Monday - May 20, 2019
Issue # 367

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

I Have A Confession

Let me explain.

A few weeks ago, I went to North Carolina for the Stone Soup Storytelling Festival. I had been invited to be a "New Teller". That meant that my storytelling would be judged, along with eleven other New Tellers. A committee would decide which tellers should be invited back next year to be "mainstage" tellers. This was an important gig.

One of the cardinal rules of storytelling is, "Know your audience." This is more than just, "Tell stories that you believe your audience will like."  This is knowing what your audience (the committee) is looking for. I had mistakenly thought that I needed a story that was "uniquely mine". That should have been part of the decision. But there was much more. I should have chosen a story that would have showcased more of my skills as a teller and good crafter of stories. 

I told The Butterfly Boy, a story of how a famous author wrote a part for me in one of his plays. It's a good story. It's a solid story. I tell it well. But I think the committee was looking for more action in a story, more depth and diversity of my skills. Just a story that was uniquely about me wasn't enough. I needed to show my unique skills and abilities.

I have many other stories that would have been better in terms of showcasing myself, but I missed the opportunity. I wasn't thinking clearly. I needed to do a much better job of analyzing the specific audience. What were their goals. What did they need to see? They needed to see a better story from me!

So, what's the take-away? Learn from my mistakes! I need to be absolutely clear on what my audience is expecting and why they are expecting that! Then, make my best choice to accomplish that!

Summer Classes Start Next Week

Got a friend who wants to learn Storytelling?

Summer storytelling classes start on May 28th at SMCC, Estrella, Glendale and other Maricopa Colleges. There are still several openings. CLICK HERE FOR INFO

Mark Goldman's classes at Glendale CC have just one opening left, but there are always folks who drop, Contact Mark to see if you can get in (classes are Monday & Wednesday from 5:30 PM to 8:15 PM).

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This Week


A Slice: Stories and Cake - Mothers and Strong Women

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! IT'S OUR ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
This month's theme: Mothers and Strong Women
This Month's Cake: Birthday Cake
This month's MC - Mario Avent
featured Teller: Sally Borg
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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Coming Up


Ron Lancaster
Wednesday - June 5th - 7:00 PM
Community Performing Arts Center (CPAC)
Green Valley, 1250 W Continental Road

Storyteller extraordinaire and long-time Tucson Tellers of Tales member, Ron Lancaster, will perform a FREE concert of heartfelt stories about life and the human condition. This storytelling program will feature many of Ron’s daffy, sometimes touching and very often totally laughable tales full of lovable characters. Don’t miss this free evening of fun.

Seating is limited, so be sure to reserve your ticket by calling (520) 399-1750. 

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The Golden Triangle - Know Your Audience

Here's a tip from April of 2014. It seems to go along with my confession above.

We're all familiar with the "Golden Triangle" of storytelling. In order for storytelling to take place, one has to have a Teller, a Story and an Audience. They are all equally important, and the relationship between all three is of utmost importance.

But wait, there's more! 

This graphic "map" for storytelling should be your guide for all performances, both planned and unplanned. Colleague Pam Faro wrote a blog (read it here) that has some great questions about each of the elements. And, as she says,

"Often, it’s the case that specific answers are not even what is needed – but the questioning process itself is what leads you forward, deeper and farther into your story selecting, preparation, and telling!"

Here's my "story" example:

Some time ago, I was at Delux, the gourmet burger restaurant owned by my friend Lenny Rosenberg (32nd and Camelback for those who might be interested). 
We were in his office, and on the way out, passed by the private dining room where a group of eight business women were having a dinner meeting. Lenny stepped in to check on them, and pulled me in. He introduced me as “a great storyteller”. The ladies couldn’t resist asking me to share a story with them. –
NOW – What do I do?
I had about five seconds (maybe six) to decide if I should tell, and then what story. The quick questions:
Teller? – Me. Lenny had already pumped up my abilities, and we had already shared a laugh or two. Rapport had been established.
Audience? – High-powered, strong, decisive (and by the sound of their laughter, fun-loving) business women.
Story?The Castle of the Faithful Wives (clever, strong women who save the lives of their families).
So I asked them (a calculated measure to see if they were really ready for a story), “Would you like to hear a story about strong women?” — I think I had them in the palm of my hand.
I kept it short, two to three minutes, and made sure that the reveal of the “women carrying their husbands away from the castle, on their backs” was both humorous, and drove home the point of clever, strong women.
They laughed, cheered in triumph, and gave me (and the story) a great round of applause.
The Golden Triangle was glowing bright.
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Another Tip-Bit - What would you do?
A reprint of an earlier Tidbit

I saw the movie, “The Dallas Buyers Club”. Outstanding performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. It’s a very powerful story about the main character’s reaction to his diagnosis of HIV (in the era of 1985) and the statement of his doctor, “Get your affairs together. You have thirty days to live.”

I began to think about what I would do if I had been told the same thing; given an ultimatum of a death sentence. I have no concrete answer. I am still thinking about it. It is an ongoing exercise.
In “Zorba the Greek”, Zorba tells the story of a man who continues to plant trees, every day. He says, “I live life as if I would never die.” Zorba responds, “That’s crazy! I live life as if I would die ANY minute!” He proceeds to live with gusto and abandon and a voracious appetite. Experience all you can because you may die tomorrow!
Many stories contain this motif. The protagonist is given a seemingly impossible task or an impossible time frame in which to complete it. The essence of the story is not so much about completing the task, but rather about what creative aspects or skills that the hero may discover (perhaps with the help of a helper) that will enable them to approach the task in an extra-ordinary way. 
So here is the task (for your protagonists, and YOU AS A STORYTELLER): What undiscovered (up to this point) creativity, energy or knowledge might I discover, deep down, within myself that will assist me in surviving? Can I do it alone? Do I need a helper (coach)? Do I need a real-world time limit, impossible task, or the challenge of a “death sentence” to spur me to action?
What do you need?
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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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