Professional Storyteller

Share a Story - Change the World

I spend several hours at Beacon College in Leesburg Florida. The professor had invited me to tell trickster stories and to explain them to a class. Beacon College is a college dedicated to students with special learning needs. The students were easy to work with and participated in all of the interactive stories. Several asked questions after the program. In particular, they wanted to know where to find copies of the stories which is something that I have never been asked before.

For these students the act of tricking or deceiving was surprising and they actually cheered when one of the characters "got caught". They also wanted to know why most of the tricksters were animals when usually people are the deceivers.

These students will be attending a concert at the Florida StoryCamp the last weekend of this month. I am sure that their impression of storytelling will change after hearing and seeing Michael Patrick, Michael McCarty, Molly Catron, Yokmoto and Sandy Walker.

I teach public speaking in college and I will be curious to see if the Trickster Program has a similar effect. As of now, my students are saying, "Do we really have to tell a story like to little kids?"

Perhaps, just perhaps we as college professors and storytellers need to be telling the storytelling story better.

Ann Scroggie

Tags: Classes, College, Tell, Trickster, a, in

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Replies to This Discussion

Dear Ann:

Now that I am thinking back to my Brigham Young University Storytelling Club Days, I don't remember many of the members choosing trickster tales. I never thought about it before until your post.

The members might not have chosen trickster tales because I didn't tell many myself. For most of the members, it was their first exposure to the art so what they saw me do they were quick to follow.

Through the years, there were more "veteran" tellers who had developed their own styles to at least mix up the types of stories shared with the new members.

I will have to think about this more as why trickster tales were not the most popular ones to tell for the college students. I have heard that my generation--the Millennial Generation--value honesty and rather that someone be frank with them than play around.

Many club members shared folktales and original tales and some ventured to tell personal tales.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
So how about an interessting experiment and we try telling the same trickster tale in many different college settings just to get an idea of the reactions. If several of us all did this and asked the students the same questions afterward it would be revealing possibly. Maybe a trickster versus another kind of story . anyone interested? Well we better wait for after the final four I dont think anyone in my town is thinking of anything but Womens basketball right now! 3 ,miles from Gampel Pavillion home of the Uconn Huskies. Carolyn Stearns

ps I teach public speaking to 4-H and FFA kids it is so much fun! They will sure have the edge when they get to college and having done so many speeches.
If Michael McCarty will be there, the students are in for a treat!
The times I have told stories for college groups [not often, but a few times] this same kind of concept arose, that they were disconnected from the idea of storytelling. Some of them got it very quickly, as they were used to other forms of the spoken word, but other struggled with the concept, and wondered why they were being taught about "kid stuff".
A couple of times I have put stories in context with things that they knew, like films with legend/folktale motifs.

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