Professional Storyteller

Share a Story - Change the World

I've been talking about blogging and social networking of late, but have never sat down to actually write anything. With all of the different things that I do, I could probably start a multitude of blogs - one for storytelling, one for singing and music, another for advertising and radio (my vocation during the day), one for politics, one for writing. Sigh...does anyone know how to clone?

For this blog, though, I will occasionally add things that I'm doing creatively in general.

Currently, I am working on three story-related programs. Two I am doing with my good friend, Helen Trencher, who is also on this site. One is called A Tour of Africa in Story, Rhythm, and Song. Helen, me, and one other percussionist have been performing this wonderful, vibrant hour-long program for about 7 years now. It is, actually, a "tour" of stories, rhythms, songs, and a Dance of Universal Peace based on or fully from Ghana, Nigeria, Congo, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. We bring a map of Africa and interactively engage the audience, sharing the wonderful diversity of music and story of the continent. I went to South Africa with NSN in 2004 with about 60 other storytellers. Although the bounty of stories was not there for us to bring back, the comraderie was great, and seeing the country was amazing. We learned a lot culturally about South Africa. I just wish they had understood what we wanted better...sigh. We were mostly professional storytellers, but they had us interacing primarily with volunteers. I did bring back one very special story which is part of this program. We just did this program in March twice, and also have it scheduled in May.

I am also working with Helen on a program called Tales of the Earth, Songs of Peace, which is an environmental program. We perform that in April. I am also working with Linda Jacobson, a teller in Boulder, on a workshop for activists at the Rocky Mountain Storytellers' Conference. We'd better get it gelled soon, as it's coming up in less than a month! It's about building bridges between peoples who have very different beliefs and the role of story in bridging those gaps.

In addition, I've been honing my skills as a vocalist and guitar-player in a class at the Swallow Hill Music Association in Denver. We gave a class concert two weeks ago that received a standing ovation (of course, many in the audience were family and friends, but we take what we can get!) Seriously, some of us from the class are continuing to work together and going to open stages. So, we'll see where that goes.

I am also a member of a Meet-Up of writers. If only I had the time to submit my writings, maybe I'd actually get published!

I guess that's enough of my multiple-personalities for today!

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Comment by Rachel Hedman on April 1, 2008 at 1:15am
Dear Sondra:

It's not hard to type whatever websites you want on a resource card. If you are wondering about the cutting/slicing, then perhaps you could engage the services of a teenager. Do you know any? Trade a storytelling CD for the work.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Comment by Sondra Singer on April 1, 2008 at 12:53am
Great idea, Rachel! I will endeavor to find the time to work on that idea!

Comment by Rachel Hedman on March 31, 2008 at 9:03pm
Dear Sondra and Dianne:

For something like "Professional Storyteller", you don't have to have a brochure. Something as simple as a business card works.

When I attended the Children's Literature Forum in Utah, I had my business card as well as what I call a "resource" card. This can slip into their wallet so whenever they go through, they can say, "Oh yeah, I need to check out these things."

I listed four key websites (from international to state):
1. "Professional Storyteller" social networking site
2. National Storytelling Network
3. Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance
4. Utah Storytelling Guild

I labeled these sites as "Guide your writing with storytelling:"

This phrase can easily be adapted to whatever conference/event you go to.

I printed them on cardstock, cut them out, and slipped people the resource card along with my own.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Comment by Dianne de Las Casas, Founder on March 31, 2008 at 8:31pm

Thanks! Professional Storyteller does not have a "brochure." It's a new social networking site that has been growing by word of mouth. You can help spread the word by telling your friends about it...

Comment by Sondra Singer on March 31, 2008 at 9:58am
The big thing to push at the Slam was the Rocky Mountain Storytellers' Conference, which REALLY needs some support. So, that's where the emphasis went. However, if you have brochures that I can leave out there in April, I can do that, as I'm a workshop leader and will be there. Let me know.

I just found out that I will be interviewed on KYGO radio in their public affairs show about storytelling and the Conference, as well.
Comment by Dianne de Las Casas, Founder on March 31, 2008 at 5:37am

Love that storytelling is gaining new fans! Congrats to your friends in the Denver area.


P.S. Did you tell them about PS? :)
Comment by Sondra Singer on March 30, 2008 at 1:20pm
YOU'RE exhausted? :-)

I'm just getting ready to start working on a powerful story that I'll be using in a workshop I'm doing with Linda Jacobson at the Rocky Mountain Storytellers' Conference. It's adapted from a story in the New Yorker.

But before I start on that, I wanted to take a moment to tell everyone about last evening's third annual Ollie Ollie Oxen Free Story Slam that took place in Lakewood, Colorado. My good friend Helen Trencher participated again this year. I opted not to because of everything I have going on right now! Helen and all ten participants did great stories. There were no slouches in the bunch last night. I sat with a friend of Helen's and her husband. The friend had never been exposed to storytelling before, and his biggest comment was that he had no idea that storytelling took so many forms. Some tellers were in costume (a railroad tall tale was told in full regalia), an Abe Lincoln told stories from the Log Cabin, several tellers told personal tales of their youth, some, like Helen, told traditional folk tales. The winner, Elsa Wolff, told a Jewish tale that was embellished with her voice and guitar. Elsa also had coordinated a youth version of the Story Slam in the afternoon, so this great group of tellers is actively working to increase awareness of the craft and to encourage it in our youth here in the Denver area. Bravo!
Comment by Dianne de Las Casas, Founder on March 29, 2008 at 11:35am

Wow! I am exhausted just reading about everything you are involved with! Congratulations on your many creative hats. Your African program sounds like a blast - I'd love to see that one! I also love how you are continually working on your craft and collaborating. Best wishes!




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