Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why storytelling?

Recently Katharine Hansen, PhD asked me two questions about storytelling for here to include on her blog. Never being one to write much – I thought I would use the answers on my blog….

1. What inspired you to "cross over" and explore the applied side of storytelling, e.g., your interview with Denning?

All oral storytelling is by definition applied… stories and storytelling with out context and culture to hang it on - is television. Television can’t be confused with the oral tradition. Storytelling requires at least two participants a listener and a speaker to have a face to face interaction. In a storytelling the listener is participating in the co-creation of the story by the active use of their imagination and their response - physically, mentally and spiritually to the story.

Oral storytelling is the nuts and bolts of the sales process. Media and sales people who ignore this skill set do so at their own peril. Whether for world peace or pure entertainment, we are going to need to make the case that storytelling is useful in all forms of human relationship. To make that case we most demonstrate empirically that storytelling is entertaining, useful and applicable to the real world.

In the modern media culture many artists consider themselves storytellers – they are making an error in describing themselves in this way. Storytelling is the application of the story to the open canvas of the human mind while changing the colors to better suit the particular conditions and needs of that day.

Oral storytelling in it’s highest from is a breath from the divine and a service to all of creation. Any art form that leaves no room for the imagination in the minds of the audience is not storytelling – but something far more insidious. We leave an oral storytelling event with the feeling that the world is bigger then we can dare to imagine.

To listen to the Steven Denning interview…

2. You blog about your struggle with dyslexia. Briefly, how has this struggle affected your development as a storyteller?

I have a mind that does not work. Poor me – I’m over it – I have learned – no I was forced to compensate by the very nature of the structure of my mind. I could not read, I could not write – all I had as a child was the words in my mouth and the space between my ears. But in the end I don’t believe that dyslexic people are better speakers then non-dyslexic people – Dyslexic people are forced to learn to great lessons early in life that are a great advantage as we grow older.

1) You can’t do it all. You’re going to need help.
2) Your mind is a great device for creativity – not a good place to store things.

This blog post is written by dyslexic person about his experience being dyslexic and has been intentionally left uncorrected except for a Microsoft word spell check.

Creative commons 3.0 non-derivative license please include the following links.

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