Just last week, I took my daughters to see a storyteller perform. Nope, it wasnt some fancy tent event or a gathering of thousands. It was at a local library, on a hot desert summer day, with maybe 30 children and their mothers.
We saw Glenda Bonin perform a combination of story, magic and puppets. Never did the puppets or the magic overwhelm the stories. Glenda treats her young audience with respect, bringing with her many years of telling experience and a repertoire of good stories to choose from based on the needs of the group. It was just a wonderful 45 minutes of story for these children aged 2-12. My favorite reaction was from daughter number 2, who is 9 years old: "I want to do that again!"
Sometimes, it is hard to remember that what we are really about as tellers is not the big name, big venue telling, but rather the simple and genuine telling around the table, campfire or, yes, even in the childrens library auditorium. People will ask, "How can I be like XYZ performer who travels all over the country and tells for thousands." I dont know, maybe you can, maybe you cant. But rather, I would invite, why not focus on changing the world from where you sit, with your own stories, with the stories of the ancients, with the stories of truth? In this season of festivals and conferences, lets not forget the real truth that storytelling starts with just two people and a story to tell.
You can change the world. Yes, through stories, both old and new. And this change is one person, one story at a time. Get out and tell, please. The world needs you, just as you are, right now.