Good afternoon, everyone! I don't really know a lot about what it means to be a professional storyteller, but I do know what it means to have a story. I guess the reality is that I'm driven purely by a kind of fascination with what makes us human. I have a sort of unique vantage point on the world--part empirical scientist, part wide-eyed child. And I know that not everyone can see the world in those ways, no matter how hard they try. But I think it is important to find a way to make use of the pieces of yourself that stand out and refuse to be put down.
If anyone is interested in the ins and outs of what I'm studying, I'll try to give a little exposition on the whole idea. The word "neuroanthropology" refers to a kind of scientific study of how modern human characteristics arise through various cultural and biological interactions in the course of evolution on a neurological (or "brainy") scale. The part of neuroanthropology that I am currently interested in is the evolution of creativity and art. So what can storytelling tell us about that? Well, everything, basically. Storytelling is one of those magnificent human universals that makes anthropologists giddy with hope. In a simple way, storytelling is the ultimate expression of who and what we are...as individuals, as cultures, even as a species. Even more essentially, storytelling is an exploitation of its own medium--the human mind. The storyteller knows the limits of truth and chooses to weave a new reality, illuminating the fluid nature of truth itself. An old favorite of mind, Emerson, used to say that beauty "is a moment of transition, as if the form were just ready to flow into other forms." Storytelling is like that--transcending the subjective and instilling oneself permanently as a part of the universe. I suppose I'm waxing a bit poetic, but the basic principle holds. Science can never know so much that a story can't teach it a little more about itself.