My Storytelling Dream

If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I love to tell stories.  I began a year ago, when I joined a brilliant storytelling club called, ‘The Success Stories Club’.  There is a page for it, right here, on WordPress The Success Stories Club

Last weekend, I performed at a fundraiser, for ‘Maggie’s Place’, which is a wonderful venue in Manchester, situated near the famous Christie Hospital, that is dedicated to helping, and supporting, people with Cancer, and their families and friends.  The picture I’ve posted, taken at Maggie’s, doesn’t show me, very well, but I am the third lady on the left.  The other people are members of our storytelling club.  The lady who is first on the left, is the club’s founder, Sharon Richards.

I really enjoyed performing at the fundraiser, and it reinforced a dream I have been having, about becoming a professional storyteller.

Once again, if you have been reading my blog, you will know that I have medical conditions which restrict me in many ways.  I cannot recognize faces and the reason I know who Sharon is, in the picture, is because she wears glasses, and I know that she posed for the picture.  I have all kinds of ways of recognizing people, but they are not foolproof, and it is always a strain for me, when I am interracting with other people.

In my last blog post, I told you of other medical problems I have, because of my Tuberous Sclerosis and Fibromyalgia.  Including confusion, memory-lapses, short term memory problems and Chronic Fatigue, so a conventional job is impossible for me.  I could not man a shop’s till all day (or even half a day) take money, give change, and talk to the customer.  I have tried, and it’s impossible.  I also, couldn’t type on a computer all day.  It would be too exhausting

A few years ago, I thought of setting up a jewellery business.  I make jewellery as a hobby and thought that I could sell it online.  Needless to say, it did not work out.  Some websites are free, but they are not good ones.  To have a website which people can find out about, you need to advertise it, and have a good domain name.  To set up a suitable site was all too expensive, for someone who doesn’t have much money in the first place, and no one visited my pathetic free site.

I tried hiring stalls, at various events, but did not make the money back that I had paid out.  So although I tried to become self-employed, so that I could come off the benefits, I could not succeed.  Hosting jewellery workshops is not an option, because I experimented, by holding a free one once, to see if I could manage to do it.  About 15 women showed up and I tried to show the clients what to do, answer them when they shouted to me for help.  Then go and help them.  The brain-fog descended within half an hour.  Workshops are a no no for me, I’m afraid.

But I am good at storytelling!  I can also sing.  I was trained to sing by an opera singer, when I was a teenager.  When I was young, I performed in armature operatic societies, and when I atended church, I always itched to perform.  It is something that seems to be in my blood.  People have always said that I am good at it, and I know I come to life on a stage.  My sister called me an attention seeker because I love to perform, but she didn’t realize that when I am on a stage, I am living.  Otherwise, I am just existing.

I think that, one reason I can tell stories, or sing, to an audience, is that the interaction is not the same, as talking to them directly.  I look into the audience, I make eye contact, but while I am talking to them, I do not have to answer questions, or perform a complex physical task, while I am talking.  I am just standing there, telling my tale.

So, I am now dreaming of becoming a professional storyteller.  Once I can get a story into my long-term memory, it stays put.  The difficulty, is getting it there.  But since I write my own stories (I never look up something online, or perform one that someone else has told) I have an advantage.  It is my tale.  I can practice it in the peace and quiet of my own home, until I know it by heart.

A few weeks ago, I told a story round a campfire.   I wasn’t paid as it was a club event.  But it showed me that I can perform to different audiences.  While I was telling my story, there were motorbikes outside the venue, and I carried on telling, even though I almost lost my place.  I was really proud of myself and it gave me such confidence.  At Maggie’s Place, I told the same story twice, in two rooms.  One lady complimented me, and others said they liked my story about a pregnant woman, her unsympathetic hubby, and a hypnotist.

Soon, our club will begin making videos.  When I have videos of myself, I will post them on here, and you can hear me tell stories.  Including the one mentioned above.  Hopefully, the YouTube videos will get some exposure and hits.  It’s one way I can get myself promoted and (hopefully) begin getting bookings.  It would be wonderful if, someday, I can call myself a professional storyteller, and no longer be classed as a sick woman on benefits.  That is my dream.

I will post again soon.

Love to all my followers, from Marilyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Girl On Film!

It was a brilliant night, last night at The Success Stories Club  There were cameras in the room, because a group from Altrincham were filming us, for a documentary.  Sharon, who runs the club, did ask if anyone would prefer not to be filmed.  I don’t know how many put their hands up, but I certainly didn’t.  All my life I have wanted be on film.

I really enjoyed the experience of having a mic, and knowing the cameras were rolling.  Norma Desmond has nothing on me.

Actually, a few years ago, when I was looking into, perhaps, being able to work again, I was volunteering at an organisation in Altrincham, called, The Family Contact Line.  I was working as a receptionist/admin.  They wanted a commercial made for their organisation, which would be shown on a local TV station (not one of the big stations unfortunately) anyway, I jumped at the chance to be in the advert.  I played a client, who was going for their counselling service.  I had to meet the counselor, and then pretend to be having therapy (not much acting needed for that, in my case, ha ha)

The ad was made, and shown in places like, hospitals and libraries.  Several people recognized me and mentioned to me that they had seen me on TV.  I was made-up.  I also saw the ad, one day, when I was waiting in a hospital waiting room.

Sadly, I never did get a job from my volunteering efforts.  It might have helped if I had been younger, but I was 51, and had not worked for many years.  I also had disabilities which, I think, stopped the prospective employers.  They didn’t admit that though, they just said I didn’t have the relevant experience.  They would not have been allowed to refuse me because of disability, so they made something up that they could get away with.  A receptionist job would have suited me, and I could have been earning money again, but it was not to be.  I tried for two years and was rejected by employers, every time.  Then, when the government started to clamp down on the benefits, they picked on the disabled, and I lost my benefit, so Alan and I exist on very little money.  My husband Alan worked hard as a binman.  It wrecked his body in the end and he developed Asthma from all of the dust he breathed in, yet he hardly gets anything for us to live on.  We think it is grossly unfair.

This is one reason why I will take any opportunity I can get, to put myself out there as a performer.  I am a trained singer and actress, not only that, I am bloody good at both those things.  I don’t say that to be boastful.  Someone who has taken the knock-backs I have, is not able to be boastful, but I hope that, maybe, just maybe, even at my age, there may be chances for me to be a professional, and earn some money.  Therefore, bring-it-on.  I’ll put myself out there, with any chance I can get in the hopes that opportunities might come my way.

However, having said that, there is another difficulty I face, if I want a professional career.  I have no transport.  Last night, to go to the club, Alan and I got a taxi.  That was okay, but we couldn’t make a habit of it, for the reasons mentioned above.  So if I did work professionally, I would have to earn enough to pay for the taxis to where I needed to go.  It’s such a pain in the butt!

Last night, the winner of the evening was a lady called Sue.  She writes the most lovely poetry and was a worthy winner.  I took a picture of her on my phone, but I don’t know how to transfer images from my phone, to the computer.  If I had taken the picture on my tablet I could have transferred it, but for some reason, my phone won’t allow me to use a USB, and I don’t know how to use Bluetooth.  My phone is capable of accessing the internet, but it’s only on a PAYG card, because I can’t afford a contract, so I can’t share photos by the internet.

I will take any advice I can get.  I am better with technology than I used to be.  For the first time I have figured out how to add a link to this blog.  All hail Marilyn!  So I am capable of learning new things, even at my age.

The next story night is about a tricky situation.  I think I know what I am going to do.  I think it will be another song.  More on that in another post.

I did promise to write the story of my grandparents on this blog.  It is the story I shared last night, but I got side-tracked today because of the filming, so I’ll share it in a later blog.  For now, I’ll sign off.  Enjoy the post and I will post again soon.  Love from Mari