Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a story teller. Bring able to entrance and thrill a group of listeners is something I was first truly introduced to during a Christmas event almost 20 years ago. I was attending a dinner for the Dexter Rotary Club and into the restaurant walked a man dressed in his Victotrian finest, top hat and all. Dexter had a victorian christmas theme and I thought he may just be there in costum to be a part of the show. When he got up and began weaving his tail of a cold evening in London and the coming of Father Christmas to bring gifts to the little boys and girls, I was hooked. My thought was, “there are professional storytellers!? He gets paid to do this?”. I have been interested ever since.
During the ensuing years many things happened and my inspiration of being a professional story person faded behind making a “real” living. I was running a business, getting divorced, rebuilding my life and then building a new family moving my life forward. Then my chiropractor brought it up. The line she spoke was simple, “I spoke on the Moth Stage last night”. My mind shifted into overdrive while my full attention was on what she had said. The Moth is a Public Radio program that features personal stories told to a live audience. The subjects and formats vary greatly as they focus on each individuals telling in thier own voice. I love this program but had always thought I needed to be in some far off town to speak.
“You can do that in Michigan?” I remember asking.
“Yes, in Ann Arbor, it’s bi-weekly”.
We then had some conversation about the art of storytelling and the story she had shared. I kept thinking “I’m going to do this”. However, as happens with many things, it was pushed to the back burner as I had a baby coming, a house to build and a new business to start in order to support myself. Then, I was forwarded an email containing a link to the Moth website and a couple of instructional videos on story telling. I started writing stories. It started with my childhood reflections and then moved into journaling experiences that I could speak to others. That was a few years back.
Last week, I did something I have always wanted to do. I spoke on a Moth stage in front of a few hundred people. I related a story of parental expectations and an adolescent man having an experience of being on the open road learning something of himself and a step father learning just as much about himself. The story began with a desire to show my step-son the experiences I had in my childhood, what my family did. I described my excitement and his less that excited willingness to participate in reflecting and reliving the adventures of my youth. Feeling out loud the tragedy of the plan being cancelled and my reluctance to the alternative adventure. The light of my boy’s rising interest in something he wanted to do. I envisioned to the audience the departure of 2 guys driving into new adventure together. The story wraps up with the boy and me sitting across from each other, searching for rubies and finding the gems of a new experience. The experiences of a lifetime, his very own.
I felt confident and thrilled to be in front of an audience. I have been involved with Toastmasters for years and have practiced my speaking skills in front of my close knit group. My love of story has been commented on many times. This year, before my daughter is born and before the next major targets are hit, I have succeeded, for myself, on a massive scale. I am a storyteller, a life coach and a trainer for peoples attitudes and self awareness and I love what I do.
What would you want to do if nothing could stop you? What adventure are you putting off until you are “ready”? How can you begin to live fully today? “The world is your oyster”, the pearls and gems of your life are there for the taking, begin now.