Professional Storyteller

Share a Story - Change the World

   So... Here I am with a great idea in one hand and a horse haired brush in the other. I have always been interested in keeping skills of yesteryear alive. I have just joined a black smith club, I can weave, make paper, knit, soon I will learn spinning, I can work with wood be it carving or building, I'm a calligrapher, and I still walk to get to places I need to go, even when that might be further then 50 feet. I also love storytelling by the way.
   I shined my fathers shoes for him on fathers day (he has a lot of shoes by the way), and I have been shinning my own boots since high school. Well here I am now shining my girlfriends ren-faire boots for here when an idea magically swooshed right out of my left hand brush and all over this beautiful old boot. What if I created a shoe shining character for storytelling, and good ol' fashion shoe shines!
   I don't really intend this "character" to be an on stage kinda fellow. Maybe not even a group kind guy neither. The main thing I want to accomplish here is that everyone can see & feel the wonders a good thorough shoe shine and decent story can have on ones day. To opportunity to brighten somebodies day and encourage people to just stop and enjoy something, to me, is priceless.
   Since I live in a small college town with a business school and punk rockers (punks love their doc martins), I don't think it should be too difficult to attract "business." I mean who can turn down a classy lookin' guy offering a shoe shine & a story for just .10 to .25 cents. I am even working on a vintage like hand painted "A" frame sign.

now... what types of stories can I share with people? This has really put my mind in a bind. I can tell them stories about my life, but to have the feel I am going for I would have to try an make it all sound like its really from the days of yore to which I'm not totally sure on how to go about that in an effective manner. Do I try an make a steam punk esk character out of this project or will that take away from the shoe shine or the general art of simplicity I am trying to send away with them. I could tell my grand parents stories but I only know a few and getting new ones will be hard. Does any one have any ideas for stories or any resources I should look to?

any help, ideas, or constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated!


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Replies to This Discussion

Hello Glen;

Believe it or not, I got my start as a storyteller by shining shoes in Slim's Barber Shop, Farmington, New Mexico.  It was the 60's and I was 14 years old.  I charged a quarter for a shoe or boot cleaning and 75 cents for a polish and 1.50 for boots.  What a great summer that was and when school came... I just kept right on shining shoes, popping that rag and telling those tales I had heard and learned right there in that Barber Shop.  I learned from story master's, though all of them would laugh at the idea of someone making a living telling stories.  I was kinda looking on Craigslist and Ebay for a good set of boot posts, in order to build a "old" new shoe shine stand.

Great Idea

Keep it up


Well thanks for the encouragement Buck. I knew I was on to something! When I had first toyed with the idea to/with my older sister she verbally rolled her eyes to it. Then again I suppose they feel the same way about storytelling in general. Now if only I can figure out what kinda stories I should try an aim for. :-)

thanks again for the positive words,




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