Monday - April 16, 2018
Issue # 310

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

Early Bird Registration for the 2018 National Storytelling Summit!

                                  BTW...Did you know that
             NSN has a BRAND NEW website? Check it out!

Registration for the 2018 National Storytelling Summit is NOW OPEN! NSN is offering a special early bird discount for a limited time only, so don’t wait, register today! The Storytelling Summit will be held in Kansas City, Missouri at the Marriott Country Club Plaza Hotel, July 26-28, 2018.

The 2018 Summit theme is “Communities, Conflicts, and Transformational Stories.” The Summit is a great chance to see over 20 performances, award-winning keynote speakers and participate in over 25 workshops over a four-day period, conducted by the “cream-of-the-crop” of storyteller presenters. Also come join as we honor our top Storytellers with our International ORACLE Awards on Saturday, July 28 at noon.
The vision of the Summit is to bring together all the individuals, organizations, businesses and institutions who seek to advance their skills, knowledge and showcase their talent from across the world. It is also a great time to see old friends and meet new ones through our networking events, that will encourage sharing information, mentoring, long-lasting collaborations and friendships. You will meet individuals using storytelling in all of its forms and mediums at the National Storytelling Summit.

Click here for more information and REGISTRATION

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This Week


AZ Storytellers Project - Movies, Music and Me

Monday - April 16th - 7-9 PM
Crescent Ballroom 
308 N. 2nd Ave.
Phoenix AZ 85003

Calling all music lovers and movie fanatics! Join The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com for a night of stories dedicated to the films and tunes that fill our souls with feeling.

Emcee:  Kaila White, reporter for The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, and Bill Goodykoontz, film critic for The Arizona Republic and the USA Today Network 
Featured tellers: 
Jennifer Mullins
Seth Fox
Melissa Farley
Kylie Digges 
Evan Roberts 
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: We are pleased to provide live open captioning for this event, sponsored by the State of Arizona, Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing and provided by Karla Martin.  Nearly 1 out of 5 Arizonans have hearing loss and captioning ensures that everyone can enjoy the event.
If you require accommodations related to mobility or seating for this event or a future Storytellers event, please contactinfo@storytellersproject.com.

Info & Tickets

Storyline Slam - Spring

Friday - April 20th - 7:00 pm
Changing Hands Phoenix

The line-up for The Storyline SLAM: Spring from 7-9 on April 20th at The Newton. 
SLAM Champion Marilee Lasch opens as our sacrificial storyteller.
3.    Jean Moore
4.    Cassie Von Alst
5.    Berisha Black
6.    Laura Rutherford
7.    Nancy Wolter
8.    Yamanaane Ali
9.    Theodore Jachimowicz
10.  Anne Royan
There's still room for you. Put your name in the drawing the night of the show for one of the first two storytelling spots!
TICKET (admits one) is $6 in advance, $8 at the door from Changing Hands Phoenix.
Order at 602.274.0067 

Storyfest Training - Telling for Children

SMCC is offering TWO workshops on Telling for Children on Saturday, April 21 and Saturday, May 5, each from 10am to Noon. Led by Liz Warren.

You will learn:

  • Interactive stories for children
  • How to tell at a festival/convention
  • Strategies for adapting stories for younger listeners
  • Techniques for incorporating participation into stories

Come join the fun!

Storyfind: Telling Your Story – For Mother Earth

Saturday - April 21 - 1PM - 3PM - 
with Doug Bland
SMCC Campus - PAC 740

Storyfind is a free monthly storytelling workshop series presented by the faculty of the SMCC 

Storytelling Institute. The workshops are on Saturday afternoons from 1:00 – 3:00 in PAC-739 at South Mountain Community College. 

We are storytelling animals. Story is how we make sense of the world. Research and practice shows that the power of story can move and influence people to act for social change more effectively than abstract information, scientific data or policy arguments. In this workshop, we’ll learn to deploy our strongest assets---our stories, our humanity and our values----as we advocate for our Moth


Wordplay Cafe - Mesa

Saturday, April 21 at 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Cider Corps
31 S. Robson - Suite 103
Mesa, 85210

The WordPlay Cafe open mic series is preparing for our next season and we need your help! Come to happy hour with us at Cider Corps and vote on the themes for next season's WordPlay Cafe. 
Join us afterwards to support your fellow Wordplayers (is that a thing? I think I just made it a thing.), the two winners of the Story Slam Cynthia Wheeler and Jessica Randon and hear them share their stories on the Alliance stage during spark! After Dark on MAC campus! It will be a fun time together planning the future of WordPlay Cafe.


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Coming Up


AZ Storytellers Project - Home at Taliesin West

Wednesday - April 25th - 6:30-8:00 PM
Taliesin West, 
12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85259

Finding the perfect home – and keeping it that way – can be crazy, comforting, and everything in between. Join The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com for stories about real estate, renovations, and the meaning of home. 
This show is presented in partnership with Street Scout, which is a local real estate and neighborhood website that provides the most accurate home valuations in Arizona. To learn more, visit streetscout.com. 
Emcees: Megan Finnerty, founder of The Storytellers Project, and Catherine Reagor, senior real-estate reporter at The Arizona Republic and Street Scout co-founder.
Featured tellers:
Ryan Paul Johnson, Realtor
Maria Bailey Benson, entrepreneur 
Karin Santiago, architect 
Andrew Pielage, photographer
Kris Schultz
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: We are pleased to provide live open captioning for this event, sponsored by the State of Arizona, Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing and provided by Karla Martin.  Nearly 1 out of 5 Arizonans have hearing loss and captioning ensures that everyone can enjoy the event.
If you require accommodations related to mobility or seating for this event or a future Storytellers event, please contactinfo@storytellersproject.com.

Info & Tickets

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Build Your Story from the Inside Out

Once again, my students are complaining that they are having difficulty "cutting down the time" for their stories. They have a long story and ca't figure out what to sut to make it shorter. So ohere's a tip from 2016 about starting the other way - at the begining.

Quite often, when crafting a story, we may be limited on the time we have to tell. It is often necessary to "cut out" parts of the story that we "love" or truly believe that are absolutely necessary. This can be difficult.

Recently, one of my students came to me and complained that she would not be able to perform her story in the required time limit of 5 - 8 minutes. She had "tried and tried, but just couldn't cut out any more" of her story. Each time I attempted to elicit what she might need to "let go of" she attempted to "tell" me all of the words of the story that she felt were necessary. I didn't want to hear the story, I wanted her to focus on the "elements" or "chunks" of the story. We seemed to be getting nowhere.

Her story was the recent Disney version of Sleeping Beauty, called, Maleficent. I wanted to ask her to tell me what the story was about in just a few sentences, sort of, "Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl." I hesitated, as I felt she still was not focusing enough. So I asked her to tell me in ONE sentence, what the story was about.

She thought for a moment and then said, "It's about how Maleficent's faith in humankind is restored." Great! That's the core, the essence. Now, rather than having to "cut down", we can build more from the inside out.

What questions do we need to answer in order to flesh out the narrative?

How is her faith restored? - Through Aurora's love and innocence.
  - If her faith is restored, that means she lost it, or it was destroyed at some point.
How was it Destroyed? - She was betrayed by her lover and her wings were cut off.
How did she feel and what did she do? - She was enraged and she put a curse on his child, Aurora.
After the curse, why was she intrigued by or drawn to Aurora?

What brought about the next piece, etc.

As each question is answered, another piece of the story/puzzle unfolds until all of the questions are answered from beginning to end. Now, she has all of the important elements of the story and only has to decide how much description goes with each. She has built her story from the inside out vs. the other way around.

So, next time you are struggling with how to cut your story down, try the reverse. Try building it one step at-a-time from the inside out!

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Action Helps to Concretize Choices
Recently, in class, I used some "action" techniques to assist them in making choices about their stories. I shared this with Liz warren and she said, "You should write an article about it." In fact, I had! This article is re-printed and updated from a post on my blog from March of 2015. - Yea, it's long, but I believe it's important.

In coaching, it is my style to use “action techniques” where possible and appropriate, as it heightens the experience and can be extremely clarifying. I do caution coaches who might not have experience using action techniques. Putting people into action (vs. just thinking and talking) is very powerful, and clients may end up needing a great deal of emotional support.

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”. 
As she spoke, I heard the concept of two “opposite feelings”, I used action by having her use the available space and put out two chairs to represent each of the ends of the spectrum between those two states of feeling. 
I then asked her to stand “on the line” between the two chairs where she wanted to “begin”. She did so, as she spoke some of the story. Then she moved a little toward one end and continued with her words. She moved farther on (not all the way to one side) to the place on the line where she felt she (and her listeners) could “end” the story safely.
This physicalization of the intellectual concept helped ground her with concrete choices about her demeanor and words at each point in the story.
Another Story: Two chairs used in a different way. 
In my Community College class, a student wanted to know, “How do I tell a story with two major characters who would never come together in life except for this one incident. Both of their parts of the story are important.”
I asked him to put out a chair for each of the characters and use the space to show how close or far apart they are in the story. He placed them about three feet apart. I asked how, as a narrator, he thought he could tell about each of them. 
He moved from one to the other, speaking about each when he was behind that specific chair. I acknowledged that he could be the narrator and tell the story in this way, moving back and forth between the two. I asked if he was willing to explore other options and he agreed.
I then asked him to “sit” in one of the chairs and “be” that character. From that chair, he spoke in the first person, “I am Jarod.” He then continued on with more information about himself (as that character) that gave us a sense of who this was. When I asked him to sit in the other chair, he said, “I am John,” and then was silent. As he spoke the name, I could tell there was a great deal of emotion. I stopped the exercise at this point. After the class, he said this helped him to clarify that he would tell from the point of view of the narrator, as it might be too difficult to take on either of the roles (and two days later he told an amazing story!).
Again, the action of physically “sitting” in each chair made him more aware of each character, his connection to each and of the options of telling the story in the first person, from either or each of the roles, or from the narrator.
A Third Story: More chairs
In the next class, one student wanted help with choosing from "which point of view" to tell the story. His story was a biography of the first African American baseball player, Jackie Robinson. He said that there were so many possibilities and characters that he didn't know where to start. I asked him to place chairs in the room to represent each of the possibilities: Jackie Robinson; Jackie's mother; his father; his friend; his coach, Branch Rickey; or the narrator. He placed them in the following configuration. Note the closeness of certain chairs and the distance of others.
I believe one can already see "clues" as to the importance of each character and relationship to Jackie. I asked him to sit in one of the chairs. (Note here that the client decides where to start.) He began with the mother's chair and spoke "as her". He subsequently chose each of the other chairs and spoke "as that person" from each one, telling about who they were, their relationship to Jackie, and their point of view. I asked him to step back and look at "all" the chairs, and then eliminate the ones he felt would not be a good fit. He removed Father, Friend and Narrator.
I asked him to just sit in each of the remaining chairs once again to see which felt the "most right" from which to tell. He then said that, "sitting in the mother's chair felt the most connected to the emotions of the story." He now had a starting point, and a point of view, from which to craft the story!
One More Story
Last week, I had a student who said his story was "Too long because it had too many parts." Once again, I asked him to use a chair for each part of his story. He began to place the chairs out and identify each part. The first three were ALCOHOL, CONCUSSION, 1ST AUTO CRASH. He placed them in front of each other. Next to the 1st AUTO CRASH, he placed the @ND AUTO CRASH and then the 3RD AUTO CRASH. (There was a low murmuring from the rest of the class)
As he stood back and looked at the chairs and the pattern, he said, "OK, I see where this is going." He sat in each chair and used one word to describe the feeling in each. He recognized that all the chairs were related and connected to each other.  Again, He stood back and looked at the chairs. He identified which chair seemed to be the most important one and felt that he could tell that story. I suggested that he might try to tell about ALL the chairs (parts of the story) by identifying what was the essential part of each one, and just tell that, like a "string of pearls". He thought for a moment, then replied that that's what he would try.
The chairs had helped to "concretize" (make concrete) his thoughts!
Storytellers: You can do this on your own!
The good news is that you can do this on your own. Use chairs to represent different characters, or different emotions, in your story. Use the space and placement of the chairs to understand the relationships between the different people or things you are symbolizing. Move along the lines to get a "feel" for the distance between each, and what they represent. (Try a chair for Goldilocks and each of the bears...perhaps there are chairs for Goldilocks' parents too? Perhaps the "walls" of the bear house?)
Sit in the chairs and "become" each person or concept. Speak out loud about who or what you are. Use your body to sit the way that character or entity might sit (or stand) to show what they are feeling or what they signify.
Don't just THINK about your story.
MOVE; STAND; SIT; CROUCH; HIDE; JUMP; TWIRL; HUNCH - The ACTION will inform you about your story.

NOTE: Where did this stuff come from?

A caveat, one more time. The exercises I have described above can be used in many ways. My intent was not to do therapy. Rather the intent was to help them focus and understand their choices. There can be a theraputic "effect", but the INTENT is the most important to understand in using these techniques.

For close to 16 years, I was a Psychodrama Therapist. Psychodrama is an "action oriented" therapy developed by J.L. Moreno, a Viennese psychiatrist who was a contemporary of Jung & Freud. He also developed Sociometry, which is the science that studies choices and relationships. 

Using action, symbolism and creative imagery as focusing tools was a huge part of our work. Most of what I learned came from my Mother, Elaine Eller Goldman, Ph.D. who actually studied with Moreno and became a certified Trainer, Educator, Practitioner in the field. She and her colleague, Delcy Schram Morrison wrote the book, "Psychodrama: Experience and Process" about the way in which we worked with clients in a private psychiatric facility in Phoenix, AZ for over 20 years.

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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

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

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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