Tell me a story
|By Anabelle Craig - Contributing writer | November 16, 2017|
“My life is so much more interesting inside my head.”
Storytelling predates writing. This oral tradition has been around since humankind could first communicate. It has been a way to entertain, educate, preserve culture and install moral values by describing and sharing social and cultural events. Sometimes using theatrics, embellishments and improvisation the teller hopes to captivate their audience. “There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” J.K. Rowling
Ever since I was little, my parents have told me stories. Whether they were stories about their lives before me (or as my mom calls it B.A; Before Anabelle) and their crazy adventures or a classic fairy tale, I would listen intently.
I had favourite “dad stories,” ones he would be the best at reading, complete with funny voices and a few special details I knew were from his own imagination. His narration always seemed better than when I read the same book.
My mom and I would read chapter books together; I would read a chapter out loud and then she would read one. Charlotte’s Web, Because of Winn Dixie and Wind in the Willows were some of my favourites. Bedtime was a ritual and still is, of stories and books. Reading late into the night and filling my head with tales of magical kingdoms, talking animals, the villains and the unlikely heroes, is a great way to unwind after a busy day.
Eventually, I have begun to tell my own stories. I love reading books to my wee cousins or kids I babysit. I tell stories to you, my readers and I have started to write my own “life story” in a play at school.
“Inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released,” says author Robin Moore.
This week I talked to Fay Wilkinson, local story teller and visual artist. She is a registered arts practitioner working out of Visible Voices Open Art Studio in Haliburton and is a part-time faculty member at Fleming College in the Expressive Arts Program. I asked her about her story-telling and why she loves the spoken word.
Wilkinson says there are many different types and ways to tell a story. Sometimes it is used in a more therapeutic way to tell a fairytale which then is used as catalyst to create a visual piece of artwork. At Visible Voices, students can create a puppet or mask and use it to aid in the telling of the story. Or perhaps be inspired to use movement as their muse.
Another important aspect of telling stories is in the performance. People are expecting a certain level of expertise in a story-teller. A certain flare you might say. You probably know that one friend who is a fantastic teller of tales. That one person who commands a crowd and makes you believe in the fantastical.
We each have a story to tell. Tales full of adventures, mishaps, passion, courage, romance and hope. So paint a picture with your words, put on a show and tell that tall tale because we all are stories waiting to be told.
“You’re never going to kill storytelling because it’s built into the human plan. We come with it.” Margaret Atwood, poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, environmental activist and story-teller.