For weeks now, I have been practicing my stories for the Lititz Storytelling Festival which approaches like an avalanche this coming weekend.
Yep! I knew what stories I was going to tell. I really only needed one or two or maybe three. I have timed them and written them out and re-arranged them. I gathered props. Yep! I was ready.
Then, yesterday? I tossed them out. Well, not literally. I just felt that the first one was not right for this venue. And the other one? Too gimmicky.
Now what could I do? I closed myself up in my office and dragged out all the stories that I knew. And I picked four different, shorter stories - stories that I love. Then I called a fellow storyteller - who was not home - but his lovely wife was. She listened to my dilemma and said, "Tell the story YOU want to tell."
This is excellent advice. If I am not in the telling business because There are stories want to tell, then what I am doing? I have stories I want to share. Some are personal. Some are those rare stories that speak to you when you read them.
It does raise the problem of how one designs a storytelling performance. My Friday night stories mesh well together. My Saturday afternoon stories, well, I think I can make the link.
But do they need to mesh? Does the audience want continuity? So many questions, so little time.
Come to Litiz. If my stories don't speak to you, perhaps Ed Stivender's stories will; or Kim Weitkamp's stories, or Chaz Kiernan's stories or one of the other fabulous tellers' stories. Come.
Storytelling - as the T-shirt says - is the Original Social Media.