to Become Seriously Involved in Storytelling By Chris King
attend many networking events, club, organization, association and information
meetings. What I have discovered is that even though I have a plethora
of careers – better known as a “Portfolio Career” –
the one career that elicits interest and questions is when I say that
I am a “Professional Storyteller.” Besides wanting to know
what a “Professional Storyteller” does, people react often
with, “I would love to do that too. How can I become involved with
storytelling and storytellers?” I also get similar phone calls and
e-mails asking how to become involved. Let me count the ways!
have already mentioned many of the resources and ideas for becoming involved
in previous articles, but thought – since this just came up again
this past week at a networking event and again on a phone call –
I would pull them together into one article. If you are already an active
storyteller, you probably will know most, if not all, of what I have included,
but I would really appreciate your letting me know if I skip something.
I am going to start with the BIG picture and work down to the SMALLER
for the sake of structure.
and National Organizations advancing the art of storytelling
has existed since the days of cave men and women, but it was in 1973 that
an American storytelling revival was jump-started with the first National
Storytelling Festival held in Jonesborough, Tennessee. The two organizations
you should check out (both located in Jonesborough) are:
Storytelling Center (ISC), dedicated on August 11, 2004, shares
its mission: The International Storytelling Center inspires and empowers
people around the world to capture and tell their stories, listen to
the stories of others, and use storytelling to produce positive change.
For, through the power of storytelling, we can build a better world—healthier
communities, more effective workplaces and schools of learning, and
enriched human life. For more information about ISC contact: International
Storytelling Center; 1-800-952-8392; www.storytellingcenter.net
Storytelling Festival: The International Storytelling Center
celebrates the power of storytelling each year the first weekend
in October by showcasing the world's stories, storytellers, and
storytelling traditions at the highly acclaimed National
Storytelling Festival – the world's premier storytelling
event. Once you attend this spell-binding celebration of storytelling
you will return year after year (I make my motel reservations a
year ahead - the day I leave – it is so well attended).
Storytelling Network (NSN), is a member driven organization,
with a Board of Directors elected by members from six regions across
America. It offers direct services, publications and educational opportunities
to several thousand individuals, local storytelling guilds and associations.
These services are designed to improve the quality of storytelling at
all levels - in entertainment venues, in classrooms and libraries, and
wherever storytelling can make a contribution to quality of life. To
facilitate that process, NSN sponsors the National Storytelling Conference
in cooperation with local or regional members at a different location
each year. The Conference provides educational workshops, demonstration
programs and the National Storytelling Awards ceremony that recognizes
storytelling excellence, leadership and service across the country.
For additional information about NSN visit www.storynet.org,
phone 1-800-525-4514, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out
what is happening in the wonderful world of story, I highly recommend
becoming a member of NSN. Member benefits include:
Magazine - an award-winning bimonthly publication, loaded
with all sorts of helpful information.
National Storytelling Directory - the most comprehensive
guide to America's storytellers and storytelling organizations, festivals,
and educational events.
National Storytelling Conference - an information-packed four-day
event designed to help storytelling enthusiasts learn more about the
art. And the perfect way to meet other storytellers.
National Storytelling Catalog - an ever-changing selection
of storytelling books and tapes, gifts, and educational materials.
A Worldwide Storytelling Event – to visit my article
about Tellabration, click here.
of Storytelling Events - a great place to find out about and/or
Across the Internet with Links List
Awards & Research Program
Regional and Local Groups, Guilds and Clubs, are prevalent
in every state. When you check out NSN, you will find that each state
has a liaison
(California has six). E-mail your liaison and he or she should be
able to put you in touch with a group or active storyteller in your state.
Or you may want to start your own group. Check out the article, How
to Get and Keep Members Involved in Your Group/Guild, here.
Even if you don’t plan on becoming a professional storyteller, you
will find these groups to be fun, enlightening and a way to tell and listen
an Individual, Aspiring Storyteller, you also have many individual
choices. A great way to get started is to order the book, A Beginner's
Guide to Storytelling. Read all about it in this
article, which also tells how to order one. There are a plethora of
storytelling books that have tips, ideas and even ready-to-tell tales.
Besides becoming involved with a group and starting to practice storytelling,
these are some of the steps I took and offer as suggested ways on your
road to becoming involved:
International group. The focus is speaking, but once I
discovered my passion was storytelling, I told a story for every assignment,
and the group loved it. Plus, there is always an evaluation session
at schools and libraries to tell free. I found that the schools
in the poorer sections of town never had the benefits of being able
to hire a storyteller, so were thrilled to have me and it gave me the
best opportunity to practice.
storytelling workshops and attend as many festivals, conferences
and concerts as possible.
for a weekend, or even two days are probably one of the best
ways to work on developing your own, unique stories.
As you can
tell from the length of this article, that there is no limit to the opportunities
available for becoming seriously involved in storytelling. And, I have
only scratched the surface.
me know how it goes for you. Send me your feedback!
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Seeger's Storytelling Book
You can almost hear the banjo plucking away in the background
as veteran singer-songwriter Pete Seeger tells his folksy
tales and shares his useful tips on storytelling.