It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Best of Times: Two Bits of Good News

11 May


I started taking a storytelling class with Michael Katz, a local teller, last week.  I sensed from the start that I was in the right place. Michael is warm, gracious, and knows his craft, everything you’d want in a teacher. During the first class,  he talked about about his process, how he found his way to telling,  and told us the story of “How the Sea Became Salty”, a polycultural tale that he gave a Japanese slant. This class was atypical: the rest of the time will be devoted to workshopping stories.

I read all of “Ready-to-Tell Tales”, an excellent resource for the beginning storyteller.  From it, I selected “Strength”, a story from the Limba people in Sierra Leone. Briefly, it’s the story of the animals (including man) having a contest to see who is the strongest. It has the potential for lots of energy and physical comedy, but has a strong and serious sting at the end. Just what I like: a tale where the laughter lends the story power.  I’d debated whether I should work on my one-person show or a traditional folktale, and settled on the latter because I wanted to work on a piece very different from my show, and get experience in traditional storytelling.

I told it for the first time this last class. If I’m honest, I almost chickened-out. Fortunately, Michael asked if I wanted to do it and I quickly said yes. It went very, very well. People were positive about the story and my telling of it.  The two things I took away from it (aside from the group’s feedback) was the joy I found in connecting do directly with the audience, and the power of serving the story, focusing on channeling it rather than worrying if I was doing a good job.


I just found out today that the short version of my solo piece about 9-11 was accepted into Monday Night Marsh at the Marsh Theater! In the 2 months I’ve been pursuing performance work, I’ve quickly found that all roads lead back to the Marsh. I am elated.

More specifically, all roads lead back to David Ford, with whom I’ll be taking a class next month. My goal was to perform there by September, which I guaranteed by signing up for the class.  But now I’ll be performing in mid-July, roughly two months before I thought I’d be. And, combined with the class, I’ll get to perform the show 4 times on their stage. I anticipate the show making leaps and bounds in this time.

This rounds on me, boys. Progress!


One Response to “It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Best of Times: Two Bits of Good News”

  1. Adam Blodgett May 13, 2010 at 13:02 #

    Congrats on all fronts. Your hard work is paying off!


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