2 - Asheville Storytelling Circle



2 - Asheville Storytelling Circle
Volume 216
PO Box 280 Little Switzerland, NC 28749
ASC Meeting Time
The Asheville Storytelling Circle meets at 7:00 pm
on the third Monday of each month except August and December at
Asheville Terrace, 200 Tunnel Rd. in Asheville.
Mission Statement
To affirm our various cultures, nourish the development of emerging
and established artists, and promote excellence in the oral traditions.
Visit Our Website
Storytelling and Technology
This is a site that gives pointers and offers a selection of stories
based on themes.
If you have a website you feel is beneficial to the art of storytelling,
please submit it for the Storytelling Chronicle.
July 2014
Thoughts on Good Storytelling
By Gwenda Ledbetter
The premier way of learning how to tell a story is to tell one and
then another and another. It’s in the telling that the skill and
wisdom comes AND the listening to others. I was with some
tellers not long ago who spoke of a teller being Good! and I
wondered what they meant, what was in that Good!
I’m involved in renovating a condo, tearing up carpet, putting
down wood floors, and cork. And into the vocabulary and the
skilled work of construction. Did you know cork has to be
acclimated to the air of the space it’s going in? And stained
glass is pieced together like a quilt? The way the work is done
involves all the material and the skills needed to do the job. So
where do we get our material for stories and what skills do we
need to make an art of our telling?
I didn’t learn to tell, I just started, hired by the library to tell
stories to children in the summer. I knew no storytellers, had no
one to listen to, so I went to Ruth Sawyer’s Way of the
Storyteller. She writes, “Storytelling is a folk art. All folk arts
grow out of the primal urge to give tongue what has been seen,
heard, experienced.” I went to Banner Elk, saw, heard and
experienced the traditional teller Ray Hicks tell about Jack. Met
Richard Chase, learned and told his tales, told on television,
told the Irish story, “The Bee and the Harp” and wondered what
ancestor was Irish that made this easy.
Telling for the camera imposed the discipline of timing. If I
went over seven (I think) minutes, I was off camera. Now, we
time our stories so as to graciously give space for other tellers.
Being the only storyteller is a thing of the past and that’s good.
Thoughts on Good Storytelling by Gwenda Ledbetter
Meet Member Kathy Gordon
Thoughts on Good Storytelling by Gwenda Ledbetter continued
and Tellers in Residence for July
Calendar and Fliers
Calendar continued and Board Information
Storytelling Extras
But I’m rambling, pushing the edges of the subject as the
elderly tend to do. What are the skills we need to learn to make
an art of our telling? Again from Sawyer, “Listen to voices and
others. Try different sounds. (The giant, the dwarf, making them
believable out of your remembering the images in your head as
a kid.) Use the breath to sustain and send out. A voice teacher
once said, “Fill your head, not the room. Speak on the breath.”
We are into an era of microphone. Using them is a skill and
necessary with a large group. I’ve always preferred a stationary
storyteller so I can enter the images they make not watch them
act out the story. However, moving as in a ritual dance is
definitely part of the story. Like our lovely hula dancer. Gesture
just for gesture takes eyes to the hands not the story. Sandra
Gudger’s Uncle reaching behind him for that stick of dynamite
brings you right into the boat.
Continued on page 2
Newsletter 1
Meeting Our Members:
An Interview with Kathy Gordon,
ASC Secretary
When did you become an ASC member?
I have been a dues paying member for several years. I have been
active in ASC since 2011.
How are you involved in storytelling?
Oh my goodness! I create stories from bits and pieces of my
memories. I love to weave these bits into a story that someone
will actually want to listen to. I enjoy working on facial
expressions, hand gestures and voice inflections. I also love
reading stories to figure out which ones are for me to tell.
I love telling and do so when ever an opportunity comes along.
The friendships I have found in the storytelling world are
incredible. Workshops, retreats, gatherings and ASC have given
me so much.
What story has had a huge impact on you?
I discovered a lot about myself through a story I put together
about my mother, my Aunt Betty, me and a poem. I found that I
could weave a story that was funny and heartfelt at the same
time. It is the first one I created to tell in public. It remains one
of my favorites.
What do you think is the most important thing a storyteller
should keep in mind when performing?
The listener. It is the job of a teller to take the listener by the
hand and walk, stroll, run, skip, hop or bounce through the story.
You must know when to stop to rest, look at the scenery or hurry
on through a storm. The teller has much power and should
always respect that.
Why do you think storytelling is important?
This newsletter is not enough for me to completely answer this
question! I will try to hit a couple of highlights.
We all are living in our own stories. We also have memories
which we love to reminisce about, either around a campfire, the
kitchen table or on a stage. It is in our DNA. In addition, we
read, watch TV and movies, observe, and listen. Story is all
around us.
Children's imaginations are in high gear. They love fantasy,
fairy tales---stories! They love to be told or read a story. They
love dressing up and acting out a story. Children many times
actually do "live" in a story, created in their minds. Storytelling
is a lead into reading for children.
What is your favorite thing about our circle?
Supportive friendship! The members of ASC welcomed me with
open arms! I know I can come to circle meeting with a story,
ideas or ramblings and our members will support and encourage
me. ASC is a very special group, of which I am proud to be a
part of.
Thoughts on Good Storytelling
By Gwenda Ledbetter
Storytelling demands voice, energy, body work, timing, humor
and what else…? Think about it. When you are thoroughly
caught in the story, it’s hard to think, how you got there or how
the teller practiced the art of it. Try. The stonemason artist, Mark
Archimbault, made a fine mosaic for my husband John’s grave, a
scene of John’s foot on a small rock looking at mountains with
the sun going down. He knows the stone saying, “The blue stone
is from Pennsylvania, the black from Nigeria, and that stone he
has his foot on is from around here.” Mark’s artistry includes
knowing his material and what instruments to use to make
I’ve found that when I’m about to tell my voice takes on a certain
quality. My great-grandson, Jackson, came to my house not long
ago. He’s a very active two-year-old boy. Ten minutes and the
place was a wreck – sofa cushions sailing through the air, poles
and dirt from the planter off the deck. Small feet flying. Three
grown women running after him snatching up breakables. He
found my stuffed tiger and carried him everywhere. Then the
small storm settled down in a chair with his “Mommie.” None of
us expected him to stay there. He’s completely deaf in his left
ear; his right ear was towards me. I said, “Once,” his head
whirled around towards me, “there was a boy named Jackson. He
had a tiger and they were best friends.” Still listening. I couldn’t
believe it! I kept going with the boy and the tiger not knowing
what I was saying I was so astounded at his being still and
listening. The power of story. It was a holy moment. And will be
anytime, after working on it, perfecting our skills we send out a
story and see it reflected back on the listening face or faces.
The art of storytelling is sharing the consciousness of what it is to
be human and divine since the beginning of the first… Once…
there was.
2014 Tellers in Residence for July
For more information go to http://www.storytellingcenter.net/
The Teller-in-Residence (TIR) program features a different
storyteller each week, May through October, in live concerts
at the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall.
Ed Stivender
7/8 - 7/12
Izzi Tooinsky
7/15 - 7/19
David Holt
7/22 - 7/26
Corinne Stavish
7/29 - 8/2
Newsletter 2
Calendar of Storytelling Events and
May - October
Barbara Freeman will be telling stories at Pisgah View Ranch
2-3 tmes each week now through October.
July 10
Michael Reno Harrell performs at the Purple Onion in Saluda,
NC, 7:30 to 9:30 pm.
July 12
Stories on Asheville’s Front Porch, Rhino Courtyard of Pack
Place in Downtown Asheville, 10:30 to 11:45 am, featuring
Tim Lowry and Shanita Jackson. Free admission.
July 12
Toe River Festival in Bakersville, NC, at Bowman Middle
School from 10 am to 5 pm. The festival begins with a
workshop from 10 am to 11:30 am by Connie Regan-Blake.
Other featured tellers are Michael Reno Harrell, Kim
Weitkamp, Lloyd Arneach, and Chuck Brodsky. Regional
tellers are Vixi Jil Glenn, Kathy Gordon, Sandra Gudger,
Elizabeth Hardy, and Charlie St. Clair. For more information
contact Sherry Lovett at [email protected]
July 13
Michael Reno Harrell performs at Blowing Rock Art and
History Museum, Blowing Rock, NC,, 5:30 pm. Wine and
light refreshments served after the concert. Tickets are $20 and
reservations may be made by calling 828-295-9099 ext. 3006.
Teller Line-up
Connie Regan Blake Workshop 10 – 11:30
Kathy Gordon & Lloyd Arneach 12 – 1
Elizabeth Hardy & Chuck Brodsky 1 – 2
Vixi Jil Glenn & Connie Regan Blake 2 - 3
Charlie St. Clair & Kim Weitkamp 3 -4
Sandra Gudger & Michael Reno Harrell 4 -5
July 19
Stories on Asheville’s Front Porch, Rhino Courtyard of Pack
Place in Downtown Asheville, 10:30 to 11:45 am, featuring
Community Folks Howard Hangar, Emoke b’racz, Hecter Diaz,
and Rezaz Setayesh. Free admission.
July 21
Monthly meeting of ASC in the lobby of Asheville Terrace,
200 Tunnel Rd., 7 pm.
July 26
Stories on Asheville’s Front Porch, Rhino Courtyard of Pack
Place in Downtown Asheville, 10:30 to 11:45 am, featuring
ASC members Sherry Lovett, Kaleo Wheeler, Pete Koschnick,
Zane Chait, Larry Kakenowash, Kathy Gordon, with Wallace
Shealy as MC. Free admission.
August 2
Jane & Wayne Sims perform at A Storytelling Dinner Theatre,
a fund-raiser for St. Johns Episcopal Church, 290 Old Haw
Creek Rd. in Asheville. A baked ziti and spaghetti dinner will
be served in the parish hall at 6 pm followed by the concert in
the church at 7 pm. Tickets are $20 for dinner and concert, $15
for concert only. Reservations required. Call the church at
298-3553 or Sara Davis at 298-1330 (leave message at either
number and reservation will be confirmed) or e-mail
[email protected]
Continued on page 4
Newsletter 3
Calendar of Storytelling Events and
Happenings Continued
ASC Officers for 2014
(For membership contact use only.)
Wallace Shealy, President
[email protected]
Roy Harris, Vice President
[email protected]
Mary Ann Wharton, Vice President
[email protected]
Kathy Gordon, Secretary
[email protected]
Charlie St. Clair, Treasurer
[email protected]
Sandra Gudger, Founder and Permanent Board
[email protected]
More on Page 5 – Storytelling Extras
Wayne & Jane Sims, Past Co-Presidents
[email protected]
Newsletter Deadline
Please submit stories, news about upcoming events, and news
about your activities by the end of each month to:
[email protected]
Calendar Items to:
[email protected]
“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we
can’t remember who we are or why we are here.” ~Sue
Monk Kidd
“Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error
of defining it.” ~Hannah Arendt
Newsletter 4
Storytelling Extras
More Calendar Items
August 3-9, 2014
9th Annual StoryWindow Retreat & Adventure: 7 days of telling,
coaching & fun, Sunday -Saturday, August 3-9, 2014. Discover ways
of being in the world that nurture your creative flow.
August 17, 2014
ASC’s Annual Picnic, WNC Nature Center, Gashes Creek Rd., Pavilion #3.
Bring a covered dish. Set up at 4 pm, picnic at 5 pm, storytelling 6-7:45 pm.
Announcement from Michael Burch:
Please contact me, if you are interested in participating in a small group setting for storytelling critique work. We're meeting each Thursday at
4:00 pm at my house. Time can be adjusted if need be. All welcome. Contact information: phone - 828-633-1838
email- [email protected]
Reminders from Sarah Larson:
Third Tuesday of the month 4:30-6:00 pm Stories for the Third Act Reuters SIG
Last Thursday of the month at 35 Below of ACT- “Listen to This” with Tom Chalmers, personal stories read or told on a theme 7:30 pm
Membership Meetings Etiquette:
Keep your introduction short. The president usually asks you to share your name and to answer with one word or a short phrase a
question that will help us get to know each other a little better. Why keep it short? Because we want to make sure we have as much
time as possible for stories.
Stories should be around ten minutes. Longer stories can be shared, if time permits. Even if you are working on a story, you should
have some idea of how long it takes. Time is precious, and we want as many people as possible to be able to share.
If time runs out and not everyone who has signed-up is able to tell a story, they will go to the front of the line for the next month.
“Storytelling is what lights my fire.”
~Hope Davis
Page 5

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