I started telling stories when my son was 3 - he is now 37. I began buying books to read to him at bedtime and as I would read these stories, vivid pictures would appear in my mind. I soon started doing my own versions of the stories, giving my son a real theatrical performance. I mean, this kid was ready for popcorn and juice by the end of it! It really surprised both of us. Later on, I realized that my background as a comedian and actor lent itself well to storytelling.
When I tell stories, I like to use all my physical resources to pull my audience in. Vocal sound effects help to enhance my stories such as the creaking of a chair, or the slamming of a door. Storytelling is such a versatile art form since it gives me the opportunity to combine poetry, humor and theatre into my own special package.
Storytelling is for all ages and I easily adapt the stories, depending on the age of the audience. For instance, one story could be performed for K-5th grade, and that same story told completely different for middle and high school kids.
Character education traits such as respect, responsibility, cooperation, honesty and self-esteem are tools of my trade. I feel stories also help us enter the "Theatre of our Minds." Today what I like best about telling is watching the responses on the faces of my audience. Time almost seems suspended when I am performing. It is wonderful to see the rapt attention listeners give to me as I tell a story. The energy level I receive from the audience also helps me to enhance the story even more!
I tell stories to see the happiness and joy that can be shared through the oral tradition. No fancy electronics, just teller and listener.