Friday, September 30, 2011

Residency reflections

I'm home, after spending most of four weeks in Allen County, KS, telling stories in every elementary school class in the county (three towns: Iola, Moran and Humboldt). I did 56 sessions in all, shaping each performance to the grade and attention span of the kids, as always.

I had up to four sessions a day, then most often went back to my hotel for a nap. When I'm doing a residency like this, after work I sleep, read, do office work on my laptop, answer phone calls, explore the town, even watch a little tv. By the end of the residency, I'm famous--just going for a walk, I run into kids who says "You're the storyteller! I told my mom that story, the one about the baby!" This happens in the restaurants and stores, too. I never mind this. Whenever possible, I stop and talk with them. I had a great conversation with a fourth-grader in the grocery store in the second week. She waved me over to show me to her mother and father, and to tell me that her mother knew the Mexican story I'd told. She translated for her mother as we talked about different versions of La Llorona.

The whole point of storytelling is to connect, and this is part of it. I know that in a few years they might have forgotten me, but they'll remember the stories. That's what is most important. 

1 comment:

Deb said...

Actually, I'd bet you anything they remember you, too. It takes a certain talent not just to connect with a group, but then also to welcome connection with the individuals in that group and their families. You certainly have that gift!