Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Storytelling Again

I am finally getting back into storytelling after a six-month hiatus. I'm nervous about getting onstage again, but with two performances scheduled for this week, I better get over it. These two shows are different enough that I have been busy thinking about stories to tell, and working on some new material.

First up is a small school in the very tiptop of West Virginia's Northern Panhandle. I have only been that far north in the state once, just to say I had been there, and can claim to have seen the Great Teapot of Chester.

For this event, the organizer requested character education stories--stories with a moral. This is not a difficult set to plan because so many stories have morals; sometimes these are evident , as in Aesop's Fables, but some have layers of meanings and address ethical questions on many levels. Since this is a Kindergarten-fourth grade group, story selection has to be appropriate for their developmental level. One interesting thing about storytelling to children is that children's oral vocabulary outstrips their reading vocabulary so stories that seem too advanced are actually easily followed. Some of the stories in my bag for this program will be familiar (like Just Enough to Make a Story); others will hopefully be new to them.

Sunday is the Vandalia Festival on the Capitol Grounds in Charleston, WV, and I'm one of the judges for the Liars Contest. This annual contest draws many entrants hoping to win the grand prize--a "golden" shovel and a cash award. I'll be telling stories prior to the event, and since the liars tales are usually humorous I will include some funny stories in my set, and a new story about my parents in honor of Memorial Day. And because it is Memorial Day, I will certainly include a Jack tale in my son Jonathan's memory. He loved those old stories about the boy who managed to turn every bad situation into a win for himself.

The following Saturday I'll shift gears again and tell West Virginia ghost stories to middle-school age children in eastern West Virginia. This will be an easy set for me since ghost stories are my most requested program, and I am planning to add a new story to this set to continue to expand my repertoire.

So I'm back on the storytelling trail. I hope it will feel good and that I can once again find the joy I always expected from telling stories and meeting new audiences. Wish me luck as I start on this next leg of the journey.


Kate Dudding said...

Dear Granny Sue,

Good luck with your storytelling! However, I really don't think that you'll need any luck.

You may not have told on a stage in 6 months, but I've got to believe that you've shared stories with your family and friends.

Besides, you're a storyteller from the top of your head all the way down to your toes, from your heart to your bones.

Hugs nonetheless,


Go - girl - go. My guess is it will be great and you will be back on that bike and riding like a champion. You loe it! Enjoy it! Welcome back!!!!

Country Whispers said...

Glad to see you are jumping back in the saddle and hope it brings much enjoyment for you.
I'm sure once you are standing there all the nerves will go away and you will feel right at home.
Good luck and travel safe.
*You'll be passing through my neck of the woods on one of those trips. If you ever need a place to rest a bit just hollar, my door is always open.*

Anonymous said...

You'll be up on stage and back to telling stories without a pause. Routine sets in during the performance, I think. Afterwards you'll have more time to contemplate and that's when I found new insights percolating into something I hadn't told for months. Smile and have fun! SRP prep rules here. Batsy

Jason Burns said...

Break a leg, GSUE!

I too plan to go see the teapot of Chester, but have not been yet. And, I will be telling ghost tales in Burnsville on Saturday at the public library, so we may be performing in (somewhat distant) tandem.

Angela Bethea said...

Good for you. You will be in my prayers. You just think you're nervous, once you get started, you will feel so much better. You will recognize it as some place you've been before and get comfortable real quick.
Wish I was closer than AR so I could hear your tales.
With Love and admiration

Anonymous said...

It's good t hear you are sharing stories again. Hope both go well.--Jane D.

Nance said...

ah, Sue, I envy you the ability to tell stories in front of a crowd -- in front of many people. Painfully shy as a child, I have come a long way but still am more comfortable telling "my story" to 3 or 4 folks. Please don't ask me to stand on a stage! Good for you for going ahead with these plans. Your Jon will expect the "Jack" stories . . . and be proud.

Susan at Stony River said...

Wow, that's quite a schedule - but it sounds like fun and I *love* Liar's Contests! Good luck in all those travels.

Janet, said...

Susanna, I have no doubt that you will do okay. But good luck anyways. I think Jon will be smiling when you're telling your Jack tales.

TheresaandJay said...

Susie, I have seen you telling stories and you are a professional. I am positive all your "forditude" will pull in and help you through it. I have also seen you telling us stories during the past few months...I'll be thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers. Love you tm

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