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  • Writer's pictureAllen DeBay

MO-TELL Member of the Month: Allen DeBay

I live in Osborne Kansas. I work at Osborne Industries building and repairing electronics for pigs, and other animals. The electronics help keep track of food intake, weight, ventilation, and heat pad controls. My hobbies include collecting stamps, coins, storytelling albums (my collection now includes over five hundred), and paranormal investigations.


I am interested in learning about all kinds of storytelling and storytellers. I study storytellers to help find storytellers for the Kansas Storytelling Festival, and sometimes recommend them to other festivals. My interest in storytelling started by watching storytellers at the Kansas Storytelling Festival. I now go to all the festivals in Nebraska and Missouri when I am not busy with acting in plays, lighting and sound effects at school plays, being President of the Downs Lions Club and other hobbies. Creating a network of collaboration between multiple festivals is also one of my interests that I work on to help the storytelling community.


It is important to be part of storytelling organizations like MO-TELL to help support storytelling, learn about events and opportunities to perform in live or online events, learn more about storytelling and make connections with people in the storytelling field.


Since I have primarily been a tall tale/liar’s storyteller and Bil Lepp was at the first contest that I ever competed in he was one of my early influences. When I was at the National Storytelling Festival, I performed at the National Storytelling Festival swapping grounds I performed in a style like Bil Lepp where somebody pointed that out. That’s when I realized there is already a real Bil Lepp. Why do I want to try to be another Bil when I can be me? Although I still tell stories in some storyteller’s styles when I am working on a story when I am on stage, I try to just be me. When I am working on creating imagery, I often think about how Laura Packer would describe something. If I am working on the timing of a story I often think about where Donald Davis would put pauses in the story. When I am adapting a story as I am studying an audience, I think how Tim Lowry or Ed Stivender would change the story to create a more interactive experience for the audience.


One of my favorite stories is “The Cracked Pot” because it shows how imperfection can create beauty. Since you asked, one of my favorite Halloween jokes is:

Q: What is the safest way to pay for creepy Halloween decorations on the internet?

A: Always use cryptocurrency.


My favorite holiday is the 4th of July because I enjoy blowing things up with my family. My favorite holiday memories are of Thanksgiving because that is when the most family members would come back, and I always enjoyed the family stories that would be told and to catch up with all the things that happened during the year.


My last favorite vacation, my friends from Michigan came and picked me up and we explored a Bishop Castle made by one man in Colorado, went hiking and seeing the

Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park.

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