They had requested a program around immigration that would inspire the community to investigate and use all the library system has to offer.
The audience (other than the librarians and a school district representative) consisted entirely of immigrants. They ranged in age from two to sixty-two. Only about half spoke english. Some came from Mexico and Guatemala and a few from Ethiopia.
As every storyteller knows there are three essentials to telling a story. Story is supported by the teller and the listener. You really need all three. But when you consider that perhaps only a third to a half of your story is being understood ... well that's when the props come in handy.
In the end, I felt I had not only empathized, entertained, and hopefully inspired my listeners, but made a deeper connection. The best kind of communication connection. From heart to heart. And if that doesn't adequately explain my "payday," well there was the sale of my book to the library. The promise for a return engagement. And a new program to add to my repertoire. Prior to this experience, I didn't have an "immigrant experience" in my program listings. I do now thanks to MLK library and their wonderful committed staff. And for this Olstoryteller, yesterday's show was a high beyond any monetary or physical experience.
And that's just one of the reasons I tell stories.
'Til next time ... see you on down the road ... may it rise up to meet you. Now go out and kiss somebody.
Peace and Grace, Den