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Kate Lawrence's Blog (19)

Nuggets of Knowing in Stories Past

I’m in the middle of mulling a story.  It is really the beginning of the crafting process, I am thinking at irregular intervals about the various different angles I can approach the material.  I ask myself every so often what is the story about, what is the meaning of it all, how does it help me make sense of this life.  And to be frank, at this point I have…


Added by Kate Lawrence on October 9, 2016 at 7:27pm — No Comments

A Storytelling Imposter Was at The Moth!

I bombed at The Moth. Yep, in front of 300 people I performed so badly I was the lowest score of the night! 

I don’t have storyteller imposter syndrome, I am an imposter, a storytelling imposter.

Or am I?

Let me review.

On reflection I think my story structure was sound.  My story was heartfelt, it was personal, it…


Added by Kate Lawrence on September 22, 2016 at 8:00pm — 4 Comments

The Four L's of Storytelling

I have this wacky theory I’d like to explore here on my computer screen, that involves the letter L.  

It seems to be a happy happenstance that words with the same first letter can often be grouped together.

I noticed the other day when writing out the first step for creating a Storytelling Project, that it involves two sets of words…


Added by Kate Lawrence on September 4, 2016 at 11:50pm — No Comments

Storytelling as One of the Feeling Arts

When I teach storytelling workshops one of the hardest thing for me to explain is the nature of the progress that needs to be made by the teller in the story;  the internal journey of the teller.  

And a critical part of this if showing us the emotions that they felt as they grapples with the events, makes sense of them and arrive at the…


Added by Kate Lawrence on August 29, 2016 at 9:25pm — No Comments

Recovering From the Wordless Wilderness

I was always terrified of public speaking, yet drawn to it was as well.  While I debated through my high school years, I was a first speaker in the debating team which meant I knew exactly what I was going to say. 

If I had to give some rebuttal I was beside myself with nerves; unscripted speaking was not for me. I needed to be on solid ground,…


Added by Kate Lawrence on August 16, 2016 at 5:52am — No Comments

How to avoid being stiff with story and wooden with words!

It can be a delicate operation to separate a story’s performance issues from a story’s content and structure.  In this series I am only looking delivery, not content.

I mentioned in the last post something I have dubbed being ‘stiff with preparation’ and this happens when we have too much riding on the event. 

We prepare the story (or…


Added by Kate Lawrence on August 8, 2016 at 10:48pm — 2 Comments

Three Crucial Keys to Story Performance (No 2 of 4)

Now I know that you know that there are whole books dedicated to public speaking so I don’t expect to cover the field in this wee blog post, but I would like to focus on three areas:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Self awareness and self…

Added by Kate Lawrence on August 1, 2016 at 1:33am — 2 Comments

Performance Cooking or The Climax of Telling

There is a three part process in true, oral storytelling:

1. Finding a story

2. Crafting your story 

3. Performing your story.  

In this series of four posts I will be focussing in on the last part, the performing, and in this first post I indulge in a reflective overview where I can wax lyrical.

I have used the word…


Added by Kate Lawrence on July 10, 2016 at 11:21pm — No Comments

Five Step Process for Bringing Senses into Your Storytelling

Following on from last weeks post, here is a five step process for including senses in your oral stories.

Step one (and I know this is a big one):  Be story ready.  Have your story worked out.  Practice it a few times.  

Step two:  In each significant scene or part of your story, go through each of the senses…


Added by Kate Lawrence on June 14, 2016 at 6:39pm — No Comments

Smell that Lemon - Using Senses in Storytelling

Imagine its a warm day and you are holding a ripe lemon.  Its been broken off a small branch of the lemon tree and along with a few lemon tree leaves there is also a little gathering of lemon flowers.  Put your nose up to the lemon, breathe in deeply and smell the sweet-sour scent of the fruit.  Now breathe in the heady aroma of the lemon blossom perfume.…


Added by Kate Lawrence on June 6, 2016 at 8:53pm — No Comments

Ethics in Storytelling: Certainty Unleashed

Ok, so I seem to be the most prolific blogger on this site at the momenty, but assuming that is ok, I will keep putting these posts up....

Oh dear, ethics, what have I unleashed? When I thought all was certain, I find quicksand.

It feels like I'm making a set of ‘Kate’s personal storytelling laws’, for me and my stories, with a…


Added by Kate Lawrence on May 19, 2016 at 11:44pm — 2 Comments

Ethics in Storytelling (No 1) - Words in Flow

Ethics in personal storytelling, like in most areas, is complex and tricky.  In this series of blog posts (which at this point are just a blink in my eye, not planned, let alone written), I want to explore several aspects of storytelling ethics.

Personal storytelling does not have the same ethical guidelines that usually exist…


Added by Kate Lawrence on May 13, 2016 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Why All Stories Love Noise Cushioning Carpet and Curtains

Like my knee jerk reaction to people asking me if I have been reading any more stories lately, I can struggle when trying to get people to understand what a storytelling event needs in the way of atmosphere. 

My spiel goes like this: Storytelling is not the same as background music in a bar, you need people’s attention, you…


Added by Kate Lawrence on May 5, 2016 at 10:42pm — 2 Comments

How to fill your back pocket with little stories

A few months ago I attended a Year 12 parent teacher interview for my son,  Sam.    I quite enjoy these outings as it gives me a chance to engage with my beautiful, introverted and semi verbal 17 year old. 

The first interview was with his maths teacher Jake, who is also his home group teacher. I'd met him at the two or three…


Added by Kate Lawrence on April 28, 2016 at 8:16pm — No Comments

Are we letting baby media kill grandmother story?

The more I think about storytelling and explore ways of learning and understanding it, the more amazed I am at how deeply embedded story is in this life, and conversely, how deeply we are embedded in story; it really is the water we swim in.

I recently pondered the number of occupations that had story at the core and…


Added by Kate Lawrence on April 21, 2016 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Time and Memory: Three Great Exercises To Find Stories

There is a seemingly brilliant book called “Your Life As Story” by Tristine Rainer, and one day I will know for sure just how brilliant it is, but for now (and the last four years, since I bought the book), I only know that the first third is great. 


But it is very great.  


The book’s subtitle is ‘Discovering the…

Added by Kate Lawrence on April 16, 2016 at 7:05am — No Comments

Story is a Living Thing and Living is a Story thing: Biology of Story: An interactive Documentary

I have just come across a fascinating online story resource called Biology of Story, which describes itself as an interactive documentary .  You can watch the…


Added by Kate Lawrence on April 6, 2016 at 5:48pm — No Comments

How personal storytelling is like dream work, only easier

Personal story work reminds me a little of dream work, but easier.  Dreams are set in a coded language that can be hard to crack. 

But with stories, the code or reason we have chosen that story to tell, will, with sincere searching always be there for the finding. The story has…

Added by Kate Lawrence on March 31, 2016 at 9:22pm — No Comments

Hidden benefits of the story crafting process

Viktor Frankl was right, ‘The meaning of life is the meaning you give it’.

 Frankl was a Jewish psychiatrist incarcerated for three years in concentration camps.  After the war he penned a small but incredibly influential book originally called 'Nevertheless, Say "Yes" to Life: A Psychologist Experiences the Concentration Camp'.  It is an…

Added by Kate Lawrence on March 25, 2016 at 4:10am — No Comments



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