This search is going to take several posts to complete and I hope it provokes a good conversation. The idea: to create a frame of reference for many story-work forms that represent truly good intentions and work, while helping everybody realize what part of storytelling they are actually referring to. I also intend to clear some misconceptions about oral storytelling referred to by many as ‘the old ways’ (trying to keep it polite). Needless to say but I’ll say it anyway – they are not trying to show appreciation and we storytellers have had enough of this attitude.
This is a complicated endeavor for several reasons – lack of agreed language, complexity and the fact we are dealing with a dynamic living act that cannot be fully represented in 2D or 3D graphic forms. There is also the matter of subjectivity but that word will not help (in this conversation) justify comments like ‘storytelling is whatever I want it to be’ because it is not. So let’s see how much we can frame and agree upon first and then leave the stage open for interpretations. On the other hand we can never reach perfect objective agreement about storytelling issues and I don’t think we need to fully analyze to death everything. I’ve been tackled with this issue before and my reply is simple – if you will fully analyze all the components of a woman, do you think you will actually fully understand her? It’s the same with art and in this case with storytelling.
Several ideas came up concerning grids: required skills, preferable outcomes (story work applications), storytelling-storylistening, oral-technological and some more. I’m suggesting what I see as the core model of storytelling – the threefold I’ve named partnership in exchange. Why? Because from where I’m looking, storytelling is a concentric form that contains its own decoding devices. It is self explanatory.
If anyone would care to suggest another storytelling model which he or she finds more lucid – please do.
The importance of approaching the issue from the ‘ancient art’ side
I’ve been observing things like ‘visual storytelling’ ‘intentional storytelling’ ‘interactive storytelling’ etc. which people refer to as ‘eureka!’ moments in the ‘evolution of modern storytelling’. Sorry to spoil the party but the above and much more are already contained in the ancient art form and they are nothing new. We (storytellers) are just quite astonished to find out how little people actually know. There is no need to add any kind of adjective to the word ‘storytelling’. It is full of meanings, devices, intentions, possibilities and that’s exactly what we are going to find out here.
What will not be part of this conversation?
Marketing promises of any kind. No quick wins, super riches, legendary leadership, supernatural management, no mass brain messing for monetary gains and all the rest.
To be continued…