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Review: 18th (2006) TalkStory Festival
By: Jeff Gere

The 18th (2006) Talk Story Festival was a hit and it got hit. Publicity was great, with articles in both dailies, the Honolulu Weekly, morning news appearances on two stations and lotsa radio interviews. Again we put posters on the City Buses, again a :30 second PSA played on TV stations.

On Friday the 13th (Spookies) it was Standing Room Only.... 3 deep! Some 600-700 people PACKED the McCoy Auditorium in Ala Moana Beach Park. Again, the stage was filled with pumpkins, again the 4 camera mobile van video was projected on the wall beside the stage (will be broadcast on Olelo throughout the year). Again the signers interpreted all tellers and I hosted 8 tellers each night (20 minutes each).

New this year- we added my Maui piano-playing friend Les Adam to the mix (he plays with Willie Nelson, LOVES playing to storytelling, and is BRILLIANT with it). All the tellers were in great form, including Sandra MacLees, Lopaka Kapanui, Alton Chung (with koto player) and Deaf teller Ed Chevy (Poe’s The Raven). In years past, we’ve gone from 7 to 11ish at night, but due to the homeless issue, the park is under a strict curfew (10pm!). It kills me to end a show when 500 folks are settled and totally involved, and would LOVE to hear more. Ouch! I work hard to attract ’em... sigh.

As usual, Saturday night (Legends) the crowd was smaller, but still big! Two highlights: Slam poet/author Brenda Kwon told about her year in Korea (Fulbright scholar) woven into a Korean folktale. Pianist Les accompanied Erica Lann-Clark for a session so good it will be part of a new Erica CD! I was excited to hear him for the Sunday night show, themed TUNES ’N TALES.

Sunday morning we woke with a start to an earthquake, a lloonnnggg earthquake! Power in Honolulu was out. Cell phone reports from Seattle and Florida reported that the Big Island (Kona, Kohala) was rocked! About 1pm I went to the sponsoring Ocean Resort Hotel. Our guests Sandra, Erica, and Les were wilting in the lobby. At home, with a shower and a nap, they revived. Meanwhile, I went to the Park to take in signs and post a ’CANCELLED’ note.

After a gas-stove dinner for 8 (with a few neighbor), the intimate 3rd night of the Talk Story Festival took place in my carport by candlelight. After Sandra, Erica, and I told, my 28 year old gifted lighting artist Jared Terpak told an awesome true tale. As a boy scout camping in Kohala’s Pololu Valley, they were attacked by an akulele, a floating spirit fireball, . It was a wonderful evening. I’m hoping to hold a Tunes ’N Tales show next year with Les.

The next three days I cleaned up as Erica & Alton hit Oahu’s Libraries. On Maui I and Sandra told with them in libraries, private schools, and a senior center. I stuck Erica in the Mana’o Radio studio for a long hour or recording too. Sunday, back on Oahu at the Japanese Culture Center, afternoon Japanese folktales were followed by a PACKED Obake evening (Lopaka Kapanui, Alton Chung, and I). Awesome fun! I hope to repeat it next year.

The 19th Annual TALK STORY FESTIVAL will again offer 3 free nights of storytelling at McCoy Pavilion (so far) on Oct. 12 (Spookies), 13 (?),
14 (Tunes N Tales). Put it on your calendar and plan to join us!

Author Information:
Name: Jeff Gere
The contents expressed in any article on are solely the opinion of author.

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