Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Annals of Hosting Yashinsky-Chapter 4

Chapter 4 of Yashinsky's book deals with setting up a storytelling concert and serving as a Master of Ceremony. Strangely enough I did arrive early today and set up the room. Of course, we set it up about four more times. Yashinsky points out that he has had both good and bad experiences as a storytelling event host. I suspect that all tellers have a different set of stage needs based on their performance or the story they brought to tell. As Yashinsky stated: "The storytellers shire lies in his own time zone."

It was particularly interesting that Rachel asked that the blinds be closed in a very diplomatic style, Saundra's story was much stronger while sitting on the table, Josh moving the chair showed he needed more room to tell, and the ladies decorum discussion on sitting in a chair or on a table was a key bit of cultural knowledge. As Yashinsky said: "Reaffirming the intimate bond between teller and audience is often the essence of the host's job.

What I learned today was that a teller better arrive early to ensure that the stage setup accommodates the story that he/she plans to deliver. Another interesting factoid was that a teller can make a slight change to the stage and gain attention of the audience.

Yashinsky's observations regarding the host's role is to make sure that the stories are not used inappropriately, e.g. ads, sermons, lectures, or doctrines. David's example of his host' guidance in a different culture where sitting on the table is taboo.

Another big point that Yashinsky addresses was also part of our discussion: " To tell a story well the listeners must be involved." The end of class example where Josh and Sandy described the hallway in two ways: First, looking at the hall and second telling us what was there in a story way made the point.

Yashinsky's story regarding the 1001 Friday Nights venue in Toronto was also interesting and related to my experience today. David passed the stick to each of us, and we were in control of the events from that moment forward.

The connectivity I felt with each of you following your story is also described on page 63 and 64.
His conclusion that the greatest value that tellers bring to the public realm is the idea that stories can make a difference in the real world.

I was not to fond of the quoted statement on page 65, but the bad moment advice he gave should such an event occur "Fake it. Go through the motions." may be useful someday.

PERSONAL POINT: If any of you have any advice or comments regarding my improvement give it to me. I will not be hurt.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

I think I interpret, "Fake it. Go through the motions." different than you. For years I clogged competitively - yea, I know, not what most folks expect. The thing is, I danced individual, duo, and several team categories. Sometimes you forget or miss a step; sometimes you have a crappy performance earlier in the day; sometimes you’re hot and sweaty and have been dancing for five hours on a portable stage that was never meant for such wiley shakin’ - and the place you’ve practiced in between performances is also where the horses are walking around doin’ what horses do in fields - and the only place to change costumes is the cement block public bathroom that should be labeled “TOXIC WASTE”. Sometimes you start the day wiley shakin’ and end it totally fakin’. The greatest thing is when you go ahead and slap that smile on your face and thunder on to the stage, or when you keep traveling with the group when you miss a step, sometimes you forget you’re faking it and it becomes a positive experience. The big thing is, when you give it your all, you don’t ruin it for everyone else. - Sandy