Last Saturday I attended the first in a month-long series of weekly storytelling workshops hosted by Vocalo!
Vocalo.org 89.5 FM is a next generation public media service that connects with younger, culturally diverse audiences through music & stories. But here’s the thing, we not only want to connect with you, we want to inspire you to make big things happen.
I was really impressed with the time and effort that has been put into this workshop and the investment that Vocalo is making in developing new voices for the radio. Over the course of the workshop I will be producing an audio piece (possibly multi-media) about pinball. Last week we pitched our stories and there seemed to be a definite response to my pinball pitch.
I look forward to really pushing myself to produce a piece that I am happy with and that resonates with people on an emotional level. One of the resources that Vocalo provided us was Radio: An Illustrated Guide by Jessica Abel and Ira Glass. It has been really informative in thinking about how storytelling works on the radio, specifically about how sequences of events are at the heart of compelling radio.
I love storytelling as an art form but I don’t think I am a very good storyteller. I was first introduced to storytelling by my 7th grade teacher at G.W. Carver middle school, Ms. Gramling, who was a fan of live storytelling. I put it out of my mind until my senior year of college when I told a friend who was interested in storytelling about this storyteller Ms. Gramling had introduced us to. All I could remember was that he had a coat covered in illustrations and that you could point at any one and he would tell you a story about it.
In the process of looking him up I also learned about the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN. I had the good fortune to attend that year and boy was I blown away. My favorite storyteller of the festival was Donald Davis, who told stories of his North Carolina youth.
I have been fortunate to listen to many of the most amazing storytellers in the world and while I have my doubts about whether I could achieve their mastery, I look forward to trying.