I’ve always had an urge to write a storytelling manifesto. Each time I’ve sat down to write, I’ve thought two things: “Where do I begin?” and “Why me?” With each ponder of these questions, I fold down my laptop, get a cup of coffee, and wander around my co-working space until I came up with something else to do. What's held me back wasn’t a lack of expertise on the topic, it was more the worry that if I put these thoughts down on paper, they will be set in stone. And that notion is terrifying. The concept and ideas behind the word storytelling have grown so much. Humans have a multitude of channels for communicating the moments and ideas they hold deep. How can I dig through all of this in just one document?
In honor of the various pop culture yearly round-ups that circle around the World Wide Web this time of year, we present to you our favorite stories from 2017. Here's to a fruitful year of stories in 2018. We're back at Shot Tower Coffee on Wednesday, January 17th for a live storytelling event on the theme Renewal.
In no particular order (but alphabetical) here are the storytellers and the tales that we'll remember for years to come.
If you're a binge watcher, you can access the full playlist of stories over on Vimeo. If you prefer to take the stories in one at a time, continue scrolling.
I work out five times a week. I’m not sharing this fun fact to brag or because there’s a correlation between physical exercise and storytelling. I’m telling you this because my exercise routine exposed a huge roadblock in the way that I communicate.
I go to an exercise studio on the 4th floor of an office building. The lobby is tiny with not too much foot traffic. The elevators are slow and I usually have a good five minutes of waiting for one to arrive. Peter is the front desk associate. He’s in his 50’s or 60s and is always smiling and says “Hi, how are you today?” In most situations, this question prompts me to launch into a story of how my day has actually been and then inviting a story a return.
I have a confession to make. Well, first I will back up and give you a bit of context, and then I will confess...
Yesterday I launched Tell Me A Story's very first online storytelling class. I created a version of our "story pitch" workshop, Tell Your Story: Crafting an Authentic Elevator Pitch That Works, for Skillshare. This class includes 12 minutes of video instruction, and a project to upload. I will be leading group discussions within the class and giving personalized feedback on each and every project.
We all have a story. What’s yours?
This phrase lives on the front page of Peter Zook’s website. Peter is a licensed social worker with a clinical concentration and specialization in mental health. He runs his own therapy practice in Philadelphia.
I run a storytelling organization, so of course I was drawn to this phrase when scrolling down his home page. But the main source of my intrigue came not from the story nerd within, but the thought: What does storytelling have to do with therapy?
Like millions of other story fans, I was addicted to Season 1 of the podcast Serial . I mean, I’ll pretty much listen to anything that Ira Glass tells me to. But once I heard the first few episodes, I waited anxiously for the following week’s download. For those of you who haven’t heard of this podcast here is the premise as stated on its website:
“Serial tells one story - a true story - over the course of an entire season. Each season, we'll follow a plot and characters wherever they take us. And we won’t know what happens at the end until we get there, not long before you get there with us.”