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Advice on giving a storytelling workshop

Northerner 02 Mar 10 - 04:38 PM
Bettynh 02 Mar 10 - 04:45 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Mar 10 - 05:44 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Mar 10 - 06:30 AM
Northerner 03 Mar 10 - 03:20 PM
Northerner 03 Mar 10 - 03:24 PM
Northerner 03 Mar 10 - 03:34 PM
Jack Blandiver 03 Mar 10 - 05:52 PM
Bettynh 03 Mar 10 - 06:10 PM
Jim Carroll 03 Mar 10 - 06:31 PM
open mike 03 Mar 10 - 11:44 PM
Northerner 04 Mar 10 - 09:45 AM
Northerner 04 Mar 10 - 09:51 AM
Northerner 04 Mar 10 - 09:56 AM
Northerner 04 Mar 10 - 10:02 AM
GUEST,Black Hawk unlogged 04 Mar 10 - 11:08 AM
Bettynh 04 Mar 10 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,kendall 04 Mar 10 - 12:30 PM
Northerner 04 Mar 10 - 04:36 PM
Northerner 04 Mar 10 - 04:42 PM
Northerner 04 Mar 10 - 04:45 PM
Jack Blandiver 04 Mar 10 - 04:48 PM
Northerner 13 Mar 10 - 01:16 PM
kendall 13 Mar 10 - 01:27 PM
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Subject: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Northerner
Date: 02 Mar 10 - 04:38 PM

Hi everyone!

Haven't been posting much lately, or not starting threads anyway.

I'm going to be leading a workshop on storytelling at my local university soon. Likely to be a very small group. I just hope someone turns up...

Does anyone have any general tips they could give me please? The class is for beginners, and will include people from a writing background rather than a folk club background.

Thsnks.
Diane


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Bettynh
Date: 02 Mar 10 - 04:45 PM

Be sure to include local librarys and librarians when you advertise. Teachers, too. They were the biggest groups at the National Storytelling Festival.


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 05:44 AM

Don't know why, but I am assuming you are a UK Northerner.
Try and get hold of some recordings of traditional storytellers. The best and most readily available of these are Scots, The Stewarts of Blair probably the best known. The School of Scottish Studies isssued a superb double CD entitled 'Scottish Traditional Tales' on Greentrax and Mike Yates assembled 2 CDs called 'Travellers Tales' from hs own collection which he issued on his Kylo label. Also a couple of cassettes from Scots Traveller Duncan Williamson, possibly available from the Elphistone Institute. The School of Scottish Studies one comes with a booklet containing notes and full transcriptions, which can be useful for print-outs, especially when dealing with unfamiliar dialects and accents.
Some years ago we edited a cassette of storytellers (we're rather proud of) from all over the British Isles, through The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library called '.....and That's My Story'. I think it is now unavailable - contact Malcolm Taylor; if it is, p.m. me and I might be able to help.
If I am wrong in my assumption and you are a Yankee Northener, there were two excellent albums of Appalachian tales by Ray Hicks and Richard Chase issued on Sandy Paton's Folk Legacy label.
Personally I'd avoid like the plague, the 'twee tendency' that used to proliferate in the storytelling revival of a few years ago, but that, of course, is your choice.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 06:30 AM

With all due respect, Northener - if you have to ask for advice on this, maybe you should pass this one on to someone more qualified? I've been telling professionally now for more years than I care to remember but would think very hard about agreeing to give a workshop, although I have done in the past - for the Society for Storytelling and others. I can say that it's not an area to be entered into lightly - nor by asking for advice on a general folk music forum.

Like I say, with all due respect. Storytelling and storytelling workshops are two very different things.


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Northerner
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 03:20 PM

Hello Betty

Sadly it is not getting the publicity that I would have liked. Librarians in my local area are unlikely to come anyway; they seem to be very lacking in confidence regarding oral storytelling. I was a librarian myself originally so I know that not all librarians are like that. And of course, I've seen Liz Weir perform. It's difficult to approach the teachers as it has to be done on an individual school basis. Time-consuming.

It's a shame as I expect there are some people who would really appreciate it - if only they know about it.


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Northerner
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 03:24 PM

Hello Suibhne

I expect the workshop will go all right. I have trained and worked as a teacher earlier in my life, and been on plenty of workshops on storytelling. I'm an active storyteller.

But if anyone had useful tips I would have been glad to hear them. I'm not a novice, but someone who is willing to listen to others and learn.


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Northerner
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 03:34 PM

Hello Jim

Yes, I'm from the UK. The north of England.

Duncan Williamson was a brilliant storyteller. I saw him perform on a number of occcasions. I got the chance to tell him a riddle and a couple of stories at a ceilidh in Edinburgh. I had only just started performing as a storyteller and he was so supportive. He patted me on the shoulder and gave me a peck on the cheek.

I was fortunate enough to have been mentored by the late Stanley Robertson. I still miss him a great deal.

I suppose if I can bring the spirit of these two wonderful storytellers into the workshop then I can't go far wrong. That and having planned it well beforehand, of course!!!

Thank you.

Diane


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 05:52 PM

There's no shortage of fine storytellers in the North East as I'm sure you're aware. Not least are those from A Bit Crack, with whom I enjoyed many a colourful collaboration over the years of our association. Last I heard they were booted out The Cumberland for poor bar sales; hardly the wonder really, last time I told there (5 years ago??) the audience seemed to consist mostly of 12 & 13-year-olds - not good for an adult storytelling event in a public house, or anywhere else for that matter! But the glory days of The Bit Crack Club at the Cumberland Arms (1994-99) were some of most magical nights of my life; happy days indeed.


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Bettynh
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 06:10 PM

In this day and age, teachers must be talking to each other online somewhere. Here in the states a storytelling seminar would be an enjoyable way to earn continuing education credit for their resume. Any teachers out there know a forum for teachers where Northerner could spread the word?


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 06:31 PM

You should also be aware of the differnce between storytelling and yarns.
Both were once very popular here in Ireland and we were lucky enough to record both.
The yarns tend to be short - 2 or three minutes max. while formal storytelling can be the equivilent of a short novel.
The last big storyteller we recorded was Jack Flannery of Cloonfad on the borders of three counties (so close to each that his neighbour could sit in his armchair in Galway, with his feet in the hob in Roscommon and have his pipe beside him in Mayo - or so Jack told us!)
His stories were of an avarage length of one hour - the longest being 'Prince John of Galway and the Water Horse Under The Bridge' - over 2 hours.
A man local to hear, Pat Murrihy told us his father would gather the neighbors in for storytelling on a Monday night, tell his story until bedtime, take it up again the following night, and continue this way until Friday - one story lasting 5 nights.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: open mike
Date: 03 Mar 10 - 11:44 PM

there are several story telling festivals in the U.S.

perhaps you could grow your event into such a thing.

http://www.sierrastorytellingfestival.org/

http://www.lastorytellingfestival.com/

http://www.timpfest.org/

are you going to welcome others to tell stories?
perhaps you can include audio or video recordings...
will you be representing different cultures, or countries?
will you pick a theme ?
some of the most effective stories i have heard involve
either costume or a prop or an activity such as "cat's cradle"
(designs made with string, by manipulating with fingers)

this festival combines folk music and dance with storytelling
http://www.ctmsfolkmusic.org/festival/Solstice/default.asp

In the native american Hopi culture, storytelling is an important
and honored act...and there are many pottery figures which portray
the storyteller...always surrounded by children.
http://www.penfieldgallery.com/story.shtml
http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/shop/product-view-0s-7c-69i.html

good luck...and let us know how it goes..


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Northerner
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 09:45 AM

Hello Betty

Thanks. I have now posted on an online forum and hope some local teachers see it.

Diane


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Northerner
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 09:51 AM

Hello Suibhne

Yes, I've been to see A Bit Crack at the Cumberland Arms. I understand that their funding had ben reduced which is why they had to find an alternative venue. There were certainly some youngsters there when I went though the audiences seemed to be mainly adult. There were some fun times! The storytellers there were very supportive.

I've started a storytelling circle now in my own area - it's simply more convenient for me, and for people from my area. Less distance to travel. We're tiny yet, but oaks take a long time to grow...


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Northerner
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 09:56 AM

Hello Open Mike

We are simply a small workshop, intended to help people learn about storytelling and become one themselves if they'd like to have a go. I have some simple techniques that beginners can use.   Festivals are a bit far off at the moment! But would be nice to aaim for. Our local one seems to have died, though I know one of the organisers so maybe it can come alive again eventually?


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Northerner
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 10:02 AM

Hello Jim

I'd love to see an Irish storytelling festival sometime. I saw some wonderful Irish storytellers at a festival in Edinburgh. Mesmerising! Stanley, my late mentor, was invited to perform at one of the Irish festivals and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Most of my stories at the moment are fairly short (10 minutes maximum). Performing a longer one is one of my next steps upwards.

Cheers!

Diane


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: GUEST,Black Hawk unlogged
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 11:08 AM

???? Northener, you said - Festivals are a bit far off at the moment! But would be nice to aim for. Our local one seems to have died, though I know one of the organisers so maybe it can come alive again eventually?

What makes you think your local festival (Saltburn) has died?
You are in the program for this year already?


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Bettynh
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 12:17 PM

Since we're adding links, there's a library-intensive storytelling showcase here


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 12:30 PM

Story telling is probably the second oldest form of entertainment in our history. One size does not fit all; there are so many different ways of telling stories and they range from short ones for children to sagas such as Beowulf. No 4 year old is going to sit through Beowulf and no fan of Beowulf is going to settle for the three little pigs.

First, know your audience. It's ok to push the envelope a bit but don't get carried away to the point where their eyes glaze over.


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Northerner
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 04:36 PM

Hello Black Hawk.

I wasn't referring to Saltburn but a different festival. I've been booked for Saltburn and give it my full support. I'm very sorry indeed if there has been a misunderstanding.

There was a small storytelling festival that ran for a few years locally. It hasn't run for a year or two sadly, but now that we have several storytellers active in the Tees Valley maybe it can be revived?


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Northerner
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 04:42 PM

Hi Betty

I've now had some response to my posting in the teachers' website - I've got a teacher keen to check out the workshop. Hopefully others will follow suit.

I don't mind small workshops - small is good.


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Northerner
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 04:45 PM

Hi Kendall

That's good advice. Thank you!

I'm modifying my plan a bit to make the workshop slightly simpler. After all, it's always possible to run follow-up workshops.


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 04 Mar 10 - 04:48 PM

no fan of Beowulf is going to settle for the three little pigs.

I love them both actually.


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: Northerner
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 01:16 PM

Well, I gave my storytelling workshop. It went quite well. I had six people attending and they all seemed to enjoy it. I'm not sure many of them are likely to become storytellers but they all seemed to appreciate it. The primary school teacher seemed to find it particularly helpful; she was very pleased with the story that she took home with her. She plans to use it with her class.


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Subject: RE: Advice on giving a storytelling workshop
From: kendall
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 01:27 PM

Beowulf was the story that hooked me on storytelling back when I was about 12.


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