The first stories that I heard weren't at a storytelling festival, nor were the storytellers on a stage duded out in overalls and bandanas. When I was a child, I heard stories at family reunions, funerals and weddings. NObody got paid either. I remember two "old maid" aunts who told stories together, one giving half a sentence and the otheter one finishing it. Stories were usually personal, possibly even wild stories about the deceased at a funeral, or perhaps a legendary relataive. One of the things that bothers me about current storytelling is the reliance on humor. Somehow, the idea of storytelling and hearty laughter have become expected. Well, I know from experience that the humorous stories are easy. It is the ones that combine tragedy and laughter that are hard to do. Many of the current storytellers resemble stand-up comedians. Worse, many are obsessed with "meaningful" stories that have a moral. And, although I like "Jack-tales," I don't understand the storytellers who do nothing else.
I guess this is my "gripe" statement about storytelling. Gary
You are absolutely right. I am a storyteller, I hope I'm a good one. but there are those that do not understandt what storytelling is all about. I believe we all grew up listening to the stories of our grand parents and parents.
Post by Gary Carden on Nov 1, 2004 15:33:22 GMT -5
Well, I can do quite a harrangue on the difference between the tales in a storytellilng festival and the contents of a true storyteller. What I have seen happen repeatedly is for an honest cultural activity (such as storytelling) to fall into the clutches of "the public," which proceeds to define it. What I frequently see at festivals is people trying to meet the requirements of what someone thinks "storytelling" is. In my part of the forest, storytellers are comical (which means that they resemble comedians) or they are allowed to stell ghost stories. The people in my childhood frequently told a blend which mixed tragedy and humor, much like Garrison Kellior does now (and he is about the only "real" storyteller that I know.) Jack tales have also become absolute necessary and as much as I love Jack tales, I don't want to listen to six different versions of "The Heifer Hide."