Press Play to hear Kathy Collins speak on being a Comedian who tells stories and being a storyteller who uses comedy on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.
Although I began storytelling as a teenage in high school forensics competitions, I have always felt like an imposter among “real” tellers. I consider myself an actress, one who memorizes lines and portrays characters, as opposed to a wise and wonderful wordsmith. Over years of performing, I’ve become a lot more comfortable with straying from the script and improvising, but it still seemed more like acting than telling. On Maui, I have a greater reputation as a comedienne than a storyteller.
Then I was blessed with the chance to perform this summer at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Project, where I was billed as one of several poets in the La Casita Festival. Talk about feeling out of my league… now I’m a phony poet too? It seems to me that all poets are storytellers, but not all storytellers are poets. Or are they/we?
Fortunately, this summer I also attended a storytelling festival in Canada’s Northwest Territories. At a tellers’ workshop there, I was surprised to hear the chief executive of a performing arts center mention Bill Cosby as his favorite storyteller. He went on to say that he thinks stand-up comics are the tellers of our time.
I felt liberated after that workshop. I no longer feel out of place among storytellers. Once in a while, either my alter ego Tita or I will perform a serious or poignant tale. But mostly, I now see myself as a storyteller who also happens to do stand-up and theatre. I am grateful for the privilege of getting to do what I love and love what I do for a living.
More on Kathy Collins:
Maui actress/storyteller/comedienne/dancer/radio personality Kathy Collins has been performing on stage since she was 13 and began her broadcasting career at 17. Raised on Maui, her pidgin-speaking alter ego, “Tita”, is a fixture at Oahu’s annual Talk Story Festival and a regular columnist for Maui No Ka Oi Magazine. Her first CD release, “Tita Out”, won the 2005 Hawaii Music Award for Comedy Album of the Year.
Collins performs frequently at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, where she recently presented Kathy Collins’ Death Comedy Jam, an irreverent and poignant look at death and widowhood written after the death of her husband, Barry Shannon, with whom she co-founded non-commercial Mana’o Radio (91.5FM). Other recent performances include playing Bloody Mary in MAPA’s production of “South Pacific”, telling Pele stories in New York City at the Lincoln Center Out Of Doors Project, and a featured role in the full-length movie “Get a Jab” (premiering at the Hawaii International Film Festival in October 2010).
For more information on Kathy Collins check out her Radio Station in Hawaii – http://manaoradio.com
Or feel free to watch this video of Kathy Collins performance..