Monday, February 2, 2015
Issue # 145

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

Happy Groundhog Day

Dateline: Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania - February 2, 2015
The perpetual, perennial, prognosticator, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow early this Monday morning, portending six more weeks of winter. Preposterous ... that we should allow this gremlin of gloom to cast a shadow on the land and make a prediction about the weather!
Not quite as preposterous as the 1993 movie with Bill Murray and Andie McDowell (which I really loved), where Murray must experience Groundhog Day over and over again, until he "learns his lesson" in life.
Or even MORE preposterous ... the decision to throw a pass on the two yard line and have it intercepted, to end the Super Bowl on one of the strangest plays ever! Now there's a decision that will be lived over, and over, and over again for a long time to come! 

There's a story in there, somewhere, I am sure. Wouldn't we all like to hear the process that took place, and the words on the sidelines and in the huddle?
The lesson to be learned? Even the pros can make some strange decisions in times of stress!


Alan Brott Now Telling on High

It is with great sadness that I share that storyteller and friend Alan Brott passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of January 28th. "Big Al" was a caring man who drove a truck and also had a ministry.

In May of 2011, at the very first Arizona Story Slam, Al told a memorable story of driving through the L.A. Riots years ago. Just one year after that event, Al, his wife and grandchild were in a terrible car accident. Al sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and was in a coma for some time. Eventually, he got out of the hospital and was on a slow but steady road to recovery. There were difficult times, but Al remained optimistic and kept sharing the attitude of, "Never give up".

Alan will be remembered as a caring, loving man with a strong faith. He was "one of the good guys." Here is a video of his heart-felt story from the May 13th 2011 Slam. Once again, Big Al, you're on your way to freedom.

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This Week


Stories for Grownups - African Tales

Join us this Tuesday, February 3rd, for an evening of African stories that will serve as an appetizer for the main course (Return to the African Village) that is coming up on February 20. 

Our tellers will include: Marilyn Torres-Sierra, Travis May, Laura Rutherford, Helen Evans, Clem Condon, Jarvis Hurts, Liz Warren, and Marilyn Torres. 
Free and open to the public in the Community Room of the South Mountain Community College Library
More info here

Odyssey Storytelling in Tucson

Thursday, February 5th
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: Lonely
In a world focused on social media and human interaction, Odyssey Storytelling spends February investigating the idea of being Lonely. Hear stories about the greatness that is being lonely, the time when you wanted to be lonely but everything prevented it, or maybe the time in your life where you just couldn't shake off the loneliness. Have you ever been lonely?
Storytellers: Author and artist, Nancy Bain; artist and healer, Lisanicole Sarkisian; broadcast journalist, Tony Paniagua; preschool teacher, Andrew Jaffee; future grandma, Cherie Johnston; and Bella Vivante.
Click here for details & info

West Side Story Tellers

Saturday, February 7th ~ 10am - Noon
West Side Story Tellers will be from 10 am to Noon - at St. John's Lutheran Church, at 7205 N. 51st Ave. in Glendale.

For more information, contact their president, Mark Compton at


The Pearly Gates or the Fiery Gates?

Sunday - February 8th - 7:00 pm
Community Christian Church, known to some as The Storytelling Church presents:
 “Heaven and Hell"

Do you know where you are headed? Do you know where you are? Have you ever thought you were in one place ... only to realize later, you were in the other place?

Join Pastor Doug Bland and a host of community tellers for an always insightful and fun evening.

Featured Tellers:
Rev Andy Burnette -  “A Hell of a Sermon”
Elizabeth Matson  - “Walking the Dog”
Megan Finnerty - “Possession”
Rob Esler & Lisa Tolentino Esler - “But the Devil Mocked”
Imam Ahmad Al-Shqeirat - “One Man’s Plan to Escape Hell!
Marilyn Torres-Sierra - “Persephone Recusant” 
Check the calendar section for details

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Coming Up


Arizona Storytellers:
Wednesday - February 11th

Stories of Love and Heartbreak
Join azcentral.com, The Arizona Republic and Alliance Bank of Arizona for a night of stories dedicated to celebrating Valentine’s Day. As we mark February’s festival of love, we’ll share stories shotgun weddings, romantic misunderstandings, hopeless crushes and, of course, true love.
Featured tellers: IT pro Ryan Sadler, Brophy College Prep teacher Lane McShane, playwright and comedian Ashley Naftule, KJZZ journalist Carrie Jung, Storyline co-producer Dan Hull, storyteller Sandy Oglesby, Kathy Cano-Murillo and couple storytelling team John and Andrea Genette and more!
First Draft Book Bar at the Newton - 300 W. Central in Phoenix
Details: Registration begins at 6 p.m., stories begin promptly at 7 p.m. 602-444-8770. 

EVTOT - Guild Meeting
Saturday - February 14th ~ 10am - Noon

Meet our NEW BOARD:
President - Elizabeth Matson; Vice President - Maya Davila; Secretary - Ruth Shaw; and Treasurer - Dixie Walljasper

Join us for our first meeting of the New Year 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!

Hear stories - Share your story
Click here for details & info

Arizona Storytellers:
Wednesday - February 15th

Stories From in the Kitchen and Behind the Bar,
from chefs and bartenders, in partnership with Arizona Cocktail Week, at Hotel Valley Ho. 
Tickets will include a multicourse dinner and cocktails. Price to be determined. More at arizonacocktailweek.com.
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It Ain't Over Till It's Over

Famous words from baseball great Yogi Berra. The quote, is attributed to Yogi In July 1973, when Berra's Mets trailed the Chicago Cubs by 9½ games in the National League East. The Mets rallied to win the division title on the final day of the season.

Aha! Another metaphor for storytelling - actually in two ways.

I am always encouraging my students to "not give up." Quite often they are so nervous the first time they get in front of the class to tell a story, they want to stop before it's over. They lose their place, forget the sequence, have a mind block, etc.

Don't stop! Slow down. Take a breath. Regroup. Focus on the images (not the words). What was the last thing that happened? What's the next thing that happens? Sometimes it takes some prompting and encouragement, but if you stick with it, you'll make it through!

There's another side to Yogi's phrase. I believe: "It's never over!"

Some of you may remember my story about the Dance General, where I reveal that actors often do crazy things on the last night of a show because we believe, "We'll never do this again." But in storytelling, "We can always do this again!"

Unless you decide you hate the story you just told, or you are giving up storytelling forever, you can "ALWAYS TELL IT AGAIN!" Don't dwell on the mistakes you made. Take a tip from Connie Regan-Blake, give yourself an appreciation for what you did well. Then decide, "How will I change the story for the next time?"

The next time I tell? Yes! Remember, "It ain't over till it's over ... and it may never be over."

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And Speaking of the Super Bowl ...
The commercials didn't seem as outrageous as in years past. Go Daddy threw out a controversial add with a bad ending for a sweet puppy, and opted instead for a simple, straight forward ad that said they were there to help people.

But did you notice that THREE of the ads had themes of "be a good daddy"? It's about time they caught up!

Local professional teller/coach/author Sean Buvala knew this years ago! His book, Daddy Teller: How to be a Hero to Your Kids and Teach Them What s Really Important By Telling Them One Simple Story at a Time was published six years ago, back in 2009! Sean knew something about daddies, and a lot about stories and telling! It's a great book (as all of Sean's are) filled with great content!

And speaking of great content, if you missed Sean's Seaglass Storytelling Workshop last Saturday, you missed a lot! He packed a huge amount of clear, concise, content into just over two hours! Be sure to sign up for the next time Sean presents this piece ... or when the book comes out!

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------------------------------------THERE'S A LOT GOING ON EACH MONTH
---------------------------------CALL TO MAKE SURE THE EVENT IS STILL ON

Loren Russell at Wild Horse Pass
Every Thursday-Friday-Saturday of each month - 6:00 PM - Through March 21st

Homebase Poetry
First Sunday of each month - Phoenix

Infuse Open Mic
Second Sunday of each month - Phoenix

Yarnball Storytellers 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 June, July & August

East Valley Tellers of Tales -Storytellers Guild
Second Saturday of each month - SCOTTSDALE

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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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