September 27, 2010

Storytelling tips? Got any to share?

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I’ve managed to sneak one Halloween decoration into the house and only because it was a gift.  My best buddy gave me a bottle of spicy scented foamy soap and it’s got a glow-in-the-dark jack o’lantern on the face.  When it showed up in our kitchen, I got a scowl from Fry.

I may have 3 more days before the boxes of deco can come up from the basement, but that doesn’t mean my head isn’t already there.  For Halloween, I’m dressing up as a storyteller and tour guide.  I should probably wear one of those little pill-box hats.  Or a fez.  Or some sort of hat because it will be happening outside and after dark – brrrr.

What I wear will be important, but how I go about it will be even more so.  Let’s see …

Don’t be a talking head.  Make the point but don’t belabor it.  Tell it once and then move on.  Stop at just the right time or else it will be boring.  Stop talking or people will get restless and I will loose their attention.  Move on at just the right time.

(uh-oh…)

Moving on – Let my love of the place and the ghost stories stand on their own.  We had fun discovering them.  Let the people walking with us do the same.  Let the humor and fun shine through.  It’s there above all other things and it’s infectious.

It’s all about their experience, so be thorough and kind.  I’m happy to get to share this, so it’s important to do whatever I can to anticipate what will and won’t make for the best experience.

Just enough history to be fascinating.  Because the history IS fascinating.  It’s so cool to see the connections that emerge as I research the history.

Trust myself and my fellow guides.  They’re just as excited about these stories and have tons of experience helping other people have a good time.

Rehearse.  And then rehearse again.  The urge to perform is not a guarantee that I can.

Don’t obsess.  Rehearse and then stop so that it stays fresh.  Don’t obsess.  Stop washing my hands.  Wash them just enough.  Don’t obsess.

Be bold.  I’m digging this process already because I had to be bold in order to even get this far.

Don’t obsess.

Build in some surprises.  I can’t say any more.  Unless you ask because I suck at keeping a secret.

Love what I’m doing and help other people find the love in it.  If there’s no love for them, they need to be doing something else.  Life’s too short not to be doing the love.

What else?

Significantly,

Susan Scot Fry

Update… This was a fun post to put up, but then I got busy with a bunch of other things and didn’t think much more about it.  It was an easy day to float around on happy thoughts.

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