Recently the Mother Lode Storytelling Guild sponsored a 3-hour workshop with storyteller Angela Lloyd. We welcome this response from one of our participants: David Mansfield. This was his first storytelling event...
I came to the Angela Lloyd storytelling workshop not sure if I should be there. The story I had selected, "The Origin of the Narwhal: An Inuit Folktale," was a last-minute choice. The story didn’t have much meaning to me, and I’m still not sure if I would categorize it as a fable. By the time I arrived I had decided to abandon it and try to find another before the workshop began. I was also concerned that I would be an oddity there. I have very real interest and a little experience in performance storytelling, but I imagined I would be at best a dabbler in a room of devotees.
As soon as I arrived I was relieved to see the variety of people there. It may have been true that I was the least committed storyteller there, but I realized right away that it didn’t matter. Angela and the rest of the group were extremely welcoming, and I felt instantly comfortable. "Now if I could just find a new story I’d be set," I thought. The schedule being tight as it was, I didn’t end up having the chance to choose a new story. When we started working on the “bones” portion of the workshop, I found myself stuck with an odd story I didn’t love.
It turns out that that didn’t matter either. I should have remembered that I love working with story structure. Breaking down "The Origin of the Narwhal" to its basic structural elements was fun and useful. And by the end I found that I actually had developed a connection to the story. It’s hard to get that intimate with something and not develop some kind of fondness.
BZ Smith and friends, we tell stories in and around Sonora, CA