This week's tip comes from Janice Del Negro
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be invited to present at the Rocky Mountain Storytelling Conference in Golden, Colorado. The keynote was given by the incomparable Janice Del Negro. Watching Janice is mesmerizing and an education in itself.
In this age of the Moth and the proliferation of personal stories, Janice steeps herself in 398.2 - Folktales and Fairytales. Commonly known as the "traditional" side of storytelling, Janice seems anything but. The tales she tells are from a great "tradition". But the way she crafts and tells them is clearly out-of-the-box.
One might ask, "How can this be? aren't traditional stories supposed to be 'sacred'? One shouldn't be able to change them just to suit one's mood'" This is where Janice excels.
She reminds us that Folktales and Fairytales that we read in literature are merely ONE person's interpretation of the story at ONE point in time. That is the version that is preserved on the written page. But that may not necessarily be the only version that is valid. Do we, as storycrafters, have the right to change a traditional story to suit our own, or the audiences' sensibilities? An emphatic "YES" is her response!
In the opening night's concert, Janice took us through an irreverent yet amazing version of Rapunzel, continually reminding us that, "A story is always different, depending on who tells it."
She does remind us that "Maintaining the original story-arc is important. It's how one interprets it; that is what makes the story yours and unique." Think of Disney's Maleficent, where true love's kiss is not that of a lover, but, in this case, of a loving aunt.
So, when you love a particular story, but think it might need some changes in the way that YOU tell it, rejoice! Think outside-the-box. Make creative choices and support them. Remember, "A story is always different, depending on who tells it."