Press Play to hear Angela Lloyd talk about the Listening Way of the Storyteller on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.
Angela Lloyd writes:
Eric Wolf and I met for this interview in the lobby of the Warner Center Marriot on Friday, July 30th, 2010 at 7 AM. We were attending the bi-annual National Storytelling Network Conference in Woodland Hills, Ca.
I mention this so you can see the landscape, and note the time, for these are details that I value as a listener and worker of the word.
What you will find here as the conversation unfolds is a dialogue focused on a number of themes close to my heart.
1. How the teller listens in various ways to the story they are telling.
2. How the structure of a story plays a large part in understanding its path.
3. How a play structure on a school playground served as a metaphor for entering, playing with a story. This was a favorite connection I made several years ago, one that my students have also loved.
The opening story was one I heard early in my development. Memory tells me I heard the venerable Steve Sanfield tell it at the Sierra Storytelling Festival. I call it the “Target Story”. It comes from the body of teaching tales in the Jewish tradition, its lesson continues to direct the role of Listening in my work as a teacher and teller.
Here is the secret. When telling a story, I am listening, too. It is not something I have memorized, and deliver word by word. I have travelled its roads, path, this time I go “there” “here” again with the present audience. My motto: Made fresh daily.
The story lives in images, these rise in the moment. At the same time, the real life situation in the room is also unfolding: the energy of the audience, their attention, inattention, the climate, the quality of light, distractions, air conditioners… There is much happening, I am awake, alert, observant, listening.
Stories are whole and complete,
A round trip ticket.
We travel together, go in and come back safely.
I was taught to trust the moment, the audience, and the environment we are in.
The present moment has information for the story, and for us. We can count on it; it is worthy of our trust.
My practice is to relax,
stay in the room with the audience and listen, (who is here? are they with me?) and go forward.
When learning a folktale, Fairy tale, legend, myth –
The characters “move in”, they become family members who arrive in my life with landscapes, cultures, and details of their past, present, obstacles, and a glimpse into their future.
My curiosity regarding where they come from, where they live, who they are, directs my path, the inquiry, challenges, understanding. This becomes my journey: my home, life, play and work.
I am grateful to those who have been with me on my journey. Those of you new to this path, continue. There is something here for you. You will find what you are seeking. It may not look like what you imagined, however, it is here.
Feel free to contact me and share how this conversation is beneficial to you.
Tell your story. I am listening.
Best wishes – Angela Lloyd
Biography of a One Woman Band (Angela Lloyd)
One of the unique performers on the national storytelling circuit today, Angela was featured at the 25th (1997) and 31st (2003) National Storytelling Festival, in Jonesborough, Tennessee and regularly appears at regional festivals and theatres across the country. A virtuosa on Washboard, Angela’s performances are a whimsical braid of poetry, story and song played on Autoharp, Tenor Guitar, Spoon and Bell.
The stories are selected from a variety of sources including traditional world folktales, the oral tradition, original works based on personal experience and the best in children’s literature, i.e. (Carl Sandburg’s Rootabaga Stories, the poetry of A. A. Milne, Naomi Shihab Nye). The songs are drawn from her childhood, contemporary singer/songwriters, folk songs, along with her original musical compositions based on the poetry of e.e. cummings, A. A. Milne, and Pablo Neruda.
Angela’s debut recording, Dreams and Other Realities continues to be a favourite and has been released in a second edition. Her second recording, Sandburg Out Loud was released by August House Publishers in 2002. This collaborative venture of Story, Song, Poetry and Music featured Angela with colleagues Bill Harley, Carol Birch and David Holt. From 2000-2003 Angela was funded by The California Arts Council as an artist in residence at The Walden School in Pasadena, CA. The impact of the residency was so great, the school continued to fund the project independently through 2007.
For more information on Angel Lloyd we suggest you check out her website at http://www.angelalloyd.com