This is probably something I shouldn’t admit, but I never wanted to be a storyteller. I only said, “Yes,” to promote my writing. But. It grew, and it won’t stop growing. On top of everything else I’m doing, an insane schedule to be sure, I have to come up with new material. That’s right, I have to write it all.
It started with the Haunting in the Hills Festival. I attended it in 2015 and realized that it would be an excellent place to sell my books if it ever came to that. Anya and the Secrets of Cupola hadn’t been released yet. This year, I had two books, and I was going to sell them any way I knew how. I inquired about the festival. One thing led to another, and I’m being asked to perform at the Ghost Train. I decided to go all in and try to perform at the Haunting this year, too, but they didn’t want me. I don’t blame them. I’ve been there. Those storytellers are awesome. I had no idea how much work went into one story.
I do now.
I spent a MONTH working on my first story, a story I had already written. I performed it for my Writer’s Circle for critique and help. It was then I was asked to perform at the Apple Festival this year. I said, “Well, what would you want me to perform?”
“That story you just told.”
There’s just one tiiiiiiiny problem with that. That story was less than 10 minutes long. I was expected to perform for 30 minutes at the Apple Festival. Also, the story I told was gruesome in nature, and I don’t think it did very well. This means I have spent the past week killing myself to get the right material for the festival. That’s right. Seven days. Not 30 … 7.
It hasn’t been fun. It’s been grueling. It is hard, hard work. I had no idea what went into storytelling, but I sure am finding out! The hard way.
So THEN, by complete happenstance (or God’s intervention, you never really know), a friend of mine posted on facebook that they needed a story teller for their church. Next week. With pay. Who turns this down?!?!?
I told her that I would be at a festival this weekend with many storytellers and would be able to ask them of their interest. One of them was even a preacher and would probably be perfect for what she was wanting. But, I still need to keep on my toes. None of them may be able to do it on such short notice, so I may be performing again in another week. Groan!
It’s really funny. I mean, granted, this may go nowhere, but it may go somewhere. This may be nothing more than a seriously insane month, or it may be the beginning of something amazing. It’s just odd that I haven’t “advertised my services”, but that invitations keep coming up. In fact, one of my professors was really interested in storytelling and wanted to talk about it with me. (it came up by accident. It wasn’t a purposeful interaction of the subject.) I had to tell him that I’m just a children’s author. I’m not pursuing story telling; people just ask me to do it.
I later realized that that probably came across as arrogant, but that wasn’t my intent. My intent was, (because he kept mentioning places for me to try, groups that might interest me) “For the love of Pete, don’t ask me to tell another story. I’m booked!!”
When I’m no longer in school, I’m sure things like this won’t be so difficult. When I have a larger repertoire, it won’t be so difficult. But now? When I’m just starting out? I simply don’t have the time to write a 30 minute show every week. That’s just crazy! (I also have a backlog of invitations from other authors to join them in book signings. I every intention of getting back to you, but it’s a bit impossible until after this weekend. I am so sorry!!)