Storyteller or story pusher?
I've spent the last few days trying to pull together materials into a coherent workshop on family storytelling. I'll be presenting it this coming Saturday at the Northlands Storytelling Network
"Hands Across the Northlands" annual conference in Madison Wisconsin. At the moment I keep telling myself, well it seemed like a good idea at the time. Hopefully, by the time it's over on Saturday, it will still seem like a good idea.
I spent the last 15 minutes talking with a storytelling colleague about accepting an invitation to co-chair the Wisconsin Storytellers Get-Together program committee. I accepted, and will likely move on to become chairperson of that committee in a couple years. I accepted, even though I can't attend the gathering this year because as secretary of Northlands, I have a board meeting that same weekend.
So, I'm working on behalf of storytelling in the upper midwest, but wonder when the heck I'm supposed to be working on actually telling stories. Other than quickly dusting off stories not told often, I haven't done any serious work on learning or developing new material in many moons. I find myself with those same doubts all artists have, the ones that ask us, "Am I really any good at this? Am I only fooling myself?"
Maybe at this point in my storytelling life, serving the greater storytelling community in this way is how I'm to promote the art. Maybe telling those stories I've honed already is the best way I can bring awareness to others about its magic.
Maybe that's true. Still, I have an audition in three weeks to tell at our local festival, and no idea what I should use for my audition. I'm not even sure when I'll practice it if I do figure out what to tell.
Oh yeah, I've also signed on to help with the local festival, too. All of which begs the question, can I call myself a storyteller, or have I become a storypusher?
If indeed I've become a storypusher, at least I know I can't be arrested for pushing them. Can I?
If anyone in the Great Lakes region is actually reading this, allow me to do just a bit of pushing.
Starting Thursday night and going through Sunday afternoon, Northlands Storytelling Network will hold its annual conference, along with the three concert "Midwest Storyfest," at the Edgewater Hotel in Madison. Stop on in and give the concerts a listen. Come under the spell of story's magic.
If asked, just tell them Gwyn sent you. From some shadowy back alley on the internet.
Northlands Storytelling Network Annual Conference, "Hands Across the Northlands," April 21-14, 2005, Madison WI