Her Thoughts: When I tell people that I am a professional storyteller, they tend to take it for granted that I tell or read aloud stories to children in schools and/or libraries. It takes some explanation that I am an oral storyteller – no reading aloud – and that besides telling stories to children, I also share stories with many adult groups and/or families. Telling stories provides so many benefits for the listeners along with the storytellers. We all have our stories: some that are true and others remembered from the past. Telling them brings us and them clarity about our and their lives. Adults are encouraged to loosen up, remember, and then tell their stories to others. And, the exciting part of knowing someone’s story is that we can’t help but like that person, even those who are very different from us. Sharing stories – both the good and the bad – produces compassion and empathy for others in our lives.
Stories should be shared with adults for the pure joy of it. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that telling to adults can also be for the pure fun of seeing their eyes light up and hearing them laugh. In this day and age, we all need to lighten up a bit. Also, most of us love the fantasy of fairy and folktales, which are definitely not only for children. They take us to another time and place where magic was the norm. Stories for pure enjoyment will give us all a lift and the energy we need. A perfect example for me was hearing Michael Parent, a bi-lingual storyteller who was raised French Canadian, tell “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” in French combined with lots of body movement. Even though I faced a long drive home that evening, I laughed so hard I cried, and didn’t feel any fatigue on my trip. I had been re-invigorated by the pure enjoyment of a story.
Yes, stories are for everyone – especially adults!
Chris King, an active member of O.O.P.S! (Ohio Order for the Preservation of Storytelling), guest editor and presenter for the National Storytelling Network, has been a storyteller “all of her life.” Chris tells traditional tales — with a twist; original stories — personal and believable; and business stories. She also maintains a “Portfolio Career” (having a variety of careers). Chris is a writer, website designer/developer, fitness instructor, marketer, and mother of five. Visit her website at http://www.storytellingpower.com.