My Report from the
30 th Connecticut Storytelling Festival and Conference
April 29, 30, May 1, 2011 at Conn. College New London, CT.
Anticipation hardly covers the feeling of excitement I feel when my car heads toward New London, CT. I know before long my brain will be swirling in a sea of story. That I will be swept away on a tide of spoken word is the desire and is always satisfied. This year there was such a richness to the stories that stretched from teary drama to side splitting laughter. Back and forth we went from one extreme to the other stretching my mind to absorb the images and emotions and music that poured at me. The Friday night concert of stories was so much fun, as was the Saturday morning tribute concert.
At he lunch break there was a sharing room and I slid in with my plate and settled. I listened to quite a few relaxed and enjoyed the stories finally getting up near the end to share one when a lull had come. I told a favorite horse story, I have a lot of those. Stories my horse experience helps me with to evoke the feeling of going for the ride, of hearing that mud suction the hooves in rhythmic pattern. My friend Kelly grabbed my camera and caught this picture of me mid story.
I attended the first afternoon concert to see Megan Hicks of Virginia and I loved her Stories from the Homefront. These came from memories of her mother, a young woman in the 1940’s. The performance was brilliant! She shared the stage with Simon Brooks of New Hampshire and formerly of England. Here was a great balance as I laughed so hard at a couple of Simon’s tales, well told and animated.
Then it was time for afternoon workshops. I was sharing my new workshop titled; “My Web Presence is Dead and Other Fear Factors” It didn’t take long for people to follow these “digital footprints” up the hall to the room I was in. I had a really nice group participate and we used our 90 minutes to get an overview of the different social media platforms that can be used to spread the word about storytelling and promote our websites, work, venues and events. The goal was to give people a layman’s terms explanation and inspire them to try some new things after the workshop.
We looked at simple websites, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs,You-Tube. Up on the screen everyone could see the examples of my pages we discussed content and key words and where to begin. We even had a web grow with in the room to make a visual representation of the World Wide Web and how things are found and move about. Workshop attendees were reminded that if I can do this so can they. I hope they have a little more courage to face the web and know they can always escape or send me an email question.
Saturday night brought the powerful main concert with Tim Tingle of Oklahoma followed by my Campus Slammer Showcase mic. We had 60 people in the showcase mic room and heard some very fun stories. The Campus Slammer blog will have a report on that soon at http://www.anansihelps.blogspot.com/ Many thanks to my friend Kelly Trueb who came to all the Campus Slammers and helped out and was there behind the scenes at the CT. Storytelling Festival working away.
Sunday morning came and I was tired, but ready for more stories. We began with coffee which is always welcome! Tim Tingle and Carol Birch shared the stage with a comparative between two tellings of the same story – a very interesting look at the effects created by how and who delivers a story and the voices that they use to impart a story. There was a long question and answer time that covered a wide range of story details.
When they were done the story triggering began. I was the first teller in the story triggering performance with my tale of the Angel of the Battlefield. At story triggering after each teller comments are made from the audience on what thoughts, memories or companion stories are evoked with the telling of the story. Being a Civil War story this brought out many different view points and memories. 3 more tellers and sharing sessions followed mine. Then it was over, all to quick the air was still and the only stories left were those that kept me company in my mind on the ride home from the 30 th Connecticut Storytelling Festival.