What Youth Tellers Want & Need – Part 4 of 7

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.

Normal, right?

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.

Find our E-Newsletter and Email List Sign-Ups.

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.

And…Spread the word about our upcoming Story Camp for youth aged 8-17 in mid-August of two kinds: Limited-Sized/Proper-Distanced as well as Virtual.

Cap’s Off to You! Jennifer Rawlins and Celebrating Story

Jennifer Rawlins

Versión en Español se puede encontrar a continuación o haga clic aquí para ir allí. Haga clic en mí para saltar a la parte española. We are now in the middle of our Story Crossroads crowdsourcing campaign from now to June 5, 2015 found at http://igg.me/at/storycrossroads/.  Give today!

Featuring:   Jennifer Rawlins

Mother, Hobby Hay Farmer, & Performing Artist from WA

I can still picture the bright yellow jester garb that Jennifer Rawlins wore for the Quill and the Sword (Medieval History Club) during those Brigham Young University days.  The BYU Storytelling Club and the Quill and the Sword had struck a deal:   we would tell stories in exchange for eating the 12-course meal and borrowing garb to match the time period.  Jennifer did not have to borrow garb.  She was part of both clubs and already had the skills in her hands to sew and the skills in her mouth to tell.

We graduated from BYU, had families, and developed our creative spirits elsewhere.  Then late Thursday on June 4, 2015, we touched base.  Enjoy the past, present, and future influences of storytelling in Jennifer’s life.

Storytelling in the Past

Rachel:  What drew you to storytelling back in those [Brigham Young University] days with the Storytelling Club?

Jennifer:  I loved Forensics [speech contests] in high school and the Storytelling Club was the closest thing there was. I’d always loved telling stories to kids.

Rachel:  What are some of your favorite memories from the BYU Storytelling Club?

Jennifer:  I liked going to the elementary schools and the scary stories by campfire night was way fun.

Rachel:  Why?

Jennifer:  Well, I liked telling stories to little kids because I loved their very natural and often large responses to the stories you told. They usually hadn’t learned a lot of apathy yet. The campfire night just gave a wonderful atmosphere to the backdrop of your stories. It’s one of the main reasons I loved SCA [Society for Creative Anachronism] events, they have “bardics” where people take turns around a campfire telling stories and singing songs. It’s easier to believe in the magic of a story in the setting of the night and with a fire because the beauty of them seems a bit magical too.

Storytelling in the Present

Rachel:  When you graduated from BYU, how have you seen the influence of stories and storytelling in what you do now (if at all)?

Jennifer:  Storytelling is very nostalgic for me, reminding me of differently beautiful days. It helps me connect with my children and teach them things that are more difficult for me otherwise. It also reminds of the love that I have for them. I starting collecting children’s books for my future children when I was in my earlier teens and so have hundreds of storybooks. I suppose telling them stories makes me very happy on several levels. Helping others tell stories is VERY fun for me. It’s nice to be able to help in such a way.

Rachel:  You have done some theater productions since BYU. Tell me more.

Jennifer:   I stage managed “The Tempest” last year and did some acting coaching for a few of the characters. This year I did the costume design for “Much Ado about Nothing.” I will probably do that again along with some acting coaching hopefully.

Rachel:  I do remember your skills with design and creating with your hands [back from BYU days].

Storytelling in the Future and its Importance

Rachel:  And you also said before that you have plans to help with Forensics. Tell me more.

Jennifer:  I help out with a home school coop and they are starting a Forensics team this coming year.

Rachel:   What categories were you going to help coach?

Jennifer:  Humorous and serious dramatic interpretation.

Rachel:  Anything you would like to add about the importance of storytelling?

Jennifer:  Storytelling is extremely important to any culture….It is how culture is preserved, by mother’s telling their children stories. Principles and history are taught through stories.

Rachel:  And here you are a mother telling your children stories. Perfect!

I appreciate Jennifer sharing her experience and influence with storytelling.  You have those moments, too.

Here is why:

Jennifer has a story.  You have a story.  We all have stories.

Aquí lo tiene.

 Jennifer Rawlins

La tapa!

Con: Jennifer Rawlins

Madre, Hobby Heno agricultor, y de artistas de WA

Tenemos hasta el viernes, 5 de junio, 2015 antes de la medianoche (MST) para la Historia Encrucijada crowdsourcing campaña.  Hemos recaudado más de $1.000 y me encantaría nada más le puede dar cualquiera sea el importe de los mismos.  Vaya aquí:  http://igg.me/at/storycrossroads.

Todavía puedo imagen bufón amarillo brillante ropaje que Jennifer Rawlins puso en el árbol y la Espada (Historia Medieval Club) durante esos días Universidad Brigham Young.  La BYU Narración Club y el árbol hueco y la Espada había llegado a un acuerdo, con lo cual   contar historias a cambio de comer el 12 platos y atuendo préstamos para que coincida con el período de tiempo.  Jennifer no tienen que pedir prestado.  Ella fue parte de ambos clubes y ya tiene la habilidad de sus manos para coser y la habilidad de su boca para decir.

Nos graduamos de BYU, sus familias se han desarrollado, y nuestros creadores en otros lugares.  A continuación, el jueves en la tarde el 4 de junio de 2015, hemos tocado base.  Disfrutar del pasado, presente y futuro de la narración influencias de Jennifer en vida.

La narración en el pasado

Rachel:   ¿Qué  le atrajo a la narración en Brigham Young University [días] con la narración Club?

Jennifer:   Me encantó  discurso Forense [concursos] en la escuela secundaria y la narración Club era lo más parecido que hay. Yo siempre me encantó contar historias a los niños.

Rachel:   ¿Cuáles son algunos  de sus recuerdos favoritos de la BYU Narración Club?

Jennifer:   Me gustaba ir a la escuela primaria y la fogata historias espeluznantes de noche era divertido.

Rachel:   ¿Por qué?  

Jennifer:   Bueno, me ha gustado contar historias para niños pequeños ya que me encantó su muy natural y a menudo grandes respuestas a las historias que te dijo. Por lo general no había aprendido un montón de apatía. La fogata noche dio una maravillosa atmósfera para el telón de fondo de sus historias. Es una de las principales razones por las que me encantó SCA [Sociedad] anacronismo creativo para eventos, tienen “bardics” donde las personas se turnan alrededor de una fogata contando historias y cantando canciones. Es más fácil creer en la magia de una historia en el ajuste de la noche y con un incendio porque la belleza de ellas parece un poco mágico.

La narración en el presente

Rachel:   Cuando usted  se graduó de BYU, ¿cómo se ha visto la influencia de las historias y los cuentos de lo que usted hace ahora (si es que la hay)?

 Jennifer:  Narración de cuentos es muy nostálgico para mí, recordándome que hermosos días de manera diferente. Esto me ayuda a conectar con mis hijos y enseñarles las cosas que son más difíciles para mí. También nos recuerda del amor que tengo por ellas. I inicio recopilación de libros infantiles para mi futuro los niños cuando yo estaba en mi anterior adolescentes y que, por tanto, tienen cientos de cuentos. Supongo que les dicen las historias me hace muy feliz en varios niveles. Ayudar a los demás contar historias es muy divertido para mí. Es bueno ser capaz de ayudar a de esa manera.

Rachel:   Lo habéis hecho  algunas producciones teatrales desde BYU. Tell me more.

Jennifer:  I etapa gestión de “La Tempestad” el año pasado y que algunos de ellos actúan como entrenador en algunos de los personajes. Este año hice el diseño de vestuario para “mucho ruido y pocas nueces.” seguramente que, una vez más junto con algunos de ellos actúan coaching con suerte.

Rachel:  Sí recuerdo tus habilidades en el diseño y creación con las manos [de BYU días].

Narración de historias en el futuro y su importancia

Rachel:  Y también  dijo que tiene planes de ayuda con medicina forense. Tell me more.

Jennifer:  Me ayudan con la escuela en la casa cooperativa y están empezando un equipo forense el próximo año.

Rachel:   ¿Qué   categorías se va a ayudar a entrenador?

Jennifer:  Humor y seriedad dramática interpretación.

Rachel:   ¿Algo que  quisiera agregar sobre la importancia de la narración?

Jennifer:  La lectura de cuentos  es muy importante en cualquier cultura… .es cómo la cultura se conserva, por la madre de contar cuentos a sus hijos. Principios e historia se enseñan a través de historias.

Rachel:   Y he aquí  que una madre que sus hijos historias. Perfecto!

Le agradezco a Jennifer compartiendo su experiencia y su influencia a la hora de contar historias.  Usted tiene esos momentos, demasiado.

Aquí es por qué:

Jennifer tiene una historia.  Tiene una historia.  Todos tenemos historias.