Monday, July 25, 2016
Issue # 221

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

#NSNStorycon 2016 - Review

Home, safe and sound after an amazing four days at the National Storytelling Network Conference As always, there were too many great sessions to choose from - Here were my choices and reviews.

Wednesday evening -
A moving concert from the Healing Story Alliance featuring Susan O'Halloran, Michael D. McCarty, Lilli Pang, Emily Lasana, and Lani Peterson...sharing stories of social justice and empowerment. The heartfelt tales were all crowd pleasers.

Thursday -
Storytelling in Organizations - SIG Preconference
Storytelling for Authentic Organizations: Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say, presented by the inimitable Elizabeth Ellis. A great workshop with Elizabeth's usual clarity and focus, and dealing with organizations in difficulty. Add in her "twisted" sense of humor and you have an informative and laugh-filled session.

Evening Welcome! Spotlight on Storytelling – Spotlight on You! 
Connie Regan-Blake had the crowd moving, interacting and meeting old and new friends - and learning about them through their stories, of course! 
Facing the Dark: The Devil in the Green Coat and the Berserker’s Daughter - Cooper Braun
Kudos to Cooper for a well-crafted and well-told fringe performance of these folk tales! A powerful telling that lead the audience to their feet at the end!
Friday -
Opening General Session
Rives Collins gave the richest, most inclusive and inviting keynote‬. A mixture of Videos, images, and Rives' warm, welcoming references to Don Doyle and many other tellers who have influenced the world of storytelling. His message was that we are touched by, and highly influenced by the ripples of stories and tellers - and that we are one huge family was recognized with a standing ovation.

How to Catch the Big Commissions - A workshop with Maureen Korte. Some fascinating information on how to partner with local organizations and have them write grants to pay you for storytelling!


Workshop -
Story in Organizational Mission, Brand & Culture. Loren Niemi & Laura Packer lead the group in discussions to help participants clarify what types of organizations they liked, and whether their focus was internal or external customers. Small group interaction revealed creative ways to use story to deal with different problems in an organization.


Story Slam - 

For the third year in a row, my name was pulled out of the hat for the slam. I told my Dance General story and got a great response from the audience. Did not place as one of the winners but I had a great time. Third place was Lili Pang who told funny story about her grandmother's advice to her regarding a young girl's crush and unrequited love. Lou Ann Homan took second place relating a hilarious story of how an innocent moment of foolishness turned into a full scale "gala" honoring her impersonation of Susan Sarandon! And First place went to Barb Schutzgruber with a touching story of her daughter's survival of cancer. All-in-all, a great evening of fun and stories!


Fringe Performance -
Transactors: A Gender Journey with Sean Buvala

The evening was rounded out with an incredible and powerful Fringe performance by Sean Buvala. Transactors is a mixture of folk tales and personal narrative; a moving and insightful piece revealing Sean's "inner journey" regarding his trans-gender child.  It's a story that should be heard by ALL! There was hardly a dry eye in the house, and the appreciations and sharing afterwards revealed how stories can touch and influence audience members in many different ways. Bravo and kudos to Sean.


Saturday -

Workshop - 
Fulbright Scholarships for Artists, Writers & Storytellers with Priscilla Howe

Priscilla shared her experience and knowledge regarding little-known facts about winning a Fulbright Scholarship that sent her to Bulgaria to research stories. Now the only choice is, "Where do I want to go?"


Story Showcase -
Featuring J.J. Reneaux Awardees: Robin Bady, Jessica Carleton, Sally Perkins, Cassie Cushing & Carolina Quiroga-Stultzirlines.
The Southwest Airlines computer crash that sent a shockwave through airports across the country stood in the way of Cassie Cushing attending the conference. She never actually made it in person, but through the miracle of technology and Skype, she was able to present another one of her twisted folktales, with requisite blood. Along with tales from other recipients of the J.J Reneaux Sholarships, it was a great concert!


NSN ORACLE Awards Celebration -

A wonderful evening and celebration of our own members who were recognized by their peers in the storytelling community. Presenters and recipients were all quite eloquent in their introductions and acceptance speeches!


Fringe Performance - 
My Old Man: True Tales from My Dad’s Life with Julie Moss

With some photos and stories, Julie took us on a journey with her father and family. A rich recounting of his life as a child growing up, and an adult with his own family was warm and comforting.


Sunday - 

Workshop - 
Romanticism to Reinvention: How to Fix Your Stalled Career with Sean Buvala

Sean asked some powerful questions to get us focused on where our careers are right now, and what we need to do to revitalize them. Sean's passionate pleas made us zero in on the storyteller in the 21st century! A masterful workshop, that should have been twice as long, was insightful and helpful, even for some veteran tellers!


Closing Concert - Stories in Word & Song
Featuring: Geraldine Buckley • Rives Collins • Leeny Del Seamonds • Lyn Ford and  Jim May

We were treated to some of the Best-of-the-Best who delighted us with both personal and folk tales. It was a magical way to close the weekend!


Addendum - 

I was fortunate enough to also have some great conversations with many wonderful folks, including: Lani Peterson; Laura Packer; Loren Niemi; Robert Barrientos; Rives Collins; Loren & Nancy Russel; Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo of Eth-Noh-Tec; Bobby Norfolk; Leeny Del Seamans; Rona Leventhal; Joseph Sobal; Steven Henniger; Molly Catron, Charlotte Blake-Alston, and the laughing Michael D. McCarty - to name a few!


Footnote - 

Sean and I traveled home on the same plane together, this time delayed for an hour and 45 minutes...and when we landed and got to the gate, they couldn't get the jetway working, so we had to wait another 20 minutes while they fiddled, then "towed" the plane to another gate!

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Coming Up


Odyssey Storytelling in Tucson
Thursday,August 4th
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: Lost - Very Lost
Getting lost to find yourself. Losing your mind to losing your shirt to losing your shit. Getting swept away by love. Stories of finding your passion, experiencing disaster, and going on road trips. Lost arts and traditions. Reinvention and recovery. Dropping off the grid. Lost keys, lost wallets, lost phones, and the ridiculous lengths taken to retrieve them. Come get lost with Odyssey!
$8 Adults, $6 Students
Have you visited The Screening Room's fabulous concession stand? There's beer, wine, and excellent snacks. They'll even place an order for you with Empire Pizza and have it delivered to your seat. Who knew?
If you have a story to tell, contact Penelope@odysseystorytelling.com or Adam@odysseystorytelling.com
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Pacing is important. In many ways.

Pacing in your telling gives the audience a sense of time. Is the action moving slowly or rapidly? Rapid words or sentences can indicate frustration, chaos, excitement or even danger. Pauses, or breaths in between scenes or events not only indicates the passage of time, it gives the audience a chance to digest what has just happened, and then be ready to hear the next piece. Altering your pace gives the listeners a sense of how everything fits together in your story; how does it move from one scene to another? What is the difference in emotion, essence and tone from one scene to the next? Pacing helps the audience breathe with the story.

Pacing helps the teller to breathe. It allows the teller to enter into the spirit and essence of each character or scene. It aids in enhancing body movement and gestures to underscore feelings. Pacing helps the teller transition between characters or scenes, to reveal the differences from one thing to another. The hare is quick, excited, boastful and arrogant. The tortoise is slow, methodical, consistent and accepting. The difference in the pace of each character distinguishes them from each other.

Pacing is important in the life of a teller. Be careful to "pace yourself". Give yourself time to do what is needed. You can't do everything at once. You can't be the hare every single moment; you will burn out. When you go to a conference, pace yourself. You may need to NOT go to every breakout session. Take a "breather"; allow yourself to relax and refresh from the intensity.

The moments in between are as important as what they frame; for the audience; for the story; for you!

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Being recognized. How wonderful for tellers when we recognize and are recognized by others. As tellers, we are naturally disposed to enjoying recognition and getting appreciations. Yes, I know that some introverted tellers shun tons of adulation, but for the most part, we revel in recognition. And recognizing others is a way of telling them you know them, remember them. This is important as tellers need to know they matter, and their stories have an impact. 

The Oracle Awards from NSN are a way to recognize those who have contributed to the world and community of storytelling. One such recipient at last week's conference was Gwendolyn Ledbetter. She was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In over 50 years of storytelling, she has accomplished much, and touched the lives of many. 

She touched my life too. I have never heard her tell, and as far as I can remember, I had never even met her. But after the ceremony, I approached her and congratulated her on receiving the award. I wanted to recognize her. To my surprise she said, "How are you doing? Last year you had Bell's Palsy." Wow! She recognized ME. She remembered me and what happened to me at last year's conference. What an honor for me to be remembered and recognized by someone who has done so much for storytelling. It was humbling...and felt good!

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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

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 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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