Sunday, July 15, 2012

Being Kristin Pedemonti

The first time I met Kristin (two whole weeks ago), she was standing in the Marriott lobby at the National Storytelling Conference with a FREE HUGS sign and a big smile on her face. Because storytellers need hugs too.

Later on, she drove back to Johnson City from Cincinnati with us, and I had some time to talk to her. Talk being the operative word: when you are in one space with Kristin, you. Will. Talk. A lot.
She is not only entertaining and intriguing to listen to, but she also has the uncanny ability to strike up conversations with anyone and everyone she meets, and draw out of people whatever interestig things they have to say. It's fascinating to watch, and fun to be a part of.

Kristin does a lot of things as a storyteller. She travels all over the world (my kind of person!), she teaches literacy through storytelling, she performs and shares and educates. She works with bullying issues through storytelling, and what I especially like about her approach is that she does not only focus on the victims - she also works with the bullies, trying to understand why they do what they do. Because "hurt people hurt people".

Kristin also has a literacy project going in Belize where she collects indigenous stories and helps teachers use them in the classrooms. She has a gorgeous collection of Belize folktales, and a mission that should be known to every educator and storyteller on the planet.

She also brings joy wherever she goes, and even though that sounds as a cliché, it is absolutely true. She carries bubbles all the time and teaches us the power of blowing bubbles and laughing about it. She has a bigwheel in her car and you can borrow it any time if you feel like riding a bigwheel down a slope.

Kristin only knew me for a week when she showed up for my thesis defense, and sat through the whole thing with a radiant smile, making me feel confident and comfortable at the same time. And she brought bubbles.

And, most of all, Kristin talks. (Have I mentioned that before?) And to show you how amazing she is at it, here is her TED talk:


I want to ask you all to take the time, watch her video, and then go on the TED website here and like/comment on it.

Let's put an amazing storyteller in TED2013!!!

Also, let's blow some bubbles.