Be the Story – Craft the Story – Tell the Story


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Be a Story

That can’t be about me … or is it?

Actually, it is. If you are telling a story it is about you.

But I’m not talking about me, I’m talking about someone else.

Still, it doesn’t matter. Stories are stories. We craft the story. We tell the story. We are the story. Our ideas and images come from somewhere. That somewhere is inside of us.

The stories we tell, tell us about ourselves. What we like or don’t like. What we would like to be or not to be. What we like to do or not do.

Yep, a bit repetitive but true. The truth is, we can’t hide. We can’t even behind one of those folktales or fairy tales we like to tell. Like everything else, our quirks and foibles show up here too.

This whole thing is making me feel a piece of plastic wrap instead of meat and bones.

OK, so we’re all a bit transparent. But hey, when it comes to you, you are the expert. So be you. Live it. Show it. Tell it. Artfully flaunt it. It’s the stuff your great stories are made of.

When you craft a story, you become the story. When you tell the story, be the story.  Because you are the best at being you, be you in your story. When you craft all those quirky, zany, eccentric, devious or outrageous characters, parts of them are you. Even the crazy or I never want to be seen with them, types people in your life become a part of your stories.

Craft a Story

When crafting a personal story or a folktale, remember you are the story.

Next, pick a story you are crafting or a folktale you love.

Take a few minutes and cast yourself in the leading role or another character’s role.
The stage is set …
The curtains raise …

Who are you?
Where are you?
Where is happening around you?
What is your story of why you are doing what you are doing?
How did you get to where you are in the story?

Who else in your story?
What do they think about you?
Where are you going?
What mischief, romance or quest are they on?
What do you do or hope to become?
What are you doing that you never thought you could do?
How is the ending of your story different from the beginning?

Tell a Story

So . . . What’s your story?

Grab some delighted listeners. Tell your story. Experience the ease in which the images and words of your story grow.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

Listen to Tell Part 11 Carmon Agra Deedy


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Part l rocked! An audience so intricately involved in the reality of her story, needing gentle reminder telling them the story was done. The story’s singing frog croaked a stunning image of what is possible in the realm of story. Folktales are real. Just ask the audiences of centuries past and those yet to come.

Now for another amazing experience into the realm and reality of story, only this time, from the storyteller’s life’s experiences.

Yes! Yes! Tell! Tell! Do tell!

Introducing author and storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy for more story-inspiration and interaction in her telling of, You’re Gonna Miss Me. A personal story of human connection.

 

What did you like about it?

From this presentation and/or story, what can you add to your storytelling skill set?

Until next time . . . Let your Storyographer’s Journey Continue!

Story – Equals Meaning


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It hits. An idea emerges. Our bain cells salivate. Our creativity surges. Our imaginations soar.

OK, it’s been emphasized a million times over; the images of story guide and direct listeners to the location, the characters, and the adventures of its journey. Storytelling, being an interactive art form, connects its listeners and storytellers with the vivid imagery of story’s unfolding.

Specializing in the recording and the compartmentalization of information, our minds detail the stories and the ideas of our live’s fated and ill-fated escapades.  We use words to describe them. We use feelings to intensify them. Words, combined with emotions, add meaning and life to the images they describe.

So, what is the image of your idea or story . . . ?

An ostrich-legged cantaloupe spewing sunflower seeds from the top of an inchworm . . .

A family returns to the smoldering carcass of what they once called home . . .

A multi-legged, roving machine gobbles landfill rubbish, before transforming it into clean air, home heating units . . .

The image, or focal point, becomes the backdrop for the advancing parade of characters and their escapades. Story breathes reality and life to our ideas.

Let the images of an idea or story be your guide. See them walk, hear them talk and fly when trouble hits. Emerse your ideas and images with meaning; the reasons why; the justification who, what or how it happened; the excuses for their existence or the story of their reality. Fill them with emotion. Envision the possibilities. Then experience their reality.

Our story’s talk ignites the creativity which spurs the images of our ideas and stories into action.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Continue!

What I Think I Thought


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The images of story tell the tales and mark the trails of story’s propelling journey. These images provide the land marks, the physical locations, the characters’ identities and the desired destination of story’s unfolding. They too spark listeners and ignite tellers in their perceptually engaging, delightfully entertaining duck-if-you-need-to; scream-if-you-want-to; laugh-if-you-have-to interactive moments story’s story-line.

While embarrassing the interactive power of story’s vivid images, one may wonder. One might even ask. Is what I thought was suppose to be happening or really what is happening?

In the Three Little Pigs, did the first pig really build his house out of straw? Or, due to the latest straw embargo, the first little pig was found sniffing around town in search of alternative building supplies. In a moment of un-flatulated wind, a scent crosses his snout. Trotting to the corner of 124th Ave and Huff-Stop Lane, stuffed behind a local dinner, he discovers mounds of discarded onion peels.

What is the real story behind the Three Billy Goat Gruffs? . . . A local press conference reveals numerous accusations and county-wide concerns regarding cases of reported goat-guzzling trolls and troll-butting goats. County officials, recently investigated for lacing city officials grass seed with Witchatill’s Weed Cropping Organic Seedlings, presents an unprecedented, legislative proposal. If signed into law, the proposal will ban all goat-guzzling and troll-butting. Henceforth, all goats will be required to remain on their side of the bridge. County official have also announced their generous donation of Witchatill’s Cropping of Organic Seedlings to replenish the goat’s previously eaten food supply.

When crafting your story, boldly step up into, out of, on to, over and/or under the images of your story’s story-line. Entice, delight, roll or otherwise spray, splat or splatter the image’s of your story’s story-line. Then extend a hand, an elbow or a toenail as you, the story-guide, lead audience members through the captivating realism of story’s mythical and magical journey.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Continue!

Story – Creative Lawlessness


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Through the power of story, political figureheads, tax regulators, law enforcers, socially perceived hierarchy, culturally-defined norms, bosses, supervisors, parental units and rigamortis impact the course of our life experiences. Story artists throughout the centuries have creatively conspired to orchestrate, direct, lead, dominate, choreograph and otherwise differentiate between the lawfully lawful and the law abiding lawlessness of story. Through the power of story cannibalism moves beyond its perceived cultural preferences, war-lording chiefs and individual menu planners. Questing, never thought they would make it, heroes’ embark on tantalizing bean-stalking, mirror-talking, troll-defying and glass-shoeing adventures. Acrobats death defying feats; athletes epic-sagas; noodle-heads’ rampaging insolence and individuals’ hilarious, gut-hugging escapades frequently challenge previously perceived, story-inspired, social norms and morays.

Scientific discoveries and inventors’ inventions become real through the image of story’s powerful impact. Story; a place where the world becomes round and the planet’s sun takes center stage. A place where jet propelled engines take flight and motorized vehicles storm roadways. A place where towered-connected cellular devises interface human connections. Story; the place where we go beyond the boundaries of what we thought we could do or what we thought was possible.

Stepping into your story’s story-line, experience and embrace the lawfully lawlessness and compelling intrigue of story’s creative inspirations. Step beyond the perceived boundaries of someone else’s words or where you think this story should go. Lawfully respect your audience’s values while lawlessly unleashing the uniqueness of your ideas, your inspiring voice and your breathlessly-intriguing, story-inspirations. Inspire, experience and enrich story’s powerfully, magnetic journey.

Take a quick review:

What first sparked your interest in this story?
What is the most important part or aspect of this story to you?
What do you love most about this story?
What else is possible?

Now reconnect with the images of your story’s story.

Would the story spark more or further dynamically impact audience members if it started at the end or ended in at the beginning?

What might happen if the story was told from another character’s voice or perspective?

Is the main character as strong, sassy, silly, introspective or insane as they appear or don’t appear to be?

Did it really happen this way . . . or maybe, just maybe . . . it happened; yet another way.

So dive, drive, fly, squeak, spurt, float, bob or belly-flop into your next story’s adventure. Remember, it’s your story to tell, in only the way you can. Enjoy, experience and soar into the journey of your story’s images. Boldly break into the lawfully lawlessness of story and the unprecedented uniqueness of your creative inspiration.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

Discover Story’s Opportunity


 

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Opportunity brings with it the alluring scent of expansion. Untapped adventures and uncharted territories. Opportunity calls to those who listen.

A story brings opportunity. Opportunity for the teller. Opportunity for its characters. Opportunity for its listeners. Beyond the bounds of what they thought they could be, do or say.

Story’s characters reflect ourselves and the people in our lives. Characters are people and creatures living in a world of quirk-erly familiar to our own. Stereotyping characters makes more real and memorable. This is because we already know them. We’ve already met them in books, movies and plays.

Other characters, not quite so stereotypical, add a sense of mystery, suspense and wonderment. Delving into your character’s innocent, mischievous or quirky personality traits make what is happening more real.

Grab a folktale you love or an original story idea. Seize the opportunity to make it scream. Make it roar. Make it insanely funny. Make it earth quakingly terrifying. Or even heart throbbing inspirational.

Identify and I\invite your story’s characters into your inner circle. Spend time with them. Take them out to dinner, a park or the races. Talk to them. Listen.  Dress them up. Encourage them.  Listen to them some more. Then send them out into an opportunity of their lifetime.

Make your story one which challenges, engages and allows audience members to experience its journey. Ham it, can it, ban it, expand it or rubber band it. Whatever you do, take the opportunity to add a touch of you in making your story uniquely you.

Stories invite listeners into a world or a reality as vivid as their day’s adventures. An experience which is completely unforgettable, non-duplicatable, and unique. One which challenges, ignites. expands or propels them into discovering opportunities for themselves.

Opportunities which open all of us to infinite possibilities.
Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin.

 

 

 

Story Juice – Catch the Squeeze


 

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Juice, a sensory word of paradise. Juice is juice. Whether you squish, squeeze, squash, crush, press or ferment the rich succulence of its oozing nectar; it’s still juice. Juice . . . It’s intense and vibrant color . . . Its tantalizing aroma . . . Its delectable taste . . . All together it is indescribably delicious! Fresh, real, flavorful . . . a definite “in the moment” type of visual appeal, stimulating aroma and tantalizing taste.

Now back to stories. Nothing like some great story juice to pucker up a magnificant tale. The freshness of a new twist, an unexpected angle, a line or an image which absorbs you into the moment significantly enhances the impact of your story-based performance or presentation. Each new squeeze encapsulates the delightful power, the tantalizing essence and the sensory impact of story through the art of storytelling. Story juice definitely slurps up the latest life living drama, the ooh’s, oh no’s and aah’s of mind chatter and the torrential rapids of story life’s rippling adventures.

Story juice seeps through every corner, crook and crevasse in life’s vast expansiveness.  Venturing into the realm of story and story juice . . . select a character in a story that spurs you on, inspires you or possibly one you would love to personally squish like a bug – ooze and all. Now spend some time with your character and the context of the story line. Personally get to know your character. Maybe spend some time with this character in their home, at their favorite hangout, a common meeting place alongside the road of their journey . . . as long as you are both comfortable – although maybe being entirely grossed out, terrified, mortified or creeped out may also have it’s story reigning advantages.

Who is this person or creäture? What do they like to wear? What is their occupational or non-occupational identity? Do they have any friends, enemies, worthy or unworthy opponents? Are they rich, poor, dead broke, under-employed, non-employed, slave labor . . . What is the “sign” they hang out in front of their lives – “Poor me . . . I hear my name – someone, somewhere desperately needs my help . . . I have a pain, or two or three or even four and a whole lot more . . . The economy is out to get me . . . My Mother hates me (so what if she died when I was 68 – I can feel her negativity from her grave) . . . Catching the drip(s)?

The more you spend time with your story’s characters and embrace the reality of their lives, the more vivid and alive they we become to you and your audience.

 

Until next time . . . Let a Storyographer’s Journey Begin!

 

Listeners – Story’s Fertilizer!


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Storytelling is an interactive art form. One which can not exist or happen without a listener. The interaction between you, the teller, and the listening members of your audience ignite and liven the images of your story’s story. For in the moment it is told, the world of story becomes the listener’s living reality. A story, like our experiences in life, can never be duplicated or experienced in the same way again. The faces of story are as varied as the faces of our audiences. Each time we tell our stories the words, their impact and the audience’s responses will be unique to this moment in time.

Grab a listener and ignite your storytelling jet packs. Take a few minutes and think of a few people who are able to listen. Listening meaning no talking, no editorial comments and no unsolicited remarks. Their job? To listen. To simply listen. Once everyone is assembled, tell your story. Enjoy. Watch and take note. In this moment your story will grow in unexpected ways. Images will become clearer. Your voice tone and canter much stronger. See how unexpected and unrehearsed bits of humor, internal dialog, and moments of awareness or newly inspirited story-line twists and turns happen when you tell and retell your story. By seeing what your audience is hearing and the unique gift of this audience’s interaction, your story’s story-line continues to bloom. Also how easily your story ripens and grows inside of you; the teller.

In the early stages of my story’s development, I ask my responsive listeners to just listen, as I tell my story. Other times, as my story continues to grow and unfold inside of me, I ask, “What do you like about the story? or What did you like about this experience?” Again, I am not asking them for a cirque. I am simply asking what they like about the story and/or the experience. Storytellers through the responses of their listeners are able to see what others are hearing. Storytelling is an interactive, experiential journey into the world of story and the vivid reality of is characters and their lives.

This may also be a great time to secure the services of a storytelling coach. Information on storytelling coaches can be found online or through the National Storytelling Network.

 

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Continue!

 

Igniting Images Engage Listeners


19976402Thank you June Barnes of the Australian Storytelling Guild (Vic).

“Well, the story reaches out and touches each listener in a different way. Like an omniscient, it knows each individual’s needs at any given time. It will either speak to a need in the listener or brush by with a caress, or a tap on the shoulder.

The story can act as a catalyst in commencing the process of solving an emotional problem, enlightenment, preserving a culture, helping another, bonding families or communities. The story can generate the healing power of laughter and assist in the education process. Sometimes the story is a trickster, it pretends to entertain just to get inside the psyche, and then it jumps up at the listener with a timely message.

It seems there is no end to the power of the story to seek out that searching part of an individual’s psyche and touch it.

But do I, as the storyteller, know what the story is giving to each listener? No, I am not extended that privilege. Only the story and the listener know this. But wait, sometimes the listener doesn’t even know. The story sneaks in and finds a place to rest and then awakens at the appropriate time in that person’s life. So the story IS the dominant partner.

What about me then, the storyteller, what contribution do I make in this marriage? Well I provide a vehicle for the story to come to life. But the same can be said for singing and other mediums of presenting a story. How am I, as an oral storyteller, different? Am I different? Please say Yes! Well… as an oral storyteller I do act as a personal communicator, I form a personal relationship with the listener. The listener knows me, or a part of me, through the story. Is that my contribution, to assist in preserving the personal relationship in society? Is the listener more (or less) receptive to the story because of the personal nature of the relationship between teller and listener? Is that what makes oral storytelling unique?

Perhaps not! A singer, musician or dancer also establishes this personal relationship.

But do they allow the story to develop and mature because of the interaction between the teller and the listener. In other words do they give the story the freedom to live. Do those other methods of presenting story allow the story to change, in the way a living organism changes, according to the circumstances and community it finds itself in?

Perhaps this is the element which allows oral storytellers to claim their medium as unique. Perhaps, as the storyteller, my role in this marriage is not so passive after all.”

In oral tradition, the story grows inside the teller the more the storyteller tells the story to others. Stories come to live in the presence of a listener or listeners, for without them, a story can never become a reality. Responsive listeners allow us, as storytellers, to see what our audience members are hearing. Storytelling is also interactive, therefore, by its nature, stories require the presence of listeners as well as a storyteller. A storyteller is not a teacher, a preacher, a counselor or a reporter. A storyteller is simply the teller of a tale. How the power of story touches or impacts its audience members is up to each individual’s unique interaction with the story and its storyline.

 

Until next time . . . Let your Storyographer’s journey begin!

Our Stories Reveal Who We Are


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“I do this exercise in my seminars where a person speaks for five minutes about someone who has been very important in their life who has been very important in their lives. I then ask the listeners to write down what they conclude about the speaker. I am not asking about the person the speaker talked about; I am asking about the person who was speaking. It is amazing how much people can conclude from listening only 5 minutes to someone they have never met. People are able to make statements about what the speaker values and what they would be like to work with. When I share the assessments with the speaker’s co-workers or family, they attest to how on target the assessments are.  . . People rarely understand that they tell people who they are every time they talk. ” Linda Garbe

“Once you understand that you will reveal yourself when you tell a story, the next thing to accept is that “here is a mental discipline need to develop to tell a good story. One has to have time and commitment to shaping a good story.” (Denis Bertrand) Except taken from How to Tell a Great Story by Aneeta Sundarara.

The stories we tell are about ourselves whether they are folkloric or life-loric. In the world of storytelling, select a story that you love. Find out who you are in this story and why it is important for you to tell it. Also, is it something your audiences will love to hear?

The images of our lives from the homes and towns we live in to the people we meet along the way often become the images and characters of our stories. Since we are already telling people who we are every time we speak, in the art of storytelling and the artistry of story development, why not be the person we truly are? When we embrace this reality and step further into the reality of our stories, again identifying who we are, we more consciously and with greater confidence, step into the into the vivid reality of our story the unique expression of our voices.

Until next time . . . Let Your Storyographer’s Journey Begin!