Friday, June 22, 2012

A Storyteller's Day

I wrote this last night as a post on a storytelling listserve; then I thought it would make a good blog post too:
Wednesday was filled with gigs of all kinds and sizes. Some things stand out: the tiny library where the audience was one 3-year-old and her granny, a teenager and the librarian. We had a good time, talking and sharing stories. The grandmother said that her aunt once came back from the beach with sun poisoning; at the doctor's she sat next to a lady who kept reapplying her lipstick and powder. "Why are you here?" the make-up woman asked. "Itch," the aunt replied. The make-up woman moved to a chair across the room and sat beside the aunt's cousin. "Did you hear what she said? She said she had the itch!" "Yep," said the cousin. "Got it from me." 
Outside of the car repair garage next door was a 1959 GMC pickup with Colorado tags and a 5-gallon bucket for a seat. I know there has to be a story about that.

Another program was another small library where about 30-35 people crowded in to hear stories; all ages again and all good listeners. Prior to the show a boy told me that a groundhog had gotten into his preschool classroom and made a terrible mess, even in the bathroom. "We have NO IDEA how he got in there and made that mess," he said, with perfect storyteller emphasis, facial expression and body gestures. His mom tried to hush him; I was happy to hear more.

At the third program of the day, we had a large room and a large crowd. Rushing because the traffic and road construction on the 2-lane highway delayed us, we managed to plug the same cord into both speakers but not into the amp--frustration and sweat ensued and I ended up working without the amp. We had to laugh after the program when we discovered what we'd done.

The last performance was for a church youth work group; young adults from all over the US gathered at a camp to work on the homes of low-income people in the area. There were also 3 Russian girls in the group. They wanted Appalachian stories so that the kids could understand more about the culture of this region. They were a great audience, even though we were outside and the temperature was still in the 80's at 7 in the evening. I learned afterwards that a translator translated all my stories and ballads into Russian for the three girls. How I would have liked to hear that!

Today was a simple, straightforward library program. Tomorrow I tell stories to Toyota plant staff as part of their cultural diversity training program (the employees who will attend are not from the Appalachian region) and then hustle off the perform at the WV State Folk Festival later in the day. 

It's all in a storyteller's day.

Copyright 2007 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I enjoyed reading that, Sue. And, Hey, I've just been giving your grand-daughter's album a listen - very classy indeed, the song "Best Part Of Me" is particularly moving. I may be the first person in the UK to have the album but I won't be the last.

Marilyn Sue Shank said...

Wow, Susanna! What a wonderful and exhausting day you've had!

Granny Sue said...

Oddly, I wasn't too tired, once I got over being so hot. Strange how adrenaline can keep you running :)

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