Book Chapter: How to be a Storyteller for Family Audiences
Her Thoughts: I never planned to become a storyteller, but I’m certainly glad storytelling found me.
I was first introduced to storytelling years ago when my children were young and we lived in Matawan, New Jersey. I approached our local librarian to ask if I could register my kids for a story program. She must have recognized a kindred spirit, because by the time I left, I had agreed to help her establish the program she had not yet been able to offer – story time for tots!. After two years as a volunteer, I fell in love with children’s literature and the art of story. Our program grew so much in popularity that I needed to recruit and train six parents to help maintain our busy family program schedule at the library.
Many years later, after being downsized from my “real” job in Arizona, I found myself thinking about the happy and wonderful time I had when I was a volunteer at the Matawan library. I learned about the National Storytelling Network (then known by another name), and I started to find out if it might be possible to become a full-time storyteller. I went back to my “roots,” and talked to local librarians about the state of the art. I sought out storytellers in the area, and I discovered Sean Buvala and Storyteller.net on the Internet.
The rest, as they say, is history. After “paying my dues” again as a volunteer and venturing out to tell stories for all kinds of venues, I found myself in business as a full-time storyteller.
It is interesting to note that over the years, I always seem to find myself back in that personally comfortable place of telling stories to children and families. This is my touchstone audience – the group where I started to learn my craft. Family audiences are by no means the only area where I enjoy such comfort, but I see the family audience as my base, my foundation from where all the other programs I create evolve.
If you like the satisfaction of meeting challenges and constantly learning more about storytelling, I invite you to explore the diversity and electric atmosphere of telling stories to family audiences. You won’t regret it.
Glenda Bonin has been a performer for more than thirty years, and has made her living as a storyteller since 1996. She often tours during the summer months to deliver storytelling shows in libraries and community centers across the country. She is a resident artist in schools, a busy workshop presenter, and a teller of tales at conferences, festivals and special events. Her busy schedule includes performances for adults and seniors, children and families, and people with special needs. Glenda has five different CDs to her credit. Find her website at: www.storyworksgroup.com
Enjoy Glenda’s video about how to be storyteller: