Anyone remember that old song? "In the meantime, in-between time, ain't we got fun!" That seems to be where we are right now with storytelling in the Valley. Classes start this week at the community colleges, so we ar just getting started with the semester. Both East Valley Tellers of Tales and West Side Story Tellers have enjoyed their summer respit and will start up meetings next month. Except for Dan Hull's Yarnball Storytelling every Wednsday night, there's been a lull (as always in August) in the amount of storytelling events. Oh yes, we've had an AZ Storytellers' Project event and in Tucson, Glenda Bonin, Jordan Hill and Debra Olson-Tolar did a concert yesterday. But there is always a dearth (love that word) of events during the triple digit weeks!
So, in the meantime, before we get going with our fall season, this issue of the Newsletter has a few other story options one might wish to access.
Story Story Podcast
There are many podcasts out there. Here's a relatively new one from teller Rachel Ann Harding of Colorado. She has put together episodes of stories and tellers from across the country and around the world. Twice a month, Rachel Ann curates a theme and records tellers with favorite stories. The latest podcast is "Answers to Save A Life" with storytellers Pam Faro and Megan Hicks. Previous episodes include, Oh, What A Tangled Web, Damsels Creating Distress, Tales From the Sky and Feisty Animals. Tellers from those episodes include, Simon Brooks, Lyn Ford, Liz Weir and Clare Murphy.
Many of you already know that NPR, National Public Radio is a treasure trove of storytelling. Local station KJZZ 91.5 FM broadcasts most of the NPR programming. Click on each title to go to the podcast web page.
This American Life - Hosted by Ira Glass is mostly personal narratives based on weekly themes. Glass is considered one of the country's experts on storytelling, as he has hosted and curated perhaps thousands of tellers and stories.
The TED Radio Hour- With Guy Raz, a collection of theme-based stories connected to those who have given TED talks. Raz extends the subject matter to other experts on the week's topic as the guests delve deeper and deeper into the subject matter. Note: listen closely to Raz and you will hear what has become known as "NPR Speak". It's a way of talking, with long, deliberate pauses, often...without logical... reasoning.
Feakonomics - Host Stephen Dubner has surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports.
Invisibilia - (Latin for invisible things) is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin and Alix Spiegel, Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.
Not Sorytelling, but I love these two "game" shows:
Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me - NPR's weekly current events quiz. Have a laugh and test your news knowledge while figuring out what's real and what we've made up.
Ask Me Another - Ask Me Another brings the lively spirit and healthy competition of your favorite trivia night right to your ears. With a rotating cast of funny people, puzzle writers and VIP guests, it features the wit of host Ophira Eisenberg, the music of house musician Jonathan Coulton, and rambunctious trivia games, all played in front of a live audience.
What's YOUR favorite NPR show? Let me know in the comments below.
When I am working on a story...or any project, I usually work very hard at trying to solve any problems, and come up with the perfect word, phrase, solution. Often, I can feel my forehead wrinkling up and almost bulging out in order to give my brain more room. There's a part of me that knows this doesn't work, but I continue to stress out and believe, "If I just work on this a little bit more, I will see the solution. I know it's just around the corner!" Then, the harder I try, the less I accomplish.
I think I have learned that concentrating so hard on trying to "fix" something that I believe needs to be fixed almost never fixes it. Most of the time, I am able to take a break, walk away or stop for just a few minutes even. I said "I think..." Sometimes I don't remember to take a break. Sometimes I forget that I don't need to "fix" everything, or make everything perfect!
Sometimes, a story is great, just the way you tell it.
Would You Take In A Mentally Ill Person?
This is a strange and interesting story. I heard it on NPR's Invisibilia (see a Treasure Trove article above). The title of the episode is The problem with The Solution. It's a bit of a round-about story that eventually focuses on a small town in Belgium called Geel (pronounced "hale"). For over 700 years, residents of Geel have been accepting people with mental disorders, often very severe mental disorders, into their homes and caring for them.
It isn't meant to be a treatment or therapy. The people are not called patients, but guests or boarders. They go to Geel and join households to share a life with people who can watch over them. Today, there are about 250 boarders in Geel. The town has been called, "Paradise for the insane." Most boarders stay in their host's homes for over 25 years!
Boarders are treated with respect, like a beloved aunt or uncle. Instead of trying to "fix" the boarders or their behaviors, they are accepted as "normal" for them. They are part of who they are. When one former boarder hallucinated lions coming through the walls; the "host" would pretend to chase the lions away. "And that would work every time." Listen far enough into the story to hear about the "button" man. It will touch your heart.
It's a fascinating story about how a solution doesn't need to fix the problem underneath. And maybe, there's not a real problem underneath. Just a real person.
------------------------------------THERE'S A LOT GOING ON EACH MONTH -------------------CHECK EACH WEBSITE OR CALENDAR TO CONFIRM DATES AND TIMES ---------------------------------CALL TO MAKE SURE THE EVENT IS STILL ON
East Valley Tellers of Tales -Storytellers Guild Second Saturday of each month - SCOTTSDALE - *NO meetings in July & August http://www.evtot.com
Storyfind 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