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.