In these challenging times what does a Storyteller do ?
Well as a storyteller of Folk, Fairy tales and Myths, I have a compulsion to tell them. However I never expected to Zoom tell them, or Zoom hear them, a “Zoomeller” of tales (my new word) if you will. As many turn to their phones, tablets, and computers to consume art, to learn, to fill the void. I have wrestled with the situation. I personally need to see live faces in front of me. I need eye to eye, heart to heart connection in a live moment, to really bring the stories to ‘life’ otherwise they are merely stories. Now there is nothing wrong with mere stories, I mean, I need them all the time. I love them. However the world of spoken aloud, Folk, Fairy tales and Myths, is very different. Not just for the teller, but also for the listener. Truly live storytelling when people gather together in a real space, not a virtual space is a very different experience. We know this from the feedback of listeners and from us storytellers also being, story listeners ourselves.
Back to being a ‘zoomeller’ of tales, I was and am struggling with it all. Until I recently heard and read articles about Zooming (other platforms are available) and how stories over the Internet, are very different to live or even radio stories, (this includes conversations and meetings etc). Audio and language specialists point out that listening online is fatiguing, as a result of more metallic sounding voices, the subtle time lapses of a millisecond, the zoom gaze, looking this way or that. The family life going in in the background, unless the ‘mute’ button is pressed on. Although this still leaves the visual life. All this and more, contribute to the brain having to work much harder, to hear, to listen, to absorb, meaning that it is harder to relax. All this is going on as more people are consuming more Online content.
So what do I do?
Well I remember being told once that; ‘Less is more’. This simple message has helped me a lot. To avoid digital burn out, or from getting Zoomalitus. So I am simply listening to less and telling less. The quality of what I am listening too, has increased and I now have more time to let the stories that I tell, speak to me of their deeper secrets. So that when live performing comes back, my stories will be invigorated.
Simply put, ‘less is more’.