"Become aware what is in you. Announce it, pronounce it, produce it and give birth to it." - Meister Eckhart

28 September 2011

The Story of Kaminik


I've recently uploaded a story to Soundcloud (http://soundcloud.com/thestoryteller/01-the-story-of-kaminik). I call it the 'Story of Kaminik'. It's based on an Inuit legend and I learned it from Scottish storyteller and puppeteer Sylvia Troon a few years ago and loved it. Since then I've created my own version (still true to Sylvia's telling) and added bits here and there. BTW, the photo is of Sylvia's Kaminik puppet with kayak.

The recording is based on my recent performance on the last day of the International Book Festival in Edinburgh at the end of August. During my performance I was accompanied by pianist Seán Pugh (former member of 80s Liverpool band The Flock of Seagulls). Our intention was to improvise the interplay between words and music. I made Seán aware of places in the story where the mood shifted but we took a sort of "jazz" approach by allowing ourselves to respond to each other to create a unique performance. It was a success.

The following week we went into Seán's studio and recorded this version of the story, again improvising the interplay between us. I love this way of working and I'm amazed by Seán's ability to improvise on my simple melody and to inspire me.

I hope you'll enjoy the story as much as we did in making and performing it. I only ask that, if possible, you set aside the 30 minutes to listen to it in its entirety rather than a bit now and the rest later. I know they say this is the age of short attention spans, but if 75 pre-schoolers could sit there entranced through the entire show, I'm sure you can too. I'd appreciate your thoughts and feelings afterward if you care to share them.

Many thanks.

Michael

27 September 2011

Story Coaching & Mentoring for Skills, Leadership and Well-Being

It is said that we are made up of all the stories told about us, including those we tell about ourselves. Understanding those stories may lead to a better understanding of who and what we are.

For the past several years, I've been offering story coaching and mentoring to those interested in using storytelling to enhance their personal or professional lives. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned professional, my coaching and mentoring can improve your storytelling skills and techniques as well as deepen your emotional and spiritual connections with your 'inner storyteller' and the stories you want to tell. I also offer story coaching and mentoring for leadership and well-being. If you're an aspiring or established leader or, if you want to explore how "story medicine" can improve your health and well-being, contact me to learn more.

I offer two ways of working together: (1) If you live in or near Edinburgh Scotland, I can meet you in one hour face-to-face meetings; or, (2) if you live further afield or abroad you can work with me via one hour Skype sessions. For further information or to book a session, contact me at iamthestoryteller@gmail.com.


Bio
Michael Williams, Ph.D. is a professional storyteller, story coach & mentor, teacher, child care worker and education consultant with more than 30 years of experience working with children, teens and adults. He has been awarded five academic degrees and diplomas in English Literature, Language, Local History and Child Care Work from institutions including Edinburgh University and University of Oxford. He is a former Senior Tutor in English Literature at Edinburgh University, Principal Teacher of English at the Edinburgh Rudolf Steiner School and Secretary of the Scottish Parliament's Cross-Party Group on Creating a Culture of Peace in Scotland. He is currently the Editor of 'Therapeutic Storytelling', part of the All Things Healing online community, an Adviser and Assessor for the General Teaching Council of Scotland's Chartered Teacher programme and an accredited Peace Education facilitator who has worked extensively in primary and secondary schools as well as residential care centres and hospitals.

In 2009, Michael was invited to join an international group of storytellers on a 'Healing Words' tour of the Holy Land where he worked with groups of Arabs and Jews using storytelling as a means of encouraging dialogue and mutual understanding. The following year he was appointed at Storyteller-in-Residence at MUSEartspace, a community gallery in Charlottetown Canada where he worked with children and adolescents and coached adults in storytelling. In the summer of 2011, Michael travelled to Denmark to learn more about 'narrative medicine' with Native-American psychiatrist and storyteller Dr Lewis Mehl-Madrona. He is an author, musician and performed on the closing day of this year's International Book Festival in Edinburgh. He is currently working with the Church of Scotland's Christian Fellowship of Healing and maintains a busy schedule of story coaching & mentoring with groups and individuals. Michael has been supported in his work for the past three years by Creative Scotland. Learn more at www.rjmwilliams.co.uk.

Testimonials

"We have received only very positive reports of your workshop, and must thank you for being so flexible and responsive both before and in the course of implementing the workshop. It has been lovely to work with you. . . . We are hopeful this project will give rise to future storytelling endeavours, and would be very happy to work with you again if the opportunity arises!" Muireann Crowley, At Home in Scotland, University of Edinburgh, May 2014 ("Storytelling, Research and Public Engagement" workshop)

Michael Williams is a a storyteller of compelling skill. He is also a fine human being who engages in all situations and draws people into the warmth of communication and shared experience." Donald Smith, Director, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh Scotland

"Michael's understanding of storytelling within a leadership and business context has helped us provide a great service in helping leaders determine their personal and organisational destiny and legacy. Working with Michael is inspiring and fun; and pulls you to be fully engaged from start to finish." Norton Bertram-Smith, Managing Director and Leadership Consultant for On Purpose.

Kamink: the little boy who grew into a giant of a man

Blues and Roots Radio

Blues and Roots Radio
Check out my weekly storytelling radio show, The Teller and the Tale on bluesandrootsradio.com.

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland
I'm grateful to Creative Scotland for its support.