Written for by Carolyn Stearns…
Part 1- An Interview With Lanes Exec. Director Yvonne Zinicola as of 3-29-2011
I requested to interview Yvonne for the blog as a way of capturing her first year and reflecting on its impact with Lanes and storytelling in the Northeast. I sent Yvonne my questions and we thought of putting out this interview prior to Sharing the Fire. My questions got Yvonne to thinking and they needed time for the answers to gel while STF day was racing forward. We decided after everyone was home from Sharing the Fire and the light had simmered to red coals it would be a good time to release the interview. I decided to post it as received in the question answer format and not try to fix something that doesn’t need fixing.
Yvonne has had a year to get to know us and we are all beginning to see who Yvonne is. Hopefully for those who have not yet had the pleasure this will bring you a little overview. For all those who have met or worked with Yvonne already, here is some follow up to what you have been introduced to.
1. 1 year has passed, what is just as you expected in that time frame?
I really do not set “expectations” until I have a chance to understand the organization, its members and its systems. The first year was exploratory and foundation building. Although I am new to Storytelling, I am not new to the arts and have over 15 years experience in Non-profit management. First, I had to do an in depth assessment of the organization to determine our strengths and weaknesses. The framework of processes was in place, but I had to add much more detail. That’s not really unusual for a non-profit that has been pretty much staffed by volunteers with some part-time admin folks along the way. So it was no surprise, but it has taken much time and energy. In order to move forward, it was vital to our work to do this foundation building.
2. What in the year has most surprised you?
I was surprised and amazed by the passion and dedication that our storytellers have. We have an amazing group of vibrant members who are dedicated to each other as much as to furthering the art of storytelling. I was impressed at the many functional, creative and inventive ways that storytelling is being used to make the world a better place and to create understanding between people.
3. Where have you seen the most progress? Read more »
Press Play to hear Leeny Del Seamonds on using character voices in your storytelling on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.
Written by Leeny Del Seamonds
My journey into professional storytelling came through a stage door. Raised in a theatrical family who ‘spoke story’ (and always gestured with their hands), I eventually studied acting, improvisation, voice, dance and mime. Armed with a B.A. in Theatre/Performing Arts (minor in Directing) from Rowan University , I moved to the Big Apple to make my mark. In between off (and sometimes off-off) Broadway gigs, I took additional classes in voice, acting and mime. An actor never stops learning and growing in her craft/calling. One of the most significant things I learned along the way is the value of having a strong and varied voice and how to Read more »
Photo Credit D Sharon Pruitt
Back when I was an aspiring actor in New York City, fresh out of conservatory and performing in showcase productions in out-of-the-way, off-off-off-off-Broadway theaters, we had a rule — understood if not clearly spoken: call off the performance if the actors outnumber the audience. (Unless of course there happened to be a casting agent in the house.) I remember a particular production of Richard III (yes, think Richard Dreyfuss in The Goodbye Girl?) when the cast of fifteen put the policy to the test on numerous occasions.
Whether or not we cancelled shows (I don’t think the producer was in on the compact), the principle is clear. Don’t squander your talents on less-than-ample audiences. Or, more pointedly: what if you put on a show and nobody comes? Read more »
Press Play to hear Diane Wolkstein and Connecting with Audiences, Other Cultures and Ourselves on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.
Diane Wolkstein is one of the world’s most preminent storytellers and the award-winning author of more than 30 books, CDs, and DVDs. From amusing children’s tales to epic adventures for adults, Wolkstein has performed and collected stories on five continents. Her lively and Read more »
I have been trying for several months to find somebody – anybody – who is willing to articulate the International Storytelling Center’s position on the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Court filing and the breaking of the contract with the National Storytelling Network. I have failed to find anyone who is willing to write an editorial on the ISC perspective. I have decided to present the two court filings from the ISC and NSN on the matter. Heavily edited to leave out the sections that deal with the more legal technical arguments and just include the core values expressed.
I could easily find someone to write a editorial defending NSN – but it seemed one sided – so I am posting both perspectives in the organizations own words.
The Following is the ISC filing with the arguments for the voiding of the agreements that they had with NSN. I have removed about 40% of the filing that dealt with legal statements supporting the legality of voiding the agreements. I have left what is I consider the core moral arguments.
All the best
Read on Read more »
I have been trying for several months to find somebody – anybody - who is willing to articulate the International Storytelling Centers position on the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Court filing and the breaking of the contract with the National Storytelling Network. I have failed to find anyone who is willing to write an editorial on the ISC perspective. I have decided to present the two court filings from the ISC and NSN on the matter. Heavily edited to leave out the sections that deal with the more legal technical arguments and just include the core values expressed.
I could easily find someone to write a editorial defending NSN - but it seemed one sided – so I am posting both perspectives in the organizations own words.
The Following is the NSN’s objection to the ISC request for termination of contract with the 50% that deals with the legality of ending this form of contract removed. It is importnat to note that NSN board has withdrawn this objection from the court after being told that they would have to fight it up the appeals court process. Probably win after two years and a half a million dollars – most likely destroying both organizations and ending the National Festival as we know it.
All the best
Read on Read more »
Press Play to hear Octavia Sexton talk about Jack Story and how this traditional tale belongs to everyone on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf Show.
Octavia Sexton writes…
I think most people probably know that a Jack Tale is a trickster story and Jack. They’ve been around for over 800 years – originating in the British Isles. The stories came to North America via European settlers. The stories told in the Appalachian Mountains began to change through the years to reflect the environment and cultural traditions that emerged among the mountain people.
I grew up in a storytelling tradition and stories were a part of life. I heard a variety of stories not only through kinfolk but also at school. I went to a one-room school and the only thing to do at recess was sing songs, tell stories and play games that did not require ‘stuff.’ We didn’t have any ‘stuff’ to play with because we were all just a bunch of poor country kids. I think I established myself very early as a storyteller. I remember being 5 years old and standing on a big rock in the yard of one of my uncles’ houses and telling tales to my cousins, aunts and uncles who gathered on the big front porch. We had all kinds of stories, but I never knew what a Jack Tale was until I went to college.
After eighth grade, Mommy asked me if I wanted to get married or go on to high school. I went on to Read more »