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

22 April 2015

Day 19 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge: S is for Storytelling

S is for Storytelling

Ok, yesterday I used "R is for Reading" to talk about storytelling and today I'm using "S is for Storytelling" to talk about reading . . . but I confess, I'm talking about both or at least how reading influences storytelling. Confused?

Let me explain.

Many storytellers (myself included) often reveal our reading in our storytelling. It's inevitable, I suppose, since many of us find our stories in texts. When we learn them off the page, we tend to bring with the story a lot of the conventions of written text, particularly the "he said" and "she said" variety. I'm not saying this is wrong, but I do encourage my storytellers to ask themselves, "Are they always necessary?" Cannot characters speak to one another without a narrator telling us "He said" or "She said"?

The other "reading" influence usually happens with less experienced storytellers but we're all guilty of it at times, especially when we've learned a new story from a text -- we tell with the imprint of the page in our imaginations. The eyes usually give it away. You see this most obviously when a storyteller is telling a new story and momentarily loses the plot. They often close their eyes and try to picture the page of the text where the words lie.

As I said yesterday, I love reading books and I love researching texts for stories. But it takes time to absorb a story and let go of the textual image and reading conventions. But when you do, oh my, then the story soars away from the page and takes you with it.

Reading and storytelling -- two completely but interconnected art forms requiring different but similar techniques. Confused? I hope not.

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"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

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