As a Storyteller/bard/wanderer, I share the old stories – the Myths, Folk Tales, Fairy Tales – from many different cultures around the world. A typical show consists of three main components:
Introduction – First, people gather together either in a circle or a ‘standard’ performer/audience style. I then begin teaching why it is important that we tell the old stories and why the oral tradition is so vital.
Storytelling – Next, using the drum to create a rhythmic trance state, I engage in the heart of the performance, which is the storytelling itself, telling 1-3 stories (anywhere between 15-45 minutes for each story, though some can be 75-90 minutes long) drawing from many different cultures.
Feeding the Story – After a story is told, we do what is called “Feeding the Story’ where we, as a community, speak about the story: what did we like about it, what didn’t we like? What delighted us, confused us or disgusted us? Where may we have found ourselves in the story, a part of the story that reminds us of our own lives? Where might we have gotten stuck in the story… A scene where I may have kept on going with the story, but a listener focused and stayed on that scene for a while. All of these things hold wonderful information and are an important part of any storytelling as they make it much more personal and relevant then just hearing a good tale. And they help ground the story into the audience and keep the stories alive and living on in the heart and soul of the listener and the community.
The point is that these stories are alive and vital and important sources of wisdom, teaching us about what it means to be human beings on this planet and how to live in balance. They are education in the oldest sense of the word, which means ‘to draw out.’