This is the third of seven parts on gleaming from personal experiences as well as experiences of the 100+ youth who have taken the stage – live and virtual – through Story Crossroads since 2016. We support youth beyond the stage through Youth Teller Reunions as well as Live & Virtual Story Camps.
- Part 1 – Choosing the “Right” Words – REVEALED
- Part 2 – Friend/Listener/Mentor – REVEALED
- Part 3 – The Storytelling Birthday – TODAY
- Part 4 – Combining Talents
- Part 5 – Ownership of Events & Beyond
- Part 6 – Virtual Options
- Part 7 – Wishlist Stages
We have birthdays, unbirthdays…and even storytelling birthdays.
For some of us in the art, we clearly have a year or month in mind. Do you know the exact day? When was it that you considered yourself a storyteller?
Let us be diligent in reminding the youth of their own storytelling birthdays.
We can distinguish between the storytelling birthday to the professional anniversary.
Me? September 7, 1994. This was when I decided to test a story out with my coach as a sophomore high school student–failed miserably–and then decided to not quit despite doubts.
However, this day was not what I count toward being a professional storyteller. Anything with work or paid opportunities tends to be dubbed an anniversary instead of a birthday.
My three years of high school plus four years of college are known as my apprenticeship time. I volunteered my talents as a storyteller through founding the Brigham Young University Storytelling Club.
Interestingly, I have a clear date for my storytelling birthday though only a month and year for the professional time.
Back to the youth in your life.
Help determine each youth’s storytelling birthday. Here are ways you can do that:
- Date of first performance
- Date of first date of workshop(s)
- First date they prepped a story
- Educated guess as to the time and allowing the youth to choose a specific date if not known.
If the youth remembers “August 2019” but nothing more, then have the youth choose a favorite number between 1-31.
No matter what date is chosen/determined, then honor it though a certificate of some kind.
Beyond the storytelling birthday, make sure to offer a certificate for any event or workshop they participate. These are important momentos that track and celebrate their storytelling journey.
Yes, encourage the youth to save the program or flier…but a certificate is that “something special.”
If you want to be really thoughtful, then create a Google Sheets or document that tracks the youth you have mentored or helped. You can send storytelling birthday cards in the mail…or at least a postcard…or even an e-birthday card.
When there is a birthday, people are wanting to “live” as long as possible within the art. Youth need to know that people care if they continue on the path of storytelling.
Be there for our youth – today.
See our already-streamed/recorded The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities. See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here.