Monday, February 23, 2009

House concert

The house concert of "Queen Berta and King Pippin" went well. About 30 people turned up at my sister's house with potluck snacks and food for the local pantry.  

I had gotten a stomach bug the night before, so I wasn't at my best, but when I'm performing, most physical ailments drop away. I focus so completely on the story and the audience that I override whatever might be bothering me. This has held true for most of my 21 years of storytelling, except a time years ago when I excused myself while telling at a senior meals site, went into the bathroom, threw up, came back and picked up the story at the next sentence--that was extreme. 

Anyway, I did leave out a few details in the story, but mostly it held together nicely. Afterwards, I asked if the audience had questions. While I did record the story (I haven't yet listened), I turned the recorder off for the Q and A. I wish I'd left it on, as the questions were all thoughtful. People asked about my sources for the story, about my process for learning and telling this and other stories, about my repertoire in general. Many people came up afterwards to ask more or to tell me their other insights about the story or about storytelling. 

Of course I love telling stories to children, but it's a treat to tell to adult audiences. Usually this happens at the Going Deep Long Traditional Story Retreat,  in house concerts or in performances I set up myself, such as when I rent a hall, send out press releases, put up flyers, e-mail everybody under the sun and hope twenty people show. House concerts are much less stressful for me.  When it's not my house, I'm not in charge of food or drink or even the seating. I don't have to deal with the invitations (or not much). All I have to do is turn up and do my best work. I love that. 

Thanks, Mary!

1 comment:

Granny Sue said...

That's true, Priscilla. I've noticed it too--you can somehow send illnesses and other problems into a submission state while telling. You might collapse later, but during the time you're on, you're on.

The house concert sounds rewarding and fulfilling. Even though the story is still developing, I bet the telling was powerful. Sometimes when a story is still new to us, we convey the story's power even more because we're so in tune with it and awed by it ourselves. Seems that way to me, anyhow.