Actor Scott Robertson took the storytelling workshop led by the late Spalding Gray (see Gray's interview) at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. Robertson recalls, "There were eight participants in the workshop. Their assignment was to 'tell a story that could engage the rest of the group.' They'd meet three times a day for eight days to tell their stories."
According to Scott, "Spalding believed that we all have a story in us. That story can be something that once happened to us, an event, something that changed our life. Or it may be our life story, what's happened to us along the way to make us become who we are today. The participants were assigned to tell their story in thirty minutes and then tell their story again in ten minutes. The purpose was for clarity, to eliminate extraneous information."
One thing Scott said he learned from his experience was that images are one of the main things that capture an audience. The more specific and descriptive you can be, the better. How you feel/felt about the event of the story that you're telling is another important thing to keep in mind. Storytelling is about saying something out loud to people who are listening. Words, images, and ideas are what we communicate to make our stories alive, vibrant, and interesting.
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