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