This is the fourth 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 – REVEALED
- Part 4 – Combining Talents – TODAY
- Part 5 – Ownership of Events & Beyond
- Part 6 – Virtual Options
- Part 7 – Wishlist Stages
Youth have more than one talent, and storytelling is one of many.
When it is the first time for youth to learn storytelling, then focusing only on that talent is best. Though the second, third, fourth, or any other time after that initial instruction needs to be exploring what the youth enjoys beyond the art.
One of my favorite combinations was a youth teller who told a personal story while doing Karate. Obviously, Karate was important to the movement of the plot. He had the right amount of kicks that enhanced rather than distracted from the whole experience. He ended up being one of my top youth tellers for that year of Story Crossroads and moved along to the National Youth Storytelling.
We have plenty of adults that combine other talents with storytelling.
Although coming from an adult, I have always been fascinated by what Dustin Loehr contributed to the storytelling world with merging his tap dancing to the tellings. I could tell you of the time when he flew into Utah, needed a tap board, and I was scrounging and taking pictures of different wood panels to see if they “would pass inspection” the day before performance….
Though once on stage, his way of tip-tapping different sounds and postures to represent different characters was inspiring. We certainly will want him to perform at Story Crossroads again.
Any talent can combine with storytelling.
Music and dance are always brought to mind, though what are different genres and styles?
To get the brain-a-bubblin’, here are some music: Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll, Country, Soul, Dance Music, Hip Hop.
Notice that dance and music often overlap.
Have you heard of: Enka, Isicathamiya, or Frevo?
Here is a highlight of one of them, and I will let you explore and learn about the other two.
Enka = Japanese semi-traditional singing style and folk wardrobe, mixed with modern and traditional instrumentation and influences…yet see some youth at a pep rally combine this style with “Let’s move” by Beyoncé – could there be some kind of combination with storytelling? Though, experience Enka and an interview with the singer, Hitomi Idemitsu…and the reason she is attracted to this style is that “Enka has stories in it.” Hmmm.
What about in the dance world: Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Ballroom.
Though have you heard of: Demi-Character, Bugg, or Ghumura?
Again, here is a highlight of one of them, and I will let you explore and learn about the other two.
Demi-Character = Classic ballet though must focus and portray a character in a…story, many competitions are out there for it and here is one youth with a “swimmingly” wonderful story dance.
Back to the youth in your life.
More talents are out there than music and dance. What else could youth combine with storytelling and draw them more so in the art than ever before?
- Photography – with big enough pictures, projections on stage, or virtual means – this talent can be amazing with storytelling. Plus, I recently learned about PechaKucha.
- Cooking – sometimes the cooking can be shared after the performance – the aromas can enhance the overall experience – or can be shared on screen of making/baking while telling. So many food stories around the world. David Novak had bread baking in an important Gilgamesh scene. Here is an article about it.
- Fashion – how can the change of wardrobe help in the telling of a story – can more than one teller take the stage or can this be done solo – Pippa White (interview with her – she admits she did not call herself a storyteller until later) loves to do a simple switch of hats for historical representations while Darci Tucker (interview with her) has been three characters in one performance due to strategic layering. Why cannot youth do this with a twist? Does it always need to be historical…perhaps modern or even futuristic? We had youth tell 1-minute or so stories for the Story Train that stopped to the past, present, and future. The youth had to dress up to match their time period and story. The future ones…were fantastic. Actually, all were wonderful.
And this is only a sneak of talents that can make it to stage or performance in one way or another.
Brainstorm with youth.
Are they great at foreign languages? Can there be bilingual storytelling? What of visual arts beyond photography? Pottery? How can that tell a story?
How can anything truly be used to tell a story?
Yes, teach the basics of storytelling without the combining first…though there is no harm is letting youth know that you love their fill-in-the-blank talent and hint that you would love to see what they do with it for storytelling after learning how to do “pure” storytelling without the embellishments or add-ons.
You will be amazed.
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.