Thursday, February 28, 2008

Challenge Ranch

It's been a busy week for storytelling.
On Monday evening I went up to the beautiful Challenge Ranch at Somersby to share stories with a very attentive group of 6th graders. 58 children from a Catholic school in northern Sydney were the perfect audience as we cracked codes, laughed at eccentric tailors, cried over Mongolian tragedies and marvelled at the brazen audacity of a cheeky cook who tricked her boss and his gullible guest.
The Mongolian story is a new one in my repertoire, and is one of the most challenging ones I tell. It is long and involved, but is also heart-breakingly sad at one point. The challenge in telling it comes with seeing children in front of you crying (at one school, a boy in front of me with tears pouring down his face), or even worse, when the adults in the audience are crying. I then have to swallow the lump in my own throat, and complete the tale. I have asked an audience of kids if they thought the story was too sad to tell, and 2 girls gave me a great reply: "Somtimes it's good to have a really good cry, and besides, the ending is so good."
I now end the story with traditional Mongolian music, which completes the story beautifully.

Tonight is my turn on the radio program "The Bridge."
I will be on between 9 - 10pm, talking about my experiences as a storyteller, and a student of storytelling.
The program is streamed live on