The greatest storyteller of all time could be the one who connects so perfectly with the audience--whether that be one or many people--that the stories shared move beyond words and movements and all are edified from the experience.
The potential is out there for anyone to be that greatest storyteller of all time. . .at any moment.
I agree. Anyone whose telling transcends words/movement to such a degree that all are edified would certainly make the ballot. And I think that "potential" to which you refer is what keeps lots of folks going. (Not to be the "world's best," necessarily, but to be The Best Teller s/he can be...in that place, in that moment.)
So, as I said to Tim, "Who is your FAVORITE teller of all time?" - (OK, then, Top Five?) Your favorite might be someone of whom I've never heard, and vice-versa and, as someone once said, "So what?"
Come on, help me out here. It's NOT a 'trick' question, or a 'trap,' or anything else along those lines.
I KNOW culture, genre, language, gender, styles, formats, venues, etc. all make a difference. I'm simply asking - all things considered - who would you think?
If it helps, think of it as: Who is your FAVORITE storyteller of all time? (Maybe that's really what I meant in the first place?) That's much easier, right? OK, then - I'm STILL anticipating your reply - and thanking you in advance.
My current favorites are Kevin Kling and Ben Haggarty. I'd also walk barefoot in the snow for two miles, uphill (both ways) to see Dovie Thomason, Lynn Moroney, Willie Claflin, Bill Harley, Baba Jamal Koram, and Barry Smith.
As they say in'em fancy eateries like ya'll got out on the West Coast (I hear tell), "Excellent choice, sir...."
I'm sorry to say I'm not at all familiar w/ most of those names, but you can bet I'll be checkin'em out, and all "because you said so." And, for that, I thank you.
I have several favorite tellers because I love their style. That doesn't mean they are the best. They just fit my taste. Here they are: Eth-Noh-Tec (story theater), Diane Ferlatte (was just Grammy nominated), Toni Simmons, Lyn Ford, Priscilla Howe, the Act!vated Storytellers (story theater)... There are so many great storytellers out there (thank goodness) that there are choices for everyone, no matter what your taste. That means for us, as storytellers, there is a wide open market because we, like our hiring clients, are a diverse group.
Oh, Tim! You said the F word in your post without genuflecting. Bad, Bad Tim. ;-)
Sorry, Tom. I am not sure there is an answer to this. Last Wednesday, I was the greatest storyteller in the world at 255PM when fifth graders told me they never liked stories before they saw me.
On January 26 it was Tim Ereneta 'cuz he wowed the crowd at the Emergent Storytelling Festival and that prompted an old lady to make me PROMISE her I would Email her when our guild did something that an 11 year old boy would like..."cuz this young man was so good tonight." I told her Tim was 40 but she said she still meant him. Otherwise she was correct. He was so good.
On Monday night, Elly Reidy was my favorite teller ever when she re-did Cinderella in a masterful fashion. I'll probably post it on the next podcast. Oops. She hasn't been a "new voice" anywhere yet, so I guess she doesn't count yet. LoL.
Tom Taylor does a pretty good little inflection/intonation voice in his stories. Okay, he is my favorite.
You just perty much "made my day" w/ your insights/comments and sense of humor.
I tend to be mostly agreeing with the responses I'm getting, and maybe I'm feeling a tad foolish for ever having asked the question, tho' it "seemed like a good idea at the time."
I've felt the same way upon hearing/seeing/experiencing various tellers, at various times, in various venues, so I
totally agree with your closing line - and ain't that th' way it's sposed to be?
Oh, and a special thanks for your next-to-last line, which will be prominently displayed on my business card/brochure/posters/t-shirts/books/cd's/storyteller.net/professionalstoryteller/nsn's teller pages/, etc., etc., etc.
You had me laughing out loud at the end of a not-so-fun day, so . . .
Yikes, forgive me if in any way my comments contributed to or cause your feeling foolish. Not my goal in any way. You asked a valid answer and maybe you've been getting some cheeky responses, including mine. Valid question. Keep asking things like this.
The line was supposed to read that you do a pretty good little kid inflection etc. I can see kids I know who sound like that asking for as story.