Remember the storytelling course I did? Blogged about it here (part 1) and here (part 2).
Today, I put it into practise.
I wasn't going to, in spite of the fact I'd prepared a story. In fact, if Tahlita hadn't mailed me on Sunday evening, I never would have done it at all. Y'see, I was chickening out. Doing a story - of my own - without a book to hide behind was just too flippin' scary. But it was only a ten minute slot after all and I didn't want to let Tahlita down, so I said yes.
The daft thing is, I still had to write the story 'properly' on paper first - remember that whole 'embedding' issue? I used notes to remind me of the storyline during the actual telling - which, I hasten to add, got simpler and simpler as I went on because I simply couldn't remember everything!
The lovely thing about the session itself was that, of the five storytellers, only one had not been on the storytelling course with me; I was among familiar faces. It was a privilege to see how everyone else worked, using props and actions and involving the children. I was concentrating so hard on the story, I forgot all that! The kids just got me...and a story about The Story Bird.
I didn't even resort to the comfort of a storytelling chair - and at the moment, there's a TALKING LADYBIRD CHAIR in the Charnwood Museum as part of the Ladybird Books Centenary celebrations! Think I might have had to fight the kids for the privilege of sitting in it, now I think about it...
I came away feeling more confident, but with things to improve on, like involving the children more with actions and rhymes. Perhaps 'finishing' the story better to leave the listener to guess at what happens next rather than tying it off nicely? (Jury's still out on that one - part of me can see a place to cut it and leave the listener guessing, but part of me wants a happy ending.) And props - can I use them at all without them overpowering the story? (I also came away with what I assume is a lovely legend of how the man got into the moon...might be able to do something with that.)
I also realised that you don't have to make up the story you're telling each time - you can use traditional fairytales or legends. You just have to put your own spin on them and tell them the way you can, rather than in the way you can't.
So, a bit of a high spot in a horribly windy, yet beautifully sunny and dreadfully hailly day.