Share a Story - Change the World
To all the people at Oakland University who have made this possible, I send my heart-felt appreciation for this
splendid award. I am honored to be a recipient and want to say a few things
about my experience at Oakland
University. In 1979, I
transferred from the University of Detroit to Oakland
University. I transferred
because I wasn’t able to get into the B.F.A. program of the Theatre Department
and really wanted to pursue theatre as my life-time career. It was at Oakland University where I found my home in the
theatre. Thanks to the wonderful support and energy of Adeline
Hirschfeld-Medalia, the theatre department was everything a theatre student
could ask for. I have many fond memories doing shows in the black box
theatre—either as an actor, lighting board operator, props or assistant
director. Adeline’s energy was infectious and I used to love taking her classes
because of her devotion to the theatre. Without her love and support, I would
not be accepting this award tonight, so I want to send her and my fellow alumni
and colleagues my appreciation and heart-felt thanks. If I am not here with you
tonight in physical form, I AM with you in Spirit.
Following my student years, I drifted from job to job, trying to do as much theatre as possible. In
the 1990s I received my Masters of Science in Library and Information Science
from Wayne State University and started working as a Youth Services Librarian,
but it was in 2000 that I received my true “Calling” as it were, to do
something entirely foreign to me at the time, although now, it seems as natural
as breathing. I discovered the long lost art of storytelling. As a performer, I
am interested in implementing my training as an actor while telling stories,
myths and legends from many different world cultures. I utilize my training and tell stories which
reflect the human condition through the use of my voice and movement. I have been blessed to discover a great community
of friends from around the world as well as right here in Michigan
and now Florida,
where I currently live.
For me, storytelling is a natural progression from theatre and I find it very rewarding
as not only do I have the opportunity to research different variants of a
particular tale, re-write it for performance and then perform that piece before
a live audience. It is both a spiritually rewarding and exciting experience
unlike anything I could do in the traditional theatre setting. Also, I have
discovered the joys of teaching Storytelling in after-school programs and to
adults. Watching young children’s
talents and confidence skills grow is a very rewarding AND humbling experience.
I can’t tell you how it makes me feel to bump into former students who still
remember me years after my working with them. Some former students tell me that
they continue writing and telling stories. It is exciting to see a whole new
generation of voices rising from the ranks.
For me, storytelling is a sacred art which is as ancient as the language of humanity.
Before books, there was the spoken word and it is with this thought that I
humbly join those who preceded me and those who will continue to tell the tale
long after I am dust. I will always cherish the memories of the theatre
department at Oakland
University and the people
who made it possible for me to receive this award tonight.