Well, at least, I can say there is all of that in story “listening,” if you are fortunate enough to be able to “interview” an individual with an intriguing story as I was able to do this afternoon.
Today I did my first “official” interview for New Horizons new StoryCorps/Official New Horizons Small "Zones Of Peace" Storytelling Collection.
The experience, which lasted for around ninety minutes, was awesome!
Our New Horizons Storytelling project might differ, even significantly, from what other groups or organizations, partnering with StoryCorps, might do. However, our approach, as it is developing, will include our Storytelling Workshop Series and lots and lots of interviews with people who may or may not attend these events.
The scheme we have developed, in addition to the tools and skills our workshops are designed to offer, is to do one or two rehearsal-type interviews with an individual in preparation for a recorded interview for our StoryCorps/Official New Horizons Small "Zones Of Peace" Storytelling Collection.
In this way, we are hoping to contribute interesting, somewhat well-thought out and prepared, though unscripted stories that, at their best, can become gifts we are giving by storytelling and story “listening.”
If our stories can make the cut and be broadcast on NPR as many StoryCorps stories are, so much the better.
In the case of today’s storytelling, the person I interviewed is unlikely to attend any of our workshops, particularly as they will interfere with his work schedule. Nonetheless, I, personally, am already getting enough out of our behind-the-scenes Storytelling Workshop Project Steering Committee Meetings and practice sessions our committee members are doing with one another, that I was well-prepared as an interviewer.
Add to these activities the fact that I have a long-term background as a psychotherapist and you can well-imagine my interview skills of an individual’s personal stories are, by now, well-ingrained.
If you’ve ever been to a therapist, no doubt, you understand, right off, what I mean. Who else, other than a family member or best friend, could possibly care enough to focus on you, and only you, for almost an hour? And be totally wrapped up in the process?
Well, I absolutely loved this storytelling, story listening process.
Was it like doing therapy?
Not at all, as I did not need to be doing any problem solving of anybody or anything!
So I had the leisure to just sit back and enjoy entering into another person’s adventure who needed nothing back from me, other than the receiving of my attention, interest and probably a good dose of caring and compassion. I’ll grant that.
My first storyteller has an incredibly interesting story, with a number of gifts he will be giving from his telling. In particular, a story that goes from a serious, life-threatening drug addiction from which he has recovered and into q new life in which he has now chosen to become a Monk.
His story, which we have agreed might even have two or three offshoots, was so intriguing I can hardly wait to pick it up again when we do session number two.
However, this one, alone, had all the elements of magic I love; excitement, intrigue, adventure, challenge, a downtrodden person surmounting life-threatening obstacles and coming out the other end as a hero!
I absolutely love this kind of hero!
So I know, for sure, I am going to totally love this new project of New Horizons!
Perhaps, once developed, I will enjoy it even more than any other!
I’ll let you know.
Meanwhile, I hope you will be inspired to start down this storytelling, story “listening” path too and find yourself a bit of magic.
We could definitely use it, these days.
For details on how you can join New Horizons and myself, contact:
Email: HarpersFerryNH@aol.com Cell: 240.409.5347
Be sure to join New Horizons in this endeavor.
It is an important one!