I did it!
Tonight I told my first major story set in about two years (Glimmers in the Darkness from this page). I recorded it too, so now I’ll actually be able to hear what it is I sound like.
This has to be good, no matter what I sound like, because I have to hear what’s wrong in order to change it, right?
I was pleased with how well I did. I’m always amazed/relieved I how well I can do once the “crunch” is on.
~ ~ ~
So now I’m about 50% psyc’ed, confidence built-up, to pursue this project further, and 50% ready to drop it like the hard work it is and do different work for a while.
Two different people tonight said variants on both, “I could never do that– I’m too shy,” and “That’s a *lot* of memorizing!” (It was roughly a half-hour set.)
I understand both statements, but have found that the stories themselves are the answer to both challenges.
Spending more time with the story provides the familiarity to share it (actual memorization and recitation is not even a recommended method of storytelling, usually), and the story itself is the thing that puts and keeps you in front of your audience.
Because if you have a good story you know instinctively that it *has* to be shared.
Even children understand this. Nothing has happened unless Mom or Dad has seen or knows about it too.
“Look at this Mama!” my girls say over and over again.
It’s not enough to experience it alone. Someone— best if it’s someone important— has to share it.
It’s saying that something important to me is also important to someone else, and this affirms that I fit into something larger than myself.
That a story that moved me equally affects someone else– this shows me something we have in common.
And while I often talk about Storytelling in the grand terms of cross-cultural unity, and the variety of things it teaches (because I’m trying to justify what other people may marginalize), I also just love the stories.
I love them because I need stories. And, frankly, if no one ever listened, I’d still need them.
So even when I step back for a season, this telling thing doesn’t just go away. And I find that reassuring, somehow.