Today I told for three hours. Three grades, 2 classes each, 30 minutes/class. That’s 60 minutes of stories in my head at once. I only used 45 minutes of it, but it’s always a good idea to have extra, just in case, and there was a chance I’d have two classes for an hour.
I’m totally wiped now. It messed up my meal schedule, and then I had to take the slowest kid to dance. 20 minutes to put her shoes on so she could go into the studio and I could leave, and other child was asking about making diamonds.
Last week I asked an online friend if she had any stories I could tell, possibly for pay. I enjoy her stories, but none that I’d read were both the right length and suitable. She sent me a promising candidate. She didn’t worry about 10% of my take for that story (about $1 per telling). So, I’m officially building my payable repertoire. (At my stage, I don’t worry about copyright, as long as I tell for free or donate the money back. However, once I start making money, I do have to start worrying. Most professional tellers use traditional stories or write their own, probably for that reason.)
So, note to other authors: Absolutely no promises — just like a print editor — but if you have a story that’s 500-2000 words, has no sex, violence or drugs, and is suitable for one of my audiences (age 8 through adult), I’m interested. We’re not talking big bucks or exposure, but it’s something. Stories that work on different levels for different ages are even better.
Meanwhile, I’m absolutely thrilled with my success. It took most of a set to remember to lower my voice rather than speak over them, but when I did, it worked a charm, and half-way through I was doing it automatically. I learned that sitting down helps me do that, and invite them in rather than push the story onto them, but chairs are usually too low if the kids are in desks. Storytelling concerts often have a tall stool, so maybe others feel that way, too.
Several teachers commented favourably on my selection of stories and holding the kids’ attention with a quiet voice. (I didn’t mention the trick of focusing most of my attention on any kid who seems to drift or is distracting others. They usually respond by paying attention. It doesn’t work for a normal classroom teacher — the kids get immune, or consider it a challenge — but I’m not about to give up the advantage!
So, go me!