When you are first starting out as a teller, you might have a few tales to tell that you have carefully selected, crafted, rehearsed. Perhaps youíve chosen to specialize in animal tales.
Several bookings, several good performances. Starting to feel good about this path youíve chosen? Great! Welcome to an ancient assemblage.
Now, in your excitement, you book an event in a new venue. Youíve arrived with your standard set of stories. And, behold...
They flop. Flip. Flap. Flop. In this venue, nobody wants to hear animal stories!
What happens now? Youíve done nothing wrong, you were practiced, rehearsed and ready with your regular set!
What happens? If you have an understanding of the value of repertoire and have applied it- you reach into your mental bag of stories and pull out an unplanned, but still prepared, story. Now, this new story is more in line with the current venue.
Itís important to always be searching for new stories and not relying on the "one size fits all presentations" that you may have developed. Although you may have stories that you are intimately comfortable with, there will be the occasions that your "standards" wonít apply. As a professional, you need to have a large collection of stories and fillers- even some that would not be your first "telling" choice.
A few years back, Ken Feit, a truly intenerate teller who was known for his creativity and vision, once said he knew more than one-thousand stories. He was asked what his secret was to this vast knowledge of stories. Was it practice? Was it discipline?- he responded with a very practical, "No, I am just a dummy, but Iíve got to have things to tell in order to keep working."
If youíre seeking to be a professional teller, work daily on building your repertoire!
The Value of Repertoire Author: Sean Buvala Copyright 1998, Sean Buvala