WSD event in Israel – a long long story and this is the first part

By Limor Shiponi

This story will be long. The reason I’ve decided to tell it is because sharing the way this production evolved might shed light on several issues I think the storytelling community needs to look at. There are many lovely parts in this story, some of them might sound innocent to those who have produced many events before. That’s ok for me, I’ll be telling the story as it is.

Thank you Marc Young for encouraging me to write this at a time all the encouragement I could offer you from here seemed to me like dust.

Back story

The storytelling community in Israel is not very small if you compare it to the size of the population. If I’ll try and paint it’s characteristics I could say it is heavily influenced by two factors:
Most of the trainers come from theater and therapy.
The only storytelling festival that exists here for years and is constantly broadcasting on TV is really a series of panels of people telling something that has happened to them. Some interesting, some really boring or out of place, but it’s on TV, many of them are celebrities and that is the way storytelling is perceived by the mass. Very few storytellers participate in that event if at all.

Here comes “she who thinks she knows everything better”

That is me so to say. You bet I’m not the one who has tagged me with the above slogan. What does it really represent? hard work. Insisting on asking difficult questions. Finding some answers. Hard work. I’m still the busiest teller in this place. In addition I’ve invested in the storytelling community over here beyond your imagination. Why the tag? I’ll go on with the story and you tell me.

Why is she taking it personally?

Because I know no other way do be a storyteller or a person.

So I’ve been to that course too. After I finished it I was grateful for many experiences but not content about the outcome. I’ve written many times before – the general level of storytelling is not good enough. Not the way I perceive storytelling. How do I know? from the guts. When you are in the presence of great art you feel goosebumps. So maybe from the skin…

Somehow, many people were very pleased about themselves, with what they have achieved. I was not, because – it wasn’t storytelling, at least most of it.

And then I got to listen to Laura Simms and Liz Weir…

And for me that was storytelling. Since there is no orderly program to learn storytelling I started my voyage to find the answers. Reading old and new books, traveling to listen to other tellers, to conversations, getting involved in discussion groups like Storytell, sniffing around constantly, learning stories, hunting stories, voice training, practice, practice, practice. My winding path brought me many places. My main question is always “how does this work? what is it made of?”

Until the day it “clicked”

On that day I could say to myself – Limor, you’re a darn good storyteller. Why? because I could create simple magic. Be powerful and kind with people sitting and listening just in front of my nose, sharing the act with me and the story.

Back to here and now

So I proceeded. People got to know me. Then I started training others and even more people got to know me. I had stuff to say and insights to offer and people were willing to take them because they were helpful. But at the same time many didn’t use them, didn’t practice them fully and eventually discarded the advice as too difficult or not relevant to what you see others doing. The dark prophet of storytelling…woooooooooo….. but still they were puzzled – how does she do it? so they came up with the usual explanations like “she’s a natural” “she’s got it” and all the rest of the crap. The simple truth is:
Be curious
Love people, love humanity
Love language and that has noting to do with your level of education
Love the sense of story, be puzzled by it
Always learn, never stop
Create, create, create
Work hard

So, what’s new?
I didn’t say I’m going to say something new, I’m just telling a story to be continued.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.