Professional Storyteller

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FYI- Springboard for Stories Retreat by Jackson Gillman

Are you sitting on some great stories that you might want to put out there…?

For the third year, Jackson Gillman will offer “Springboards for Stories" on January 30 - February 2, 2009 in one of New England's most inspiring settings: Rudyard Kipling's historic Brattleboro VT home, "Naulakha" ("jewel without price").

Over the past 27 years, I have presented workshops annually at the New England Storytelling Conference, rotating 8 different ones. Springboards has become a favorite and I have expanded it into a weekend offering. The goal is to help individuals develop stories by doing some exploratory mining of personal experiences, and consider ways to refine, polish and share those nuggets. "Listener as co-creator" and peer coaching are also promoted in this workshop. Each session is open to 4-7 people who’d like to dive into something new with a communal spirit, and opportunities for group critique and personal coaching. Participants with any range of experience are welcome including people who don’t consider themselves performers at all.

I fell in love with Kipling’s wonderful home eight years ago when I started my semiannual Rudyard-in-Residence there. Just being at "Naulakha" is inspiring and coupled with collective synergy, participants have invariably come away enriched, fired up with many new personal story ideas to work on.

Three nights lodging (bedrooms with twin beds), meals, communal zeal and inspiration, all for $475. More details are available by emailing Sneak previews of the property and where you too can play pool on the same table as Ruddy and his buddy Sir Arthur Conan Doyle can be seen on photo gallery. For folks in the area who don't need lodging, the price can be reduced further.

In addition to performing artists, participants in earlier sessions included: a college dean, a college communications professor, a psychologist, a master electrician, a woodworker, counselor/social worker, a glass artist, an author, and an architect.

“Thanks again for the wonderful workshop. It was a weekend full of magical inspiration. What an amazing group of people! (It really is rare to find such a kind group... No one dominating, and everyone doing their best to help each other.) With your free-flowing, ‘organic’ style, everyone felt engaged, honored, and challenged. Naulahka of course was lovely, and the catering was perfect. And I loved your breakfasts!” - Motoko

“…entirely the proper use of my precious time... The food was wonderful, the setting magical and the company intimate and relaxed.” – Mark

“I can not fully express how fortunate I am to have participated in your workshop this past week. It truly was a Springboard storytelling boot camp. I learned to bring forth gallons of story ideas to a dry river bed. Ideas and friendships began flowing the very moment we shared introductions. The coaching by my peers and the direction and coaching by your self shaped and polished my skills beyond my expectation. It is said we arrive were we are going on the shoulders of giants. However sometimes we need a springboard to gain the altitude.” – Vernon

“Wow! What a wonderful Friday through Monday! Lots of learning. Excellent nourishment for body, soul, and mind. Many, many laughs!” - Deena

“Being among your group, and under your guidance was amazing. I was transported. Yes, for a whole other day I just couldn't lose that feeling. It was a very wonderful feeling to tell and to listen.” - Michal

“I enjoyed the springboard workshop and got a lot from it. For me the best part was just being around you and your process, getting a sense of who you are as a fellow critter. I like your style and what you do with it enormously.” – Pat

“The group was wonderfully balanced, with all able to give and receive a great deal... And the way group members rose to your invitation to share in the leading of sessions on mapping/visioning, and physical warmup, added whole dimensions to the days. Your giving ways, from being a caretaking breakfast maker to being a sensitive guide through each day's work, from sharing in laughter around the dinner table to sharing some of your own performance pieces, created the space in which each of us could benefit in so many ways. And your critiquing was focused , helpful, supportive, without stepping in the way of each person's choice of where they wanted to go… I couldn't have asked for more.” – Mike

“To have been nurtured, tolerated, challenged, coaxed, appreciated... all so good. But to have had my essence gently mirrored, humorously goaded, enabled in the best sense, that was sustenance, and a deep draught for the parched. I came, my book in hand, hoping to share a work-in-progress, but went far beyond that, encouraged by an abundance of good will (and great breakfasts!), to find my voice and a dawning of confidence. Working unobtrusively and modestly, but with sureness and skill, Jackson creates a pervading safety, an enthusiastic bonding among the participants, a sense of delightful companionship, that opens the flood gates. In the end, there is no place to hide. But who would wish to?” - Gail

"Jackson helped me find the rhythms that sustained my piece through voice and movement... He’s that rare coach – a generous artist who nurtures the unique art of others.” - Jo
I love sharing this wondrous setting and welcome others to experience it. Anyone who is considering it should let me know as soon as possible as this session is almost full. Feel free to pass along the information above to anyone who might be interested. You can also let me know whether or not you'd like to receive notice of future sessions. Thank you very much for your consideration,
Jackson has a schedule and story page
PO Box 41, Onset MA 02558, 508-295-0886,

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