Showing posts from May, 2008

getting that story right

Choosing a story is no easy job. There are thousands to choose from and thousands of ways to interpret it too.I like to choose my stories keeping the the climax in view. But it is tough. The story has to strike that chord, otherwise as a storyteller I cannot be convincing enough. I like my stories to have an element of fun, suspense or adventure and mostly what appeals to me is fantasy! Having grown up on a solid foundation of Enid Blytons, Nancy Drews and Hardy boys, its no surprise that what appeals to me are stories with all these elements. Children of course enjoy the unpredictable, a twist, a googly, a suspense. I have not yet found a good suspense story that can be narrated.... Every story that I have done till now has a plot, which I feel is essential to spark that creativity in children. It should have a beginning, which is an introduction of the main characters, followed by a mission or the plot, culminating in its success or defeat, the end. Not all story tellers follow this


Passion, conjures up images...steamy ones definitely! You can say it in different ways and every time you express the word, the meaning, intention,depth can be altered. Why spend so much time talking about this word?...Its a train of thought triggered off by my friends comment... A person is lucky ( or so it is said) to get into a vocation that one can be passionate about. I guess I can make the choice to be passionate about the job I do, or I can take a job that I am passionate about. But how many of us have to relegate our passion into the hobby zone and do a job that is rooted in the realistic world( I assume our passions are in the creative, more dreamy zone!) I happened to meet Mr.V of Story trails, who has converted his passion for travel and stories into a lucrative business. He spent 15 minutes talking about the concept behind his passion, and I envy his ability to convert ideas into reality! What a niche market,he has sought, and takers are aplenty. And why not, where enterta

fun factor

Any one can tell a story, what makes it special is how the story teller intergrates the audience into her story. As long as I am in front of my audience, I make eye contact with each and every one of them ( I try to atleast). Ask them questions and use them as my sound board. Children love it.They enjoy the freedom the story teller gives them, to express what the feel, at the same time the thrill that whatever they say will be used within the story is a great energiser. I can feel the audience going through the range of emotions that I express in the course of a story. Of course that makes me come to the point that the story is the most important part of the experience, however animated or expressive the story teller may be, the story has to appeal to your age group. One thing about children is that they cannot be easily fooled. If the story teller does not have a good script, then the reaction of the audience will be quite contrary. Thinking on these lines I have to tell you my exper

inspire a story

Story telling is part theatre, part history, part education... a visual media. It differs from other forms of theatre, in the way we present it. The interaction between the audience and the teller is an integral part and important part of the process. The script changes with every performance, depending on the inputs that the audience gives us. So the same story can have many variations. My first story was 'Rupa the Elephant.' We had to prepare a story as a part of our certificate course at Kathalaya. I wanted it to be 'Rupa', as I have told this story to my children a million times and know that it will be a sure shot hit. For me every story is a process...i think out the story, even if I have the book or story at hand I need to write(read that as -type, as we are in the computer age!) it out and then have my own script, and then prepare the props, add the sound effects and conclusions,etc... As I type out my story I visualise how to present the same to the children an

my first Puppet Show

I had great fun making my first puppet show,drew out the characters,colouring sticking,what a throw back to childhood times. All that latent creativity in me pouring out! I made Stick puppets,and the story was from mythology-Mahishasuramardhini, and it was towards Navrathri, so an apt theme. I had a friend helping and we put together the show. A screen , sutradhar puppets to start off the story, a script too. Well with the internet at our beck and call, there is no dirth for information, enter, type, scroll and click, you have all that one can want!! So thats how I made my script( there the secret is out), based on Abu's Navrathri. I wanted to include all the elements, a small model of the "Golu padi", even a tiny Kalasam!! Abu and Amma chatting away, about why we celebrate golu, and the differences between North Indian and South Indian customs.This was followed by the stick puppet show...simply great. We took it around Bangalore city, Crossword book store, Easy lib, and

once upon a time...

one of the first things we do in storytelling is recollect and recount our own childhood stories, a web of memories captured on paper, not with words but through pictures. it could be a simple drawing, but that which triggers off memories of that incident. i made my chart with a lot of enthusiasm but now it lies forgotten on some old shelf, to be discovered by moths and lizards. It was fun going down memory lane and trying to capture yourself on paper, i think my children enjoyed it as much as i did! Try it, its a lot of fun.