(posted 5/2007. Written by Leanne Johnson)
(Editor’s Note: This is such and in-depth article that we could not put it all on the site in the format we use. However, there’s so much information presented that we couldn’t edit it to make it fit. We’ve decided to post the entire article as a .pdf document. You can click here now to read the entire document. Please respect Leanne’s work by not reposting this article anywhere else without her permission.)
You have invited a storyteller to perform at your event. Now, what do you plan to feed them?
Like anybody else, storytellers have their own food likes and dislikes. However, more than just a preference, the food served can actually help or hinder the performance. When to eat, what to eat, what to drink, and what dietary restrictions need to be accommodated are all-important aspects to consider when planning a storytelling event.
In September 2004, I posted an inquiry to the 500+ members of the Storytell Listserve, an international Internet discussion group. I asked what foods they liked to have available at storytelling events and the reasons why. I also wanted to know what foods they did not like to have, and the reasons why not. In addition, I requested specific information from those who live with dietary restrictions. Their answers, along with my additional research, are compiled below.
WHEN TO EAT?
“I seldom eat before performing – at least within an hour or so. I find I perform best if I’m not full.” Judith Wynhausen.
The overwhelming majority of performers who replied to my inquiry stated they did not want to eat a full meal just before a performance.
“Eat just enough before to chase away ‘the hungries’” wrote Bob Shimer. Many indicated a preference for a light snack before a performance. Some asked for fruit, with grapes being the runaway favorite. Others preferred a protein-rich treat, such as peanut butter on celery, or cheese with crackers.
Almost all the respondents expressed a wish for flexibility in dining arrangements.
“A feeding trough available any time is good. Those of us that are in the habit of running late can therefore rush in after driving hundreds of miles and stuff our faces, while those who hate to eat before a performance can come off stage and do the same.” John Row.
Another concern that was voiced was the quality of time spent eating....
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