Monday - April 3, 2017
Issue # 257

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

April - The Cruelist Month?

T.S. Elliot wrote: April is the cruelist month.

Perhaps that is because he was in Phoenix in April, and one day was winter and the next was summer, with NO SPRING at all!

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This Week


Myth Informed - Defenders of the Earth: Lovers in a Dangerous Time

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
6:30 pm - Community Room
South Mountain Community Library

The SMCC Storytelling Institute Presents Myth-Informed - A Storytelling Concert.
The theme is Defenders of the Earth: Lovers in a Dangerous Time
Join us for an evening of captivating stories about the earth and our relationship to it and each other.
Free and open to the public.

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

Theme: Awkward
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:
Mel Blumenthal
Richard Dooley
Karla Campillo-Soto 
Melissa Sheely
Curated by Roscoe Mutz
$8 Adults, $6 Students
Doors at 6:30, show at 7
If you have a story to tell, contact Stories@Odysseystorytelling.com

Click here for details & info

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.
Click here for details & info

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Coming Up


Arizona Storytellers: Our Family, Our Culture
Monday - April 10th - 7:00pm
Phoenix Theatre

Families are the root of every society, and part of the reason why comedians have such funny stories. Join azcentral.com and The Arizona Republic for a night of tales from the families we’re born into and the ones we choose. 

Emcee:  Megan Finnerty, founder of the Storytellers Project

Co-emcee:  Joanna Brathwaite, producer, The Arizona Republic

Featured tellers: 
Fatimah Halim
Ashton & Dennis Skinner
Anna Darian
Tillie Chavez
Sue Raatjes
Joanna Brathwaite

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.

Info & Tickets

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.
John Mahoney
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Story Preparation Worksheet

Here's a reprint of a tip from February 2015. Of particular interest is the section on: What parts of YOU or YOUR OWN LIFE connect with this story? - I have developed a workshop on this aspect of story-crafting titled, Story Kinship, and I will be presenting this at the Rocky Mountain Storytelling Conference on April 22, 2017.

I created a form that I use in my Community College Storytelling classes that has proved to be quite useful. The students must fill it out prior to even practicing their story in small groups. The information may change once they have told/practiced the story, or even several times before they do their required telling in front of the entire class

The form has some basic information about the story (title, origin, genre), but also has a few sections that I believe are important to help understand and craft the story in a more thoughtful and conscious way.

I recently updated the form and I am offering it here for evaluation and feedback. You may use the "comments" section at the end of this Newsletter, just as one does on Facebook.

A PDF and WORD version of this form may be found at
Feel free to download it, edit and use for yourself or your students as needed (with attribution)


Student Name: ____________________________________________

Story Title: _______________________________________________

Author/Origin: _____________________________________________

Genre & Culture: ___________________________________________

Length of story: ____________ (must be between 5-8 minutes)

This may seem silly, but I believe the teller must know how long the story is when told, or at least have a "first draft" understanding of how long it will be. Many students don't understand the difference between "going over the story in their head" and actually speaking it out loud. Keeping them to between 5-8 minutes is a means to make sure they present enough content, and also helps them stay focused on the most important part(s) of the story.

What’s the POINT or THEME of the story? What's the story about?

"What's the story about?" is a question Doug Lipman (The Storytelling Coach) asks quite often after the story is told in a coaching session. I have also adopted this tenet. This question is so important, that I believe it is essential to know BEFORE one tells the story. Sometimes, this revelation comes after telling and working on the story for a long time, but if the student can approach the telling with some sense of the theme, they will be in a better position to do justice to their tale.

What do you LOVE about this story? 

Another question I learned from Doug Lipman. Most seasoned tellers will admonish newbies to "Tell Stories you love!" This is good, and knowing what you LOVE about a story BEFORE you tell it, can inform your whole being about how you might convey that in the telling.

What parts of YOU or YOUR OWN LIFE connect with this story? 

In Liz Waren's book, The Oral Tradition Today, Susan Klein states:
"When something within a folktale resonates with your own story, it calls to you to be its voice. And then the responsibility begins. You do whatever you need to do to get to the root of what it means to you and the truth that resides in the story."
I believe this is true for all types of stories one chooses to tell, not only folktales. By telling a story, we show parts of who we are. We must know all the pieces in the story to which we connect. That gives the story life.

From what VOICE (Point of View) will the story be told?
    First Person - WHO is speaking? 
    Third Person Omniscient (Narrator)?
    Second Person - WHO is speaking and to WHOM are they speaking?

Here, I ask the student to make a choice about the "voice" or Point of view of the story. I ask them to think about how the story might change in any way if it was told from a voice other than that of the traditional narrator voice.

First Line:_________________________________

Most storytellers agree that one should not memorize the whole story. But most also agree that tellers should specifically craft and memorize the first and last lines of a story. (See my previous Tip on First and Last Lines)

What will be the first line of your story? Is there something other than the traditional, "Once upon a time"? First lines can set the scene, tone of the story; introduce characters; tell when and where the story takes place, etc. But the first line must also draw in the audience and make them want to hear more.

Last Line: _________________________

How will you end your story? (See my previous tip about Endings) The end to your story needs to clearly say "The End", but it is best said in the context of the story. Endings should "put a button" on the story; wrap it up in some way...or not. An ending that leaves the audience wondering what really happened can be just as effective...sometimes. Again, the point I want to stress is that I want the student to give some thought to what their last line will be. Ending the story with a great line can make it the most memorable story the audience has ever heard. And isn't that part of what we want?

Breath Marks - 

Notes on other specifics - Language; Gestures: Body Movement: Facial Expressions; Pauses, etc.

Singers place "breath marks" on sheet music, little marks to help them remember, where to take a breath. This section is similar for storytellers. Make notes on when to take a breath; when to pause; what specific gestures you will use, and when; what facial expressions will you use, etc.

©Mark Goldman 2015


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Logic vs. Imagination
                                                                       Albert Einstein said:

Logic will get you from A to B.
Imagination will take you everywhere.
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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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