My Life Adventures, Travel Experiences and Reflections

Sunday

Storytelling

I love to tell a good story. Always have. Maybe my affinity for storytelling is genetic (see:Genealogy ) but I'm thinking it just started out of necessity.

I was a Canadian kid being raised in the 60's and that meant having really poor TV reception.
My entertainment options amounted to reading, singing along to the radio, riding my bike and 'playing pretend'.

I'm not sure what 'playing pretend' amounts to today but as a six or seven year old, I required a decent background story in order to get the most out of my make believe experiences. My captive, loyal (and only) participants were my little sister, Bobbie and my cat.
Bobbie and I - circa 1962-63
I suppose I should apologize to my sister now (I'm sorry) for putting her through the trials of ... "Two poor, abandoned refugee children and a cat lost in the backyard jungle, foraging for berries in order to survive" or "Two dedicated nurses and a cat taking care of our many sick dolls patients in a crowded hospital ward" or "Two busy housewives and a cat preparing enough mud pies supper to feed a family of six" or "Two innocent children and a cat being stalked by crazed kidnappers". You get the idea.  We had a lot of time on our hands.

And so, my stories that began quite simply would end up making interesting twists and turns in order to maintain the attention of a four year old. The cat was a lost cause from the beginning. 

Several years later, at the urging of friends who had endured hours of my own storytelling, I attended The Texas Storytelling Festival in Denton Texas. It's a festival that showcases professional storytellers. Who knew? It was there that I learned 'storytelling' is one word and is considered an art form. The storytellers were a little larger than life but I guess you would have to be when telling a story to a large auditorium full of people.

Since then, I've tuned into The Moth.
It's more of my style. The stories are short, sweet and focused on a specific subject. According to The Moth,  "Every mainstage show has a theme and features five or six storytellers who tell a ten-minute story. The stories are true stories from the storytellers' lives and they must be told live, without notes. Past themes have included "Call of the Wild: Tales of the Untamed," "Nuclear Meltdown: Families in Fission," "Last or less Stories about Endings," "Art Attack: Stories About Wrestling the Muse," "Gotta Have It: Stories about Compulsions," and hundreds more."

The stories on The Moth's website include Podcasts and RSS feeds where you can listen to some of the featured storytellers online.

Check it out.

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