assist them in communicating it through the vehicle of their sponsorship or promotion.
Then I discovered SMCC Storytelling Institute. Doug Bland was my first teacher. And the rest...as they say...well, you know the story.
So, as I look back, I realize that most of my life HAS been about story, in some way or another. That IS the path that has led me here.
------------------------------------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