I was a professional storyteller for decades and performed in over 500 schools, civic centers, museums, and stages before using the art in my one-woman theater plays. I learned the importance of Story long before it was toted by every social media and business marketer around the world.
Nonetheless, it is essential to communication, just as it is essential to building my audience for JustJinx – Art for Charity. I admit it was easier to perform than to market stories since I always had an audience. It is quite a task to build an audience online amidst the millions of voices on our computers and phones. We are all vying for your attention.
The great storytellers of the world are seldom narcissistic, sexy, or even rich. They don’t add to the silly chatter of social media. Instead, they speak their truths from a thinking heart and turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. They touch our hearts and offer us pathways to our imagination and out of our insecurities and fears.
Story builds trust, inspires hope, and reminds us we are not alone. Elie Wiesel once said, “People become the stories they hear and the stories they tell.” When we tell our stories, we give our struggles a name and a face and we invite the listeners into our lives.
Neil Gaiman, the popular English author of fiction, comic books, graphic novels, theatre, and films said it succinctly in his 2012 commencement address at the University of the Arts.
“The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked…that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right…And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.”
Grab your story by the throat. Shake it, rattle it and turn it inside out. Claim your story, whoever you are and wherever you live. Own it, and make the world more interesting for your being here.
I will continue to tell my stories. I am counting on you to start kicking me if they become noise. Promise?