07 April 2015

The Power of Storytelling


"After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” ― Philip Pullman.


Recently my Ancient Civilizations teacher gave out an extra-credit opportunity in which we would listen to a storytelling microphone night hosted and presented by some students at our school. At the time, I thought that the idea would be great—great for my grades. If extra-credit is being offered, it’s one of those things that needed to be snagged off the bat like a blotchy-faced, sweaty palmed six-year-old. All right, it was just an hour long of listening to stories. It wasn’t that bad.

Boy was I so wrong.

Imagine the scenery that I was placed in before the actual program began. I am inside a theater which seated about 100 people in plastic yellow chairs whose cold bottoms folded up and their legs bolted down the floor, lined up in rows that are reminiscent of a performing arts theater. The lighting in the room was a warm one—not too red or too green, as the gym’s lighting unfortunately was—and a girl seated behind a lady who needed a microphone stand and headphones to assist her listening. She helps the woman as a program of the night kept slipping to the ground. “Butterfingers!” the girl says.

That girl, if you haven’t figured out yet, is me.

Enough with the third person narration. To be back at school at seven o’clock in the evening would be absurd to some people, but I loved this night of it. I loved the feeling of being out of my house past seven and doing things that I usually don’t do. I felt as if a part of a mysterious cult, but a good one, for being out. After seven when I’m outside makes this excited rush go through me, something that I have not felt in a very long time.

The emcee introduces the audience to a local school folk band. As the band places, seven storytellers slide onto the stage and sit down in black chairs located to the right of the band. One thing that I noticed of the storytellers’ faces was that they were frowning. Some frumpy people, I thought.

Then it was time for the stories to be unfolded. The speaking commenced, and I have got to tell you, I was shocked and moved. The stories that were told were evoked with such powerful and raw emotions: sympathy, laughter and sincerity flooded through me. I won’t say what some of the stories are or the summaries of them, but to try to convey to you, readers, the power of storytelling that these guys had at that moment is indescribable. At the end of the program, I applauded and cheered.

Unless you yourself have been to an open mic night of stones before then the feeling would just be hard to relate to, but I will try my best to say what I felt. Going to this event made me realize the power of storytelling vocally. I’m rubbish at speaking stories. Writing my thoughts in words seems to be more fitting. When I speak for people, I think. I cough. I chug my water bottle and sputter. I will continuously do this cycle until people are fed up with me or I somehow miraculously manage to get to the end of the speech.


The story about this video that I took a photo of above is weird.
Eccentric, but so much happened in the video (I won't stay why one of the guys is covering up their eyes). The photo is blurred to try protect their identities.

I was also be able to begin to fully comprehend not just the power of storytelling, but the amazingness of moments, miracles, and really, just life. There were some people who came to the event but didn’t like the stores because they weren’t compelling or weren’t their tastes. Not everyone likes everything, and that’s the way it us. Our lives are all different, but I think that is why the world is beautiful.

I’m going to incorporate math into what I am about say. Just bear with me, I shall attempt to not make your brains hurt. Let’s use an example and start off with you. Then, let me place you in a room of 500 other people. If you talked to every single person, would you have the same lifestyle as they do? Probably not, but there are some similarities that you may share with people, and there are other parts of your own life that you uniquely got to experience. You may have experienced a time when you were scared out of your wits and ran away, but you might have not had your coach’s car pull up in the middle of the workout causing you to run back to school screaming and laughing.” (I unfortunately got to experience this, but it’s seriously hilarious.)

I just talked about experiences that involved interactions with other people! What about experiences with inanimate objects, like a mountain, or a love for a pet? Stories of our lives are just intricate delicate things. That’s why I enjoy blogging so much, why I laugh every time I tell a story that happened last Easter. There is nature, but to narrow things down to some of the simple human experiences can be unforgettable.

So, tell me, what’s your story?

24 comments:

  1. Yes! This speaks to me on so many volumes. I love interacting with everyone online which is part of the reason I blog, And I'm rubbish at telling stories verbally...at least in writing you get to THINK before you say what you want to say.

    Really nice post :) I'm glad you enjoyed the storytelling, and I wish I'd been there.

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    1. I love interacting with people, at least those who can relate to me on some basis. Thinking before speaking is one of the things that I love about words on paper or typed down, too! When people do speeches, sometimes something that that person makes up on the spot can just come out of nowhere, and it could really mess things up. If you have a chance to go to a mic night, go for it!

      xoxo Morning

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  2. I actually quite like speaking out in speeches, but I DO NOT like reading out my writing. Ins peeches, you get to speak and argue your case for a subject that matters to you. For example, I did a speech for my class once and everybody began to look bored, so I walked around the room kicking their chairs and slamming my fist on their tables to emphasise my point. I then made them all shut their eyes and imagine various scenarios, some rather unpleasant. I got 100% in my exam for this speech, so I am quite proud of it.

    Can you count that as interacting with others? Well, if you mean causing one girl to shout a curse word when I hit her table then yes, I suppose it is :)

    The storytelling sounds brilliant, I am so jealous of you right now!!

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    1. There's a little back story to the storytelling night that I haven't revealed yet: for our language arts final, everyone was required to tell a story out loud in person. When I heard that was our final, I practically died. I guess stomping around the classroom counts as interacting with others! I love your story; it cracks me so much! :D

      xoxo Morning

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  3. This post was really interesting....I'm looking forward to exploring yur blog further!
    By the way,my blog is turning one in 11 eleven days and I'm hosting a poll to decide on the first anniversary post.
    The link is:http://rsoundarya0707.blogspot.in/2015/04/nothing-in-particular1-and-you-can-vote.html
    Your vote will mean a lot to me and please vote if possible. :)
    Amazing post and I love your blog <3

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    1. Thank you! I went, commented and voted on your blog! I hope to see what your blog anniversary will be like!

      xoxo Morning

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  4. Agh! This post is so wonderful, and it made me think. It's so easy to overlook other people's stories, but when we do, we lose so much of the richness that we might've known.

    Plus the last line gave me shivers. ♥

    xoxo

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    1. I'm so glad it made you think! Honestly, I wasn't expecting for many people to comment on this post, but that wasn't the goal; the goal was to make people think and to inspire them, in a sense. I do have to agree; we need to listen to others to hear what they have experienced. And that last line is such pure bliss! After I came back today and read it, I was like, "Ahhh... it's so lovely!"

      xoxo Morning

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  5. This post was so fascinating and got me thinking! It actually made think, what IS my story? Sometimes I think I don't even know what my story is! Why is your blog SO amazing!? Xoxo

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    1. I'm so happy that it got you thinking! :D Some days, I don't know what my story is, too, but I think it's basically everything in our life: our quirks, our habits, the way we get up and go through the day or brush our teeth, things like that. ^.^

      xoxo Morning

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  6. This post is so wonderful :) Everything you said was so true, and relating stories vocally is so amazing, especially when done right. Sounds like you had a crazy awesome time!

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    1. I did have an amazing time! I love going to mic nights, too, especially when they are at the library at eight in the evening and I'm there eating a donuts and my friend Michaela and I would protect the donuts box.... XD

      xoxo Morning

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  7. This is such a great post! Storytelling is such a work of art, and I really admire anyone who has mastered it ♥
    Amy xx

    Little Moon Dragon

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    1. I agree! I also love the TED talkers. Some of them have a back story as to why they do what they do, and the stories are very deep and raw.

      xoxo Morning

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  8. Sometimes the best stories come from the people you least expect to deliver them!
    The way you weaved this blog post into words was breathtaking. I truly did enjoy just simply reading about your experience!

    Samantha, thesnowwhiteblog.blogspot.com

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    1. Aww, thanks Samantha! I wasn't expecting many people to comment but I'm very glad to hear from you! :)

      xoxo Morning

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  9. This point was so on point! It takes quite a lot for me to read a whole post about another person's experience, but I did, and I thoroughly loved it. Also, I totally feel the excitement of doing something you don't normally do, like leaving the house for school at seven in the evening ;) xxx.

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    1. That feelings... gosh, I love it! And thank you; I love how you thought that my post is on point (or as people say it nowadays, on fleek)! :)

      xoxo Morning

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  10. Awesome! I love storytelling

    shinenelevate.blogspot.co.uk

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  11. I'm glad you had fun at the school, even though it was something extra. It did sound interesting. But yeah, stories are cool and everyone has so many to tell. Writers are just the people who can't hold them in anymore.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

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    1. Huh, I never thought of it that way, that writers are people who can't hold in stories! That really adds to my perspective! No problem! I love reading new discovered blogs. ^.^

      xoxo Morning

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xoxo Abigail Lennah