Today I answered an e-mail from a fairly new storyteller, asking for advice. It occurred to me to post my top five tips for beginners. I've posted these in other forms in the past, but never as succinctly.
- Only tell stories you like. To me, that's the one big rule. All the rest are just suggestions.
- Tell, tell, tell. You'll learn and improve the more you do it. As storyteller Papa Joe says, "If you want to be a storyteller, tell stories. If you want to be a better storyteller, tell more stories."
- Listen, listen, listen. Go hear as many storytellers as you can, so you can get an idea of which styles you like and which you don't.
- Find your own voice. In the beginning, we all imitate other tellers, but as you mature, your best work will be in your voice, not an imitation.
- In the beginning especially, don't be too concerned about building a large repertoire. It's better to learn one story a year than to have fifty half-baked stories.
Oh, wait, there's one more...Have fun!