I have been asked to do something that is going to force me out of my comfort zone a little bit. I have been asked to tell a story with an organization called Odyssey Storytelling. (http://www.storyartsgroup.org/odyssey/Odyssey/Welcome.html) The theme of the night is called “Saved By the Bell,” and all of the stories will be told by a variety of teachers and professors. The stories need to be 10 minutes in length, and we are not allowed to use any notes. Oh dear…I am nervous about this.
It might surprise you all that I am nervous, because I tell stories all the time. I write everyday of my life, and I read stories to children everyday, too. Writing stories, however, is a different ballgame. You have time to formulate your words and can correct your mistakes. You have the opportunity to manipulate your story in any way that you find necessary.
Reading stories to children is completely scripted. I can tell any story with the words right in front of my face….not a problem.
The idea of telling a story without having any notes, makes me shake in my boots! I am the queen of stammering and mumbling “ummmm…..” throughout my speech over and over again. Someone just recently told me that I use the word “Anyhow” a lot. Oy! I feel so self-conscious about this!
That said, I do love the idea of challenging myself. Afterall, I do have a drama background. It’s just that I haven’t used that part of my skill set in an awfully long time, and again, even my acting work was always scripted. Lord help me….have I taken on something too crazy this time?
I have oodles of respect for professional storytellers, and my guess is that the more you do it, the better you get. So, I will take this leap of faith and go for it.
One of my favorite musical storytellers of all time is Harry Chapin. His greatest hits album was actually called “Greatest Stories,” and he had a way of using music to really talk about parts of his life. I am such a fan! One of my favorite Harry Chapin stories is a song called “A Better Place to Be,” a song about a one night stand. It is storytelling at its best, in my opinion, so click HERE to check it out. And!!! — wish me luck for my own storytelling experience, because I’m sure luck will definitely fall into the mix that night. My fingers are crossed as I plan which story I will tell, and as I hope and pray I can pull it off!