Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Storytelling Environment

If you read books on sharing scary stories, or if you go online and look for websites with suggestions for telling scary stories, you will almost always find advice on "controlling the environment".  You'll get great advice about dimming the lights or building a campfire or creating a spooky atmosphere. You'll be told about eliminating distractions and about making eye contact with each audience member.

HOWEVER - at the Festival of Ghost Stories in Bryan Park you will have to work with a very different setting.
You are in the park, and the park is dark - but you are on stage.

Go on, go up those steps and on to the stage.
There is an audience out there in the dark - can you see them?
Once you are standing on stage under the bright lights you probably won't be able to make out many folks beyond the front row. 
Can they see you?
Well, the lights are on you, and there's a back drop behind you,
so certainly the closer audience can see you. 
Maybe they can catch your expressions and gestures from half way back.

But look where people are setting up their chairs and blankets.
They are waaay up the hill.
You are going to be a tiny silhouetted form up there on stage.
They will hear you - you have the microphone.
It can be a really effective storytelling environment.
Just not an intimate one.

Think about this when you pick out your story.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Looking for a Festival Story

Guild story tellers are getting ready for the Festival of Ghost Stories on October 24. 
We're looking for a tale to tell -- and wondering what makes a good tale for this event?
This is the first in a series of posts that will consider that question.
To begin with:  our tales can't be too long -  only about 10 minutes, at most 12.
Even shorter is fine.  Longer is not.
(This does mean that you HAVE to time your telling.  Out loud.  Before the auditions on Oct. 15)
So right away we're looking for something that can be told in a constrained amount of time and still be effective.  
Take this as a warning not to fall in love with a story that will have to be cut and edited and re-trimmed to fit the time.  We've all done that and can tell you that it is far better to start with a shorter story.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Who's telling at the Festival of Ghost Stories?

When you see an event that features "The Bloomington Storytellers Guild", it means that the performers are either members of this group or specially invited guests.
Members of the Guild pay dues to be part of the active tellers group.
So if you are thinking that it would be fun to tell at the Festival of Ghost Stories (and it would be fun!)  make contact with us before the auditions on
Wednesday, October 15,
6-9 pm
Monroe County Public Library, room 2-B
You will need to present your story at this audition session.
You can bring your dues to the auditions.
About those auditions:
this is a "preview" session that serves several purposes, including giving you feedback on your presentation.
If you have not told as a Guild member before, you should come prepared to tell your entire story.
If you are a frequent teller, be prepared to share the beginning or a segment or an outline of the story.

Everyone should try to get information about the title and general content of a story that is being considered to the Event Coordinator well before putting a lot of time into learning and polishing it.  This allows the coordinator to keep us from duplicating stories or from having too many of the same style of story, and you won't have the disappointment of having picked a story that doesn't fit the event.

The Event Coordinator will consider all stories in view of the overall concert, and may accept or reject stories depending on the needs of the script.

More on story selection coming...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Turn your calendar over and mark....

September:

Come join us for a cup of coffee (coffee not actually required) at Bakehouse EAST on Saturday, September 6th, around 10:00 a.m.
Conversation, questions, information -  your chance to get connected with the Guild again.
October:
Wednesday, October 15th, 6--9 pm, room 2B at the Monroe County Public Library on Kirkwood Avenue:   Auditions for the Festival of Ghost Stories.  Watch for more information about the type of stories we'll be looking for.

Friday, October 24, 7 - 8:30 pm:  Annual Festival of Ghost Stories, in Bryan Park.

Okay, you got that?  Calendars marked?  Good.  Watch this space for more info, or email Guild if you have specific questions.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Stories on the Street

We're taking to the street - 4th Street - to kick off the Spoken Word Stage performances for the 4th Street  Festival of Art.
You'll find us out there on the asphalt at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 30th.

We'll be hanging around afterwards if you want to talk to us about the Storytellers Guild -- maybe over a cup of coffee while we watch the crowds go by and before we go admire all the wonderful art at the show.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Goodbye, Summer -- Hello, Fall

Those Summer days of campfire tales and songs are fading into Fall, and a new storytelling season is beginning.
September will be here soon, and the Guild will be reconnecting with everyone to get a new season going.
Want to get involved?
Send an email to the Guild address and get on our email distribution list.
Call the coordinator.
Like our Facebook page.
Watch for more info coming soon!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Why we need more words for "Green"

"As for the use of words -- they are for the storyteller what notes are for the musician or colors for the artist.  A good, well-rounded vocabulary is a rich possession.  It is out of words that storytellers create those pictures that captivate the listeners; for it is through the medium of pictures that the story is told and gathered in by the listeners.  Words should be strong, of simple meaning; they should have color and that quality which arouses the imagination."
Ruth Sawyer,
in "How To Tell a Story"