So I’ve attended a few storytelling nights held at Chicago pubs in the past few weeks. It’s a continuation of a grand tradition–verbally telling a story to an audience. These aren’t like readings I’ve attended and participated in, though, where the stories being read have been fiction written by the author.
These stories are from real life.
I’ve heard some good ones and not-so-good ones, ones that brought tears to my eyes and ones that meandered, ones told by professional actors and ones uttered by complete rookies. Just like the written word, there’s an art and a craft to a spoken story. There are pacing and cadence and beats to worry about.
As I listen I find myself critiquing the speaker. Not the performance as much as the words. The story. The emotions the teller should have hit, events they should have glossed over, the order in which the story is told.
I also find myself wanting to entertain a small crowd with a story of my own. This will happen sooner rather than later, I think.