Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gael Cresp reports from the NSW Conference: 'Weaving Stories Together'

‘Weaving Stories Together’

The NSW Storytellers Guild State Conference opened on Friday night with a “Story Slam”. These were the rules:

1. Bring a 5 minute story of any genre to tell and put your name in ‘the hat’ as you arrive.
2. Names are drawn randomly from those submitted for the chance to tell. A minimum of 8 tellers will be selected or more if time permits.
3. Stories are to be told, not read and presented without props or musical instruments.
4. Three judges will be selected from the audience. Each storyteller is given a score on a scale of 1-10 for three different criteria: content, presentation and adherence to the 5 minute timeframe.
5. The winner will receive a prize and the prestige of being the Conference Story Slam Winner!
6. If you don’t want to tell and want to be a listener or if your name isn’t chosen – you can still join in the fun and be able to participate as audience members by laughing, crying, clapping, and cheering!

I wasn’t chosen but the folk who were told terrific tales and got the proceeding off to a great start.

Saturday offered workshops on storytelling for historical palaces / events, a voice workshop, story making, story learning, gaining nourishment from stories, collecting community stories, stories at work, and story telling rising out of your own language and culture.

All before afternoon tea! WHEW!!!

After dinner there was a varied, rich, funny, deep collection of stories told by wonderfully talented members of the NSW Guild. I am told that some informal story swapping continued far, far into the night…

Sunday brought sessions on finding your own story, how to “wow” and sensory exploration to expand imagination as well as my session on coaching for storytellers. Libby Hathorn then presented to the whole group, talking about the importance of poetry to her development of stories and of some of the difficulties she experiences with translating her books to film scripts.

Christine Carlton drew the threads of the conference together and gave us a wonderful rendition of “The Brave Little Parrot” complete with the most fantastic rain storm (created by the audience) I have ever seen.

The final event was a family concert where the NSW tellers again shone then it was into the taxi and back to the airport exhausted but happy and with much new knowledge upon which to ponder.

Gael Cresp is a member of the Storytelling Guild (Vic), an author as well as a professional storyteller telling stories to children and adults and offering workshops.

The Storytelling Garden:

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