Wednesday - May 15, 2019
Issue # 366

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

You're All So Patient

I am amazed! This week, the Newsletter (me, actually) is two-days-late and maybe even two-dollars-short. Both working at Chompies and final grades for Glendale Community College have cut into my ability to get to the Newsletter in a more timely fashion. I am working on this!

What I am amazed at is that in the past, many of you would send me an e-mail, or a text message, asking me if anything was wrong. was I OK? Was I hurt? Did I need help?

Apparently, everyone seems to know now that when I get to the Newsletter, I will get to it... eventually. Well, I guess middle of the week is better than the end, or none! 

So, thank you all for your patience! After six years and 365 issues, I guess I am slowing down a bit. Down, but not out!

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This Week


AZ Storytellers Project - STYLISH STORIES

Wednesday - May 15th  - 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
The Churchill

901 N. 1st St. - Phoenix

Fashion goes beyond clothing. It can be a statement of who we are and how we want the world to see us. Join The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com for a night celebrating self-expression in the Great Hall at Phoenix Art Museum.

Kaila White, host of azcentral's Valley 101 podcast, and Garrett Mitchell, Arizona Republic reporter. 

Mario Avent
Liz Warren
Angelica Lindsey-Ali
Lizbeth Congiusti
Vanessa Wilson

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: Arizona Storytellers is offering live captioning at this event to accommodate guests who are deaf or hard of hearing. If you require accommodations related to mobility or seating, contact Elizabeth Montgomery at emontgomery@azcentral.com.
Iinfo & Tickets


Thursday - May 16th , 8pm - 10pm
Crescent Ballroom - Doors open at 7

Theme: MAMA RULES: Prepare a five-minute story involving a mother or mothering! Your womb of origin or the person who raised you. Mother love: making it all better or setting you straight. Maternal instincts and mother-powered superhuman acts. (Lifting a car, anyone?) Mama's boys, Mommy Dearest and Mr. Mom also welcome. Becoming a mother, finding a mother, or finally recognizing the wisdom of the one you got. (Please be sure that you bring a story about a mother, not an homage.) Did you get them all to paint the fence or unwittingly show up with your brushes?

Put your name in the hat, ten tellers will be selected.

*Seating is not guaranteed and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes before the show. Admission is not guaranteed for late arrivals. All sales final.

$15 - Advance purchase recommended (with fees, comes to $19.50)
More info & tickets

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Coming Up


A Slice: Stories and Cake - Animals
Thursday - May 23rd - 7:00 pm
The NEW Space55
1524 N 18th Ave,
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Friends and Story Enthusiasts - Come support Space 55's new curated storytelling series! 
This month's theme: Mothers and Strong Women
This Month's Cake: TBD
This month's MC - Mario Avent
Featured Teller: TBA
Join us! Tickets $10 or $5 for students 
There will be BOTH traditional and personal stories.
Facebook Page: A Slice: Stories & Cake
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Using Action in Story Coaching and Practicing Your Stories

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 form 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!
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.
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Focused Action Coaching on the Cutting Edge of Storytelling World
The methods described above are techniques initially devised by Jacob L. Moreno, the founder of Group Therapy and a therapeutic method called Psychodrama. The word comes from the Greek words psyche (the whole human being) and drama (action or a thing done). Thus, although somewhat ominous sounding, the term, psychodrama, actually means looking at the entire human being using action. I used this method as a therapist for over sixteen years.

I have been using many of these action techniques for some time now to coach storytellers. The intent is NOT to do therapy. Often, however, there is some therapeutic benefit from going through the process. The INTENT is to use the action to concretize (make concrete) what is going on in the story, and in the storyteller's decision-making process.

For the present, I am calling this Focused Action Coaching. I am the only one doing this. My experience as a therapist, mediator and storyteller make me uniquely qualified to have developed and use this method of fast, focused coaching for storytellers!

Many storytellers have observed and/or participated in these coaching sessions in workshops at recent conferences like the Tejas Storytelling Conference and the Rocky Mountain Storytelling Festival. The response from clients being coached and the workshop groups has been extremely positive. One participant from Denver wrote:

I enjoyed your workshop on Saturday and it was my favorite of the day. Thank you for sharing your passion and compassion. I’m writing a historical fiction novel and am going to use your tips to embody [the character of] Rafaela before I write her scenes, or any other character’s. 

In the coming months, I will be setting up several Focused Action Coaching workshop sessions for storytellers. If you are interested and/or have any questions please e-mail me: Mark@storytellermark.com

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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

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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