Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Oriole, the Cloudwalker, and the Multicolored Lady

The first storytelling guild in Hungary!!!

In the aftermath of TEDxYouth and the Holnemvolt Festival, quite a few people approached me to ask about storytelling, and some of them were even interested in telling tales themselves. They were eager to learn, and excited, and fun to talk to. Some of them I met more than once, others just sent an e-mail or two; but all of them were interesting and talented and it made me happy to see storytelling is indeed increasingly popular in Hungary, and that I can be a part of this change.
In the end, two people decided to try their hands at being a professional storyteller. Both of them I knew before for their other talents; I knew they would make good tellers. And so they did. Now when I am writing this post they are both past their first gigs, and we are having a lot of fun together as a storytelling guild. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited and happy I am!

Allow me to introduce the new storytellers:

Júlia Lovranits, a.k.a. Rigó (which is Hungarian for oriole or blackbird)

I met her in a summer camp organized for young writers and poets back when we were both in high school. She is a writer, and also now a Biology major at the university; she has been a birdwatcher since she was a child, and she knows everything there is to know about birds. No, really. Everything. In her spare time, she is a member of BirdLife Hungary, and a volunteer at a hospital for wild birds. She has always loved stories and tales, and she kept showing up at most of my gigs; she is a marvelous listener, and also collects stories wherever she goes. Not she decided it was time to tell them.
Juli specializes is bird tales, legends and myths, and she combines them with interesting and important pieces information. Into a Bulgarian folktale about storks, she wove the tale of their long migration from Europe and Africa, and even the stories of real storks who were somehow strange or amazing (there was one that came home from Africa with a spear in its body, and raised its young and lived on; and there is one in Hungary who came here from Spain and ever since then he does not migrate at all). She is graceful and cheerful, and she always has a spark in her eyes when she talks about birds.

Viktor Gy. Fekete, a.k.a. Felhőtlépő (which would roughly tranlsate into Cloudwalker)

He is the one who made the homepage and graphic design of the Holnemvolt Festival. He writes, he sings, he composes poems and music, he is a graphic artist and a webdesigner, and he studies at the Lutheran Theological University. Also, he now tells stories. He prefers improvising to traditional tales; he can make up the most amazing and funny stories on the spot, and you never know what to expect when you listen to him. He has a great sense of humor, and he is surprisingly good with young audiences. And have I mentioned the guitar?
(He also has a homepage)

I am proud and happy to be working with tellers like Juli and Viktor. I hope our performances and tales will encourage others to explore storytelling, and then the guild will grow into something wonderful...

(This is us, dealing with a gig at an open-air festival. We may look tired, but believe me, it was great fun! :))

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