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A Storyteller retires: Mike Mazur

CupOfTea 12 Jul 13 - 03:19 PM
ChanteyLass 13 Jul 13 - 12:45 AM
Elmore 13 Jul 13 - 09:24 PM
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Subject: A Storyteller retires: Mike Mazur
From: CupOfTea
Date: 12 Jul 13 - 03:19 PM

Tonight I'm making the trek down to the other side of Akron to see Mike Mazur do his last storytelling gig in Summit County. I'd travel farther, for Mike is one of the best shanachies yer ever going to hear.. oh wait, you likely won't... Mike was the founder of Celtic Ceol, a group that brought an incredible number of important Celtic and traditional folk performers to northern Ohio for a good number of years. I mourned the end of Celtic Ceol - we all got worn out, spent our savings and had smaller and smaller audiences, even while our reputation among traditional musicans grew. I mourn the end of Mike's career. He's been disspirited about things musical in this area for quite awhile, as have I. I'm just starting to perform in this dismal area while he throws in the towel. The difference seems to be that I can sing alone on my porch - but a storyteller really needs an audience.

Mike said "The reason this will be my last event is that there are no longer the number of venues to be doing this as people have found greater enjoyment tweeting and texting as the spoken word falls by the wayside.
Ruth Sawyer in her book THE WAY OF THE STORYTELLER stated that the only way you can keep a story is if you give it away... not a lot of call for this stuff anymore and the old stories are fading from my memory..."

For a storyteller, it's definitely "use it or lose it" and with so little call for his incredible talents, it's fading for him. I can so clearly hear him doing recitations he learned from Tom McCaffrey, who was THE fiddler in Cleveland's Irish community for decades. He'd do The Burlesque show or Piddlin Pete - Mike started in, and you'd swear it was Tom coming out his mouth.

Mike recently retired as MC at the Irish Cultural festival. Others may have run into him on some of the Joannie Madden Irish Cruises as shanachie. Celtic Ceol audiences have fond memories.

I find it so incredibly sad that what we're mostly going to have is memories of Mike, while he himself is alive, working hard and a delight to be around. If you're ever wondering "should I go see..." for a live show, keep in mind that you are precious as an audience, necessary for the tradition to thrive.

Joanne in Cleveland, Celtic Ceol alumni


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Subject: RE: A Storyteller retires: Mike Mazur
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 13 Jul 13 - 12:45 AM

Oh, this is too bad. I guess I'll never get to hear him. Storytelling is an important and under-rated art form. The assumption may be that anyone can do it. However, only a few can do it very well. It sounds like Mike is one of those who could do it very well.


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Subject: RE: A Storyteller retires: Mike Mazur
From: Elmore
Date: 13 Jul 13 - 09:24 PM

Used to be a lot of storytelling events in the Greater Boston area in the eighties. They still happen, but to a lesser extent.


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