Invite me to your village. The first step is a conversation so we can get to know each other. We’ll set the intention and goals for a storytelling experience that resonates with your community.
“There is no greater gift than those magic stories to calm people whose jobs are physically and emotionally exhausting. That's the gift, like no other gift they have ever had.”
~ Sheila Gleason, Site Director for Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital
I imagine myself as an itinerant storyteller, called a shanachai in Ireland. I walk between hedgerows from one village to another mulling over the stories that might fit beside a warm hearth down the lane. Each village and each gathering deepens the old stories, while the shanachai gathers new stories from friends and strangers along the way.
My villages include gatherings of parents, teachers, nurses, heart patients, homeless veterans, accountants, writers, women’s groups, senior citizens, chaplains-in-training, and university students.
I design workshops and performances for a particular group, starting with a mutual interview and needs assessment. For example: Parents of young children might fear the dangers in fairy tales. Accountants need to translate financial records into inspiring narratives. Writers want to recall narrative forms and archetypes. Chaplains need practice in active listening and in recognizing the healing potential in storytelling. Homeless vets deserve recognition for their service and respite from their struggles. A friend celebrates a birthday. A book club wants to go back to the oral tradition.
"One of my goals as a storyteller is to awaken adults to this ancient tradition through myth, fairy and folk tales, and family lore. Another is to honor that delightfully imaginative and uncannily wise child within. That child who knows enough about the intimate comfort of a story to pester an adult with, 'Please tell me a story, just one more.'" ~ Interview with Olive, 1990