By Limor Shiponi
G is what one could call – the average storyteller. At some point he got interested in the possibility of telling stories. He felt it’s close to his heart and thought it would be fun to give it a try. He attended training, visited a few workshops, went through the hazards and joys, collected himself some stories, attended more training, practiced, found himself some audiences and gained confidence. He also joined a local storytellers’ gathering, listened, evaluated his place in the storytelling arena as he could capture it, collected some more stories and got to the point he has enough ‘meat’ to assemble a program. The program was given a name and he did a little marketing.
Then G started realizing that reality for a storyteller isn’t always predictable. People were approaching him with specific requests he couldn’t always easily answer. Nevertheless, he was interested in answering those requests. So, he got some more stories, practiced them, combined them with what he already had, attended a few more workshops and a couple of festivals for the sake of inspiration, learning and improving. He could already assemble more than one program, already had a nice ability to hold an audience with his better performed stories, some opinions about storytellers and storytelling, a modest website, some successful experiences, some less, a stable audience of friends and co-workers, some younger people chasing him for a story once in awhile and a thin stream of incoming phone calls from potential paying customers.
G, like many other storytellers, does not rely on storytelling financially. Money is nice and G is doing a great job charging the right price. He isn’t afraid to ask his worth – after locating where about it might be in the local market. He finds and learns some more stories, tells them and the quiet storytelling flow in his life continues.
Then one day, I receive a call from G. “I want more” he says. “More what?” I ask. “I don’t really know but I feel there is more. I know there is more – if I’m looking around”. I tried to understand what G is looking at as “more”. He had snippets of answers and ideas, but he couldn’t really tell. Then he came up with “I want to be a better storyteller”. “How will you know you have become a better storyteller?” I inquired. “I don’t know… when I’ll tell better, when… what kind of a question is that? when I’ll be better I’ll know it”. “So why aren’t you already if you know what it’s like?” I insisted. “You and your difficult questions”, said G, “I don’t know”.
G is actually going through this quest right now and he is going to be the protagonist of a new category on this blog – how to become a better storyteller.
Until next time, here is G’s homework – how will you know you have become a better storyteller? you might want to answer that question too, or at least give it a try.
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Good morning Limor,
I like your difficult questions. Many things strike me about the piece, the fact that he doesn’t rely on his storytelling to make a living, an audience of friends….I wonder where this protagonist will go? Into the dark forest of questions and a twisted path, or the easier road around the forest?
Hello Clare. Obviously, you’ve recognized the scent of a story-mantle slipping away behind the corner 🙂 I wonder too but I can’t say I know… yet. We’ll have to wait and see.
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