JAN ANDREWS: I am very attached to the direct connection between teller and listeners. I’m always touched by the creative, collective quiet that is created. I love the fact that it all works because the listeners have the stories for themselves – seeing characters, plot and setting in their heads; feeling them in their hearts. As I said above, I believe the old stories bring us all the wisdom of the world. I’m thrilled to know we can carry them with us to sustain us all our days.
AUBREY DAVIS: I was originally attracted because storytelling was a dying art and under-appreciated and so I wanted to help it grow. I was particularly drawn to the multi-dimensional Teaching-Stories of Central Asia collected by Idries Shah. Storytelling provided easy access to the world of story, whether one could read or not. It enabled young children to consider ideas too complex for them to read; created a common experience for the audience and opportunities learn from one another. Storytelling activates and stretches the imagination. This image-making appears in our dreams, but is less common in today's highly technical, fast-paced waking world. Image-making is useful for memory, problem solving, creativity and inventing. In conjunction with our logical and critical faculties it deepens our understanding, broadens perspective and increases our mental flexibility. Stories can help us develop, adapt and thrive. The Shah's Teaching-Stories were eminent examples of this.
BERNICE GEI-YING HUNE: Communicating with people from various backgrounds.
SHOSHANA LITMAN: I came to storytelling through poetry after hearing a wonderful Irish poet, David Whyte, recite his poetry from memory with gusto. This helped me realize that sharing ideas without a piece of paper between me and my listeners is a much better way to connect with an audience. My own children helped me realize that reading stories to children can also be a wonderful way to connect, especially if I imagine the story as I read it and allow my voice to convey ideas with enthusiasm. This is very important and relevant to our world where so much communication is electronic. Sharing stories live helps people connect with each other in meaningful, compassionate ways today.