Sunday, May 15, 2011

David Demant: Storytelling Australia (Vic)

David Demant... sometimes called Retro Techno Dave when he appeared on 3RRR’s Einstein-a-go-go programme, has been telling stories all his life. He has learned to put a glint in his eye when he is gilding the lily.
'Even if you don’t think it is true, it is a good story.'
He was a teacher in secondary schools and then joined Museum Victoria, where he is now a curator looking after part of the Museum’s technology collection.
'I believe storytelling is the most effective form of communication in museums... and everywhere else.'
He is very interested in communicating about subjects in the 'too hard basket', for example computers and maths. He is currently working on a story about codes; he invites the audience either as individuals or as a whole to participate in the telling.
'I love the use of fantasy to explain a concept.'
David feels that a story told well is one that gives the listener or reader the opportunity to transport themselves into another world, into another person, to engage with a subject. Stories open a door. Opening the door is the exciting moment when teller and told are joined together before they continue their separate journeys.
One of David’s museum presentations involves playing historic music machines from the 19th to the 20th Centuries. One day he met someone who had been a member of the audience in one of the music shows. The person complained that David had failed to explain how each machine worked; all he had done was to entrance the audience. She told David that she had gone home and researched recording devices. Now she understood how they worked – 'so there!' The door certainly had opened for her!
David is regularly invited to present his ‘collection object’ shows to adults and children alike. His favourite show is his magic lantern show.
He is the Museum’s unofficial poet laureate having composed and performed over 300 poems for special occasions such as farewells and Xmas functions. His hairdresser commissioned a poem with which to propose to his girlfriend – the proposal was successful.
David has acted in many amateur theatrical productions and has been an extra in a number of soaps including ‘Neighbours’.
David has written authored and co-authored a number of books, including:
David presented his magic lantern show at the Daylesford and Region 'Words in Winter Festival' in 2011 and 2012.

Contact David via Jackie Kerin :
Image kindly supplied by Hepburn Advocate

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