Making Stories from Your Life
During our time together each participant will have an opportunity to present material and receive coaching. The objective of this Master Class to help each teller find and develop their unique strengths. A rigorous and supportive environment is created through opening exercises, the structure of the feedback sessions, and the brief exercises or improvisation the entire group will frequently find themselves involved in as a response to their work. Time depends upon the number of participants.
Each person should receive at least 30-45 minutes of group focused time
GETTING THE STORY OFF THE PAGE
Have you ever been moved by a story in print and retold it to your class exactly as it was written, only to have it fall flat? Stories were traditionally passed on orally. The invention of the printing press required that those stories be translated into the written word. In order to help that story become three dimensional once again, recapturing the nuance and subtlety of a live communication, you must blow the life back into it. This workshop will offer a model and practice at performing that very act. 2 hours
THE TECHNIQUES OF TELLING
The wonderful thing about story telling is that it is a folk art rather than a fine art. Far from having to balance on your toes or hit high C, all one has to do is figure out how they tell best. During this workshop we will play with and stretch all of your potential assets for making a story you love come alive for listeners. From dramatic use of your voice, an expressive body, an imagination that creates images in thin air, to dancing fingers, participants will play with techniques. Ultimately, you will emerge with a broader palette of expressive tools to choose from in your storytelling. 3 hours
IMPROVISING TALES: Let’s Party! This is an interactive workshop during which participants stretch their skills at play and use of their imagination. Your sense of the possible will grow as your inhibitions diminish, and you will emerge with wonderful ideas to initiate creative writing projects. variable time requirement
There is a sign in my office that reads: Forgiveness means giving up all hope of having a better past Holding on to wrongs done, pains inflicted, and injustices perpetrated upon us is certainly grounding. We know who to hate, who to fear, who to shun and are quickly defined by these deeply held convictions. The problem is that when we demarcate our lives and ourselves in this way chances are we aren’t having much fun, and neither are the folks we share our days with.
Can we use stories to drink this pain out of our hearts and make room for forgiveness and all the light that follows it? Alas, I don’t have a step by step diagram or curriculum guide, but it is this journey that we will contemplate in our time together. Sharing segments from longer stories, anecdotes about process, and active dyad participation in activities, we will attempt to sculpt possibilities that everyone can probe, scrutinize and try on.
Storytelling, an ancient folk art, has recently been claimed as the communication bedrock for everything from Hollywood films, to corporate self definition (branding). It is powerful because it speaks from the heart of the teller to that of the listener, creating a bridge of understanding. In this workshop, participants will explore that bridge. How do we strengthen the investment of listeners? How do we create a resonance that will last beyond words? How do we shape and share stories that can change the world? Come with some tales (folk, fairy, historic,or personal) that you love, and we will work on that essential thing that sets storytelling apart from other communication arts.
Authentic interactions is when we, the tellers are able to create spontaneous bridges between our listeners, ourselves, and the story. Much more subtle than planned participation AI requires that a teller be open, flexible, and responsive to the environment and listeners in any setting. The tellers natural responses and adjustments in both style and story creates that unique, once in a life time, moment that makes storytelling the absolutely unique art form that it is. Our time will be spent identifying that range of interactivity and playing with the possibilities that exist in shaping and reshaping our stories around the listeners who come to hear them.
2-3 hour workshop
We are a human family. Our experiences, fleshed out, understood, and reshaped for the hearts and minds of others, serves to create a template for that family to join around. Creating stories from your life is in many ways like re-authoring your own experiences. We often dig little trenches out of parts of our lives, telling and retelling an experience that we find, humorous or wounding. The work of our time together will be to dislodge the experience from the trench, explore it through new eyes, and recreate a tale that speaks to a broader population.
This work will be useful to therapists, social workers, and tellers of all stripes who want to mine their own lives for personal stories that will resonate with a broader audience. Our work will include:
-Finding a person, place, or specific experience that continues to resonate in your life.
-Exploring it through many modalities, from peer interviews, to visualization, to collage techniques.
-Working on re-authoring the experience through many vantage points.
-Sharing tales in small groups
CREATING ORIGINAL FAIRY TALES FROM YOUR LIFE
Fairy tales are created in broad, deep, clear, strokes. The characterizations are broad to allow us a good deal of latitude in seeing ourselves as the protagonist. These issues run deep, always drawing from the well of life and death, success and failure, good and evil. Portia’s petition for mercy does not invade this world where good is rewarded and evil is vanquished. These tales create a big screen palette for some of life’s most serious issues, while simultaneously utilizing a minimalists approach to place, character, and plot development. If they have had such a profound resonance for hundreds of years in cultures throughout the world, then why not use this ancient medicine for personal healing?