Monday, September 17, 2007

Telling a dragon in two minutes

The dragon tale keeps coming back to me. Today I found it's perfect place and time.
Today was the day for the finals of the college public speaking contest. We went to watch Ngoni speaking (he talked his way into the finals, the only international student, we were sooo proud of him!), but there was this Wild Card, invite-someone-from-the-audience-to-compete thingy, and suddenly I was on stage again (no smart dress, no nothing). First I chose Comedy, and talked about what job I would invent that nobody else has in the world (I chose Telling The Truth - one person only, one month career).
The competition was fantastic. Awesome. Hilarious. People were funny, brave and really good; the speeches made us laugh our heads off. By the time I had to go back on stage for the second ground, I felt great, I loved the audience (and I knew I had absolutely no chance to win, and did not mind it the slightest bit!). So when I drew "Why should English be the official language of the United States?", I just told them that I had a great time listening to all the speeches, and I love English even if it's not my native language, and I gave them, as a present, the story of Drawing the Dragon, because I felt it shining, finding its place and time, and I wanted all those people to know that they all succeeded in drawing the perfect dragon in two minutes. And I did too. By the time the red sign went up, I finished the story, and they loved it.
This was my price at the contest. I couldn't ask for more.

Monday, September 10, 2007

One to one

Song of the day: Captain Wedderburn (by Great Big Sea)

Sometimes we do forget how nice it is to tell to only one person, eye to eye; without caring about audience, time, setting, microphones. I did forget, nearly. Today I told bedtime stories to my friend Kata is a café, and on our way back to the dorm. All my favorites, without theme or order; Anansi, Captain Wedderburn, the Dragon Prince, Mr. Death... the Very Best Of. I really, really shared them with her. I have to do this more often. The experience does not depend on the number of the audience. A storyteller owes herself these one-to-one tellings. This was a real special occasion.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Dancing Stories

I had my first Kathak class on Wednesday - an experience every storyteller should have once. The magic of India with the music, the colors and the sound of ankle-bells, the movements so light as feather, a blink of an eye that tells a story... they are all wonders by themselves, but if you are the one doing it, especially together with other people, it is rather like the miracle itself. Of course, you have to be born with it, or learn it throughout two or more lifetimes... but I figured that I have this opportunity once, and if I can learn just a single one of all those beautiful movements, then it's absolutely worth it.
If you haven't seen Kathak yet, check it out on YouTube.
I spent my evening watching water dripping from my fingers, moving them up and down (one of the movements for the technical piece).