So, I'm hard at work on my summer reading program, mailings are going out, I'm getting decent at the banjo, and I'm working on the telling, but life won't let me have it that easily.
I've always said there are times of the year when things happen, certain weekends when lots of events are taking place. For me (well, for my business anyway), it's usually the first week of September, the last week of October, and every week in June. But, this year it seems like a lot of stuff is falling at the end if April.
This year, on the first weekend in May, the Storytellers of San Diego are hosting the Story Swapping Festival. It's a festival put on each year by different Southern California storytelling groups, and this year it's our turn.
I was asked to put on a workshop for the festival, which is perfect timing because I already have way too much to do at the end of April.
Honestly I hadn't thought about my workshop in over a year when I tried to sell it to the big conferences. In the end it wound up being one of the many reasons I became disgusted with the storytelling community on the national level.
I seriously considered turning it down, but this is not national storytelling where you only get to speak if you have a bow tie or a Grammy, this is the Storytellers of San Diego, my group, the group of which I am the official treasurer, and I know these people are honestly interested in what I have to say - so I didn't turn it down right away. I also had to consider all that I had going on at that time - the Storytelling Festival, the Train Song Festival, a field trip and two library gigs, not to mention my overly demanding full time job as a software engineer.
And, the last time I taught storytelling, to a bunch of kids, I bombed, and I didn't really care for the experience.
When it comes down to doing anything there has to be a compelling reason. Why would I want to present my workshop? One of my new mantras is that everything I do should be considered against whether it us good for my career. And really, teaching a workshop is not.
There are, of course, a few good reasons to do it. The first is respect, I mean, I was specifically asked to do it, which is pretty cool. And it means that other tellers may see that I'm someone who might be worth listening to, even though I'm not after their particular ticket-buying dollar. Peer-recognition does puff up my low self-esteem.
But, there are two very big reasons to do it. The first is Angela Lloyd. A lot of how I develop stories is based on a workshop of hers that I attended at the Los Angeles festival a few years ago. She will be at the Storyswapping Festival teaching a workshop. I don't know if she'll be teaching the same one, but I will be referring to it. And who knows, if the workshops aren't at the same time maybe she'll find mine as useful and I can pay her back.
Secondly, is for me. I tell the stories I tell because they're the kind of stories I like. But, no one else tells stories like this, and I would like to hear some. So, if I teach a few tellers some of my secret recipes maybe they'll tell some of the kinds of stories I like best.
After all that, there's really no way I would ever turn down an opportunity like this. So, workshop it is. I've got a lot of work to do to get it right but I think it will be fun:
Big Bang - Hollywood-style action-adventure storytelling.