Monday, August 5, 2013
But I was able, in the midst of all the children's librarian planning, to slip in a couple things I felt were important to do. I did fit in a moderately well used Farmer's Market Bingo program. I like what they around the county and what they represent and wanted a tool to somehow get kids down to the market, interact with the growers, the vendors, all that.With the program theme revolving around food I felt it was a good match. But my big wrap up for the summer, since the idea of outdoor "drive in" style movies didn't really fly well here on the cool in the evenings coast, was to push for storytelling in the park. The park across the street from the branch, in the end, was booked but I managed, here at press time, to secure two tellers who promised to share their art with family and kids here at the branch later on in August. I am beyond pleased as it is bringing back to me a bit of my early library career history. Once a storyteller, always a storyteller.
I have been fascinated with the art going a long time back. Maybe it was the sea stories I heard back in my days with the fleet. Maybe it was all the tales my parents and grandparents told of 1940's LA and of Pancho Villa and growing up in Mexico during the Revolution. Maybe it was my penchant for cinema, for good stories, for a tale well told. No matter, I was sent off to workshops right at the beginning of my time doing children's work and thought to myself, man, I could do that, too. And so I did. Gathered up tales by Lang and the Grimm Brothers, learned a few good paper folding stories, picked up a few magic tricks and songs and I was ready to share my tales, too.
It was a happy time, that first librarian assignment. I had a great manager who believed in the power of good programming, was game to let me do whatever I conjured up, so long as it reflected well with the branch and brought up our monthly statistics. I kicked around the idea of a guild with colleagues and friends, and after a few months of fits and starts, got together the first incarnation of the South Coast Storytellers Guild at the Costa Mesa Branch Library. Those first few months felt as if we wasn't going to launch but by our final show in August Susan, Nancy and Jim and I were able to drag in a full house which pleased me and my manager immensely.
I took that talent on the road and performed all around the region, worked good times with Make a Wish, with church groups, at birthday parties. Went up north to Oregon and started another guild, the Jefferson State Storytellers with the Ashland Branch children's librarian. Did storytelling in the park, a llama backpacking trip, told tales in a staff gather for the State Librarian, hung out with magicians and built up a crew who went on to do great things. By the time I got to the Puget Sound I was almost ready to stop awhile as the competition was heavy and storytelling began it's shift from an small regional, ethnically tinged, locally cultural art form into a major source of entertainment, bucks and egos. Did a bit of telling with Everett and then, years later, after disillusionment and much too long of a sabbatical, began to tell tales to my kids. Back to the roots of it all, a blazing fire, good mood lighting and a fist full of tales to share with wonder filled children.
The idea of the guild came about mainly from my connection with the regional Renaissance Faire but it eventually took off and went it's own way. I looked them up this morning and was happy to see that they are still associated with Costa Mesa and are still performing and conducting workshops regularly in Orange County. And while it has been years since I have stood in front of an audience and wove a tale I have to admit that this latest effort to gather tellers at the library to tell stories to family and friends sounds like a mighty good time, but more a possibility to possibly enter into the art once again.
Once a teller, always a teller, indeed!
A bit of contemporary South Coast Storytellers Guild scheduling:
Posted by Accumulate Man at 9:51 AM