Saturday, June 16, 2012

Storytelling in Argentina Part Four

STORYTELLING IN ARGENTINA QUESTIONS One of the things that has been sooooooooooooooo WONDERFUL about telling stories here in Argentina is the little question and answer period after my stories have been told. Sometimes they start off slowly – but usually once the ball gets rolling, it is REALLY hard to stop it. I get the usuals, of course: how old are you, do you have a dog, a pet, a husband, children?? Then I get the how do you like Argentina questions: do I know who Messi is (futbol player), have I tasted Mate (a tea type drink), do I like dulce de leche (they do like their sweets here!!) Then we move onto the personal and lifestyle section: am I famous (before I answer that I have to stop laughing!! A storyteller – FAMOUS???? HA! HA!), do I live in a house or an apartment or house, how long have I been telling stories, how did I come to tell stories, and that most important question of all – have I met Justin Beiber (he is becoming a theme of my travels!!) And then, every once in a while, I get a really insightful question like, “How did you learn to improvise??” This from a young man of about eleven. I was floored by that question, because what that told me is that he realized something fundamental to storytelling – that it is not a script. That though, especially right now when I am doing four shows a day – sometimes repeating material, sometimes not – each and every time I perform, it is COMPLETELY different!! That is one of the things that I love about storytelling, and that makes it such a wonderful art – it demands a relationship with the audience, it demands I see them, so I know how to tell the tale. As I look at the faces, and see what it is that they are responding to, I can better gear my performance to the needs of the situation. I go with what is truly alive at that moment – I improvise. What that young man picked up on, and was able to verbalize, is something that MANY people don’t get about storytelling. He saw and acknowledged that that performance was a one time thing – that was that days telling, never to be repeated again. Even if I told the same story to the same group of kids, it would be different the next time, because every single second is different, and the art of storytelling honors that. With four shows a day, I can’t even remember what school that kid was in, just two days later, but, whoever you are – THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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