We know about the myth and the legend. What about the man?
Anthony Clark encouraged meto enter the Liars Contest and coached me in creating “Jack and the Magic Beans,” which took third place in 2018. My story “High in the Ozarks” took first place as a written story in 2020.
I know thatZoom has opened up a lot ofnew possibilities for storytelling andam glad for that. But I personally do not like to tell on Zoom, because I miss being able to interact with the live audience. And I do not participate much as a listener on Zoom. It’s like working from home -- I am home with all the activities and distractions of being home and find it hard to break away from that for storytelling.
Ever since I attended the Third Annual St. Louis Storytelling Festival I was hooked! Sylvia Duncan and Irene Eveland drew me into Gateway Storytellers dinners at the old Salad Bowl. I signed up for classes at Meramac Community College. When I was looking for places to practice, Leigh McGee invited me to join her in volunteer telling for the Special School District. Like many St. Louis tellers, I owe a lot to Lynn Rubright, Ron Adams, and Steve Otto. On the national level, I have learned from Chuck Larkin, Michael Parent, Donald Davis, Elizabeth Ellis, and many others, too numerous to list.
I have focused much of mystorytelling on literary stories and the balancebetween staying true to the written story and the craft of adapting the story to the oral medium. This led to my involvementin the issues of copyright and getting permission -- issues which have diverted many tellers away from using literary material. I also work with traditional folklore, usually by adapting, modifying, or “fracturing” the fairy tale. I have written some original stories. My version of “Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady”was published in the NSN Storytelling magazine in 2016.
Storytelling became my passion.