In case you didn't know, I really, really, really like telling stories.
And sometimes, people seem to really like listening to them.
There were spectacular crowds for the stories at Heartfelt and Sebastian Joe's today, and I told four different stories. Two were traditional folk tales (Grandfather Frost, which I changed slightly because I couldn't remember it, and Cap o'Rushes) and two I made up ON THE SPOT. David Sewell McCann of Sparkle Stories talks about doing that here. I have a deep belief in just letting stories tell themselves, although it's kind of like letting a little kid lead the family hike in the woods. I ask the questions I need answered in order to keep the story from totally falling off the rails -- who is this about? Where are we going? How do we get there? What do we need?
I love telling stories in performance, but it's not my only goal here. I want to empower you to tell stories, and to make stories. Today, I told one story about a boy who saw a moose with one antler. I had asked the audience to name a favorite treat and an animal. The treat was ice cream, which was peripheral to the story that came to me. I just followed the story where it led, asking my questions, until it was done.
You can do it. Try it tonight, or tomorrow. Find a jumping-off point, and just go with it. You never know where the story will take you...
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.