Professional Storyteller

Share a Story - Change the World

Hi... I'm trying to figure out the best possible way to enable a group of 4-20 people to create stories in a 30-60 min time span. I'd like to ideally get the group to take Campbell-Vogler's Hero's Journey route.   

Has anyone tried this exercise before? Tips are suggestions are appreciated.

 

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Hey,

Check out Keith Johnstone's Impro book.

You can do the 'Yes and...' 'Yes but...' game, whereby a person begins a story, and then the next person continues with either 'yes and...' or 'yes but...' ... some really interesting stories can come out of this.

The interview method from Johnstone is really good for generating stories.

In the UK, Alexander Mackenzie leads workshops on spontaneous storytelling.

Not sure how to relate it to Campbell, maybe introduce it in the beginning of the workshop, and relate what happens in the stories to it.

Best wishes,

Tom
It's interesting that just yesterday I was talking to a client of mine (in an unrelated business) about this very subject. I, many times will ask my audience to choose a "Person", "Place", and "Thing" and ask participants to give me at least three subjects in the "Invention" of a story. There may be many suggestions as there are for example, on "Who's Line Is It" with Drew Carrey. The difference with my presentation is that my suggestions not only are to create a story but to do it in Rhyme. A Poetic story that has to be created on the spur of the moment. This can be so much fun, my audience "howls" for more. This is true spontaneity. Sometimes it is easy to coast through a story given the three prompts but ad poetry and POW! POW! POW! you've got a winner when it comes to creation. OK, you are talking about up to 20 people? Most will not insist on your using their suggestion. Take several suggestions that you "MUST REMEMBER" and go with it. All of a sudden you have the beginnings of a really great tale/poem. I'm not suggesting that you go for the poem all the time but believe me it really challenges the mental capacity of your creativity. I never thought that I was a poet up to the time that I tried this and guess what? I am authoring what I would consider great poetry, sponsored by those who gave me the prompts to give it a try. As My Loving Wife Would Say; Give It The Perfect Try!

Good Luck
Dave Bullock, the Legendheir
Thank you Tom and David... I am going through Impro and Impro for storytellers. The books are excellent. This is what I'm playing with right now:

Begin with 'What's in the box' exercise to free the creative flow. Essentially, we pull out stuff from an imaginary box and it can be anything. A and B do it for about a minute each about 2 times. It leads to a lot of laughter and makes it clear that being silly and spontaneous is okay.

Next we play the 'Where? Who? What?' game to set the context. This is again spontaneously done and emotive details are encouraged. Example: In a small street in central London | A middle aged goth with a hairy mole | holding a red balloon.

We then do some free association to establish 5 emotive elements to be used in the story. These are descriptive too like- an old crinkled paper cup | a pound torn through the center | a weighing scale for elephants and a line that has to appear in the story- 'S/he walked into the sunshine'.

We then proceed to the 'Yes, and' game. I start with a sentence to break the ice and we alternate.

Since I'm moderating, I can guide the story through a definite three act narrative structure.

This flow is meant for 2 - 4 people. I figured that's a good number for a meaningful story to emerge.

A few more details on the project:

I'm running this exercise with members of diverse urban tribes- vampire enthusiasts, gangs of London, surfers in Cornwall, gamers, geeks etc. The objective is to explore how spontaneous stories reflect the identity of a subculture.

I'll keep you all posted on how this methodology works out. As always... suggestions, tips, recommendations will be greatly appreciated. Also, suggestions about subcultures will be awesome too.
Hello,

I offer it in a sequence:
physical improv first...passing a clap around the circle. Then passing a gesture around the circle. One person makes a gesture and everyone passes it, it gets to the person who created it, they end it and immediately the next person must send a new gesture.

Then, story game: In pairs, but doing groups of two, one at a time:
One person tells a story in complete gibberish (it has to be a short, but true story). The second person 'acts' it out in mime and/or modern dance. Very funny. Audience has to guess the story.

Several rounds so that many players have a chance to tell a gibberish tale.

Then in a circle, once warmed up, simply begin, once upon a time. In terms of working w/ the heroes journey, it is helpful if you begin the tale and give us some elements of the hero...it is amazing how the story arc comes into focus if players are spontaneous.

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