In case you didn't know, I really, really, really like telling stories.
And sometimes, people seem to really like listening to them.
There were spectacular crowds for the stories at Heartfelt and Sebastian Joe's today, and I told four different stories. Two were traditional folk tales (Grandfather Frost, which I changed slightly because I couldn't remember it, and Cap o'Rushes) and two I made up ON THE SPOT. David Sewell McCann of Sparkle Stories talks about doing that here. I have a deep belief in just letting stories tell themselves, although it's kind of like letting a little kid lead the family hike in the woods. I ask the questions I need answered in order to keep the story from totally falling off the rails -- who is this about? Where are we going? How do we get there? What do we need?
I love telling stories in performance, but it's not my only goal here. I want to empower you to tell stories, and to make stories. Today, I told one story about a boy who saw a moose with one antler. I had asked the audience to name a favorite treat and an animal. The treat was ice cream, which was peripheral to the story that came to me. I just followed the story where it led, asking my questions, until it was done.
You can do it. Try it tonight, or tomorrow. Find a jumping-off point, and just go with it. You never know where the story will take you...
Sara Renee Logan has been telling stories to everyone who would listen since she was seven. She organized storytimes for her college roommates, and spent a year at Oxford studying folklore and folktales. Many years as a Waldorf teacher allowed her to tell stories about everything from Baba Yaga's hut on chicken legs to the water cycle to the life of Joan of Arc. Sara shares her life with her partner, Melanie, their son, and an unreasonable family of pets. She continues to share her love of storytelling and stories with audiences of all ages, specializing in bringing the wild beauty of folktales to young and old. Sara writes about parenting, storytelling, and about living a life with stories.