Monday, June 27, 2016

Kate Lawrence: Story Wise gets wiser…

Jackie has asked (thank you Jackie) and I have provided. 
Here is a bit of an update from me and Story Wise, from here in the Macedon Ranges, (and pushing down into the big smoke).
Story Door, Woodend’s True Storytelling Night
Story Door on the first Friday of the month, has settled in and is steadily growing. No, a more accurate description would be that its growing in fits and starts – one-month full house, next month numbers drop, next month numbers are up again.
We started with 20 being a minimal crowd, and now that would be 30.  Full house about 50.  The tellers too have been increasing in number, with one night seeing us break the barrier and hear 11 tellers. 
A few things have helped Story Door grow: the support and excitement of the community, social media, regularity, the pub environment where people can eat and have a drink, and a separate room for the stories, where we can focus. 
But one of the biggest things that has contributed to the event’s success is the support of the experienced storytelling community. 
It’s been such a relief to me to have Jackie Kerin, Teena Hartnett, Peter Fernon and Cassis Lumb as regular storytellers.  I can, and do rely on these tellers to tell a great story and to really lift the standard of the night.  They show the audience and other tellers what to aspire to and aim for. 
But there are always a few spots left on the board when we get started, (sometimes as many as five) and so we see others having a go, planned and unplanned, repeat tellers who have caught the bug and others telling their first story.  And every month we have ripper stories.
As well as Story Door, I’ve  been blogging weekly with reflections, stories, tips and tricks for personal storytelling (you can sign up here). 
I’ve been running introductory storytelling workshops in Woodend, with more scheduled for Riddells Creek in July and I’ve also been building connections with true story lovers and learners in Melbourne with Melbourne’s True Storytelling Meet Up.  I had lots of fun giving a workshop at the NSW International Storytelling Festival, and the Willi Lit Festival, and I was a voice for oral storytelling on a panel at the Emerging Writers Festival.
Storytelling Projects:  Running Story Door has helped me to develop my storytelling MC skills and see how it is another form of holding safe space, in a story kind of way.  Bringing together workshops and performance in a storytelling project would be an amazing way to build community, make sense of life experiences and capture stories.   So I have set my sights, and hope to combine my skills and experiences to serve communities, be they geographical or experience based.  (And here’s a pitch: Any agencies looking for a wonderful community building, story-skill-developing project – I’d love to have a chat.)
Kate Lawrence – Story Wise

Please, if you are a member, follow Kate's example. If you have workshops, shows, reports and reviews or open mic events that you would like to share,  contact us. We spread as much Victorian story news as we can on our Facebook but this blog and our Newsletter is reserved for members and their projects. Jackie K (blog editor)

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