Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Springing for Storytelling

Subtitle: Spring Retreat

May brought storytelling experiences filled with enthusiasm and fun.  I enjoyed a stimulating weekend at the NC Storytelling Guild annual spring retreat.  Dr. Charlotte Hamlin led the workshop.  It was a time of learning, exploring and reinforcing various ways to engage in storytelling. 
For me, one of the most challenging activities was viewing storytelling through the eyes of a Massachusetts delegate to the US Constitutional Convention, Nathaniel Gorham.  Workshop attendees were each given different Constitutional Convention delegates. 
 I love history, but after reviewing the material I was given for Mr. Gorham I was stymied.  When I came to the front of the room to take on the persona of Delegate Gorham, I had no idea of what to say.  I don’t have any idea what happened.  I suppose I may have received inspiration from others in the group.  When my mouth opened to speak I felt the adrenalin pumping.  Whatever poured from my mouth wasn’t me.  Apparently it was Mr. Gorham who spoke with a strong self assured voice, rather than my frightened inner self. 
Now I realize this was indeed something to strengthen my storytelling and to help me to think on my feet.  Though I was forced beyond my comfort zone, I now appreciate it.  I’m happy to have had this challenging experience. 

Subtitle: Tales Under the Mill Moon
I’m thankful to have been invited as one of four storytellers to entertain at the Catawba County Museum Historical Association’s fundraising dinner, Tales Under the Mill Moon.  The dinner was held on the grounds of the historical Murray’s Mill in Catawba County, NC. 
We storytellers strolled from table to table after a main dinner course of hobo buffet barbeque, baked beans and fire-pit roasted potatoes.   After the guests enjoyed a delectable desert of fruit cobbler topped with freshly made ice cream, they were ready for more stories.
Next, with full stomachs, everyone gathered into a large group.  All had a grand time while we storytellers topped off the desert with more stories.  It was a magical evening.  The final hour and a half was filled with a wide variety of stories.  You could have heard a pin drop as nearly 100 guests hung on and savored each and every word. 
    At the end of the evening my storytelling friends, Cynthia Brown, Trish Dumser, Terry Rollins and I regrouped to catch up with one another and our  excitement of the evening.