The first time I stepped on stage it ended in tears.
|From musicals to church productions, I have constantly immersed myself in storytelling across my whole life. I loved to watch people sing on stage and how musical theatre compelled people in their imagination and creativity.|
The opening night of my first show was one filled with so much excitement and emotion. I was in year one at school and my favourite doll accompanied me everywhere I went. As the curtain raised and music floated out into the audience, my little heart was beating so fast. I slipped away from my Mum backstage and found the hallowed ground. I can hear the chorus chanting as I remember this memory from over 35 years ago.
The makeup table called me and the mirror, surrounded by lights shined brighter than a Christmas tree, (enter the angelic choir) without anyone noticing I fixed up my makeup, with blue eye shadow on my forehead and red lipstick on my cheeks, I drew all over my face with eyeliner and then slipped back into my position, running onstage to do my part.
I could hear snickers and laughs throughout the audience but I loved it. I was hooked; there I was made up like a clown, a little blue-eyed show pony and my heart raced the conversation between the audience and the creative on stage. This story ended very badly and it is a narrative that as an adult I have had to re-write over and over. I will take you to the end of this story at the end of this email.
In the months of August this year, I am so excited to be training business owners, community leaders and churches in the art of storytelling. 2.1 billion people spend more than three hours a day online. What a profound space to be finding ways to tell your story. Someone once said, “Those who tell stories rule the world”. I’m not sure I want to rule the world (gah the responsibility) but I totally want to find a way to dig deep into my own narratives and find ways to help people.
How about you?
Whether it is stories to create memories for my children and a legacy for the coming generations. Or a deeper and more meaningful way to use social media. To write to heal and find space in my own internal dialogues. Writing is powerful and your story matters. Creating more content, however, does not mean you will get more engagement. To channel your inner storyteller I have found five of my favourite quotes about the power of a compelling story.
“I’m writing my story so that others might see fragments of themselves.”
Lena Waithe, screenwriter for Bones and Master of None
“You’re never going to kill storytelling because it’s built-in the human plan. We come with it.”
Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale
“Think about the word destroy. Do you know what it is? De-story. Destroy. De-story. You see. And restore. That’s re-story. Do you know that only two things have been proven to help survivors of the Holocaust? Massage is one. Telling their story is another. Being touched and touching. Telling your story is touching. It sets you free.”
Francesca Lia Block, author
“Whether you know it or not, your desire to write comes from the urge to not just be “creative,” it’s a need (one every human being on earth has) to help others. A well-told Story is a gift to the reader/listener/viewer because it teaches them how to confront their own discomforts.”
Shawn Coyne, The Story Grid
“The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.”
Zadie Smith, author
Storytelling events coming up:
9- 10 August NEWCASTLE, NSW: WORKSHOP SERIES
NEW NORCIAMonday 26th- Wednesday 28th August: New Norcia Writers Retreat
STORYTELLING THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA (FREE)29- Social Media Workshop free from the Small Business Development Corporation. Bassendean. BOOK HERE 9.30-12pm
BALI RETREAT (ONE PLACE LEFT ONLY)
28 Sept – 1 October- Bali Escape Retreat Boardroom Retreat
WRITING YOUR STORY TOOLS:
Write Hard Online Workshop: (only 2 write hard jumpers left, free access to the course given for free for the last two orders)
RESET: press reset on your year (6 short videos and a booklet)
New Norcia Retreats August and November
Somebody Needs Your Story Resource PDFSome shut up and write events coming soon to Perth as well.
BACK TO MY STORY:
The letter we write to ourselves about the stories from our past, those words that speak to our future. They are penned from the emotions that hold us from those encounters and they become the stories that we tell ourselves. Pain, betrayal, rejection and bitterness can leave significant marks upon our story and stop us from speaking the truth into our future selves.
You see although the first time I went onstage was fun, I had the best night ever; there is another part of that story which impacted me deeply.
As a vulnerable little girl, late at night after the show had finished and the audience had left behind an empty theatre, rubbish is thrown across the floor, we waited for the show notes. The director came up to me and belittled me in front of the cast. She yelled and screamed telling me I was a bad little girl. Scolding me with the direction that I should never touch the makeup table and that every person in that theatre was laughing at the fool I made of myself that night.
This formed a letter to my creative self. One that I have had to rewrite over and over so that I could surrender to the beauty of what was destined for my future self.
It is just a story but I still recreate today in my mind as a forty-something-year-old writer.
Watch out for this coming November for the release of DEAR CREATIVE SELF: the letter of our life.
My latest book, which is now sitting with my editor all 40,000 words of it. And breathe. It is the sequel to my best selling book DEAR SINGLE SELF.
Let’s hang away from the internet together. Or in the pages of a real paperback book.
With Creative Love
Somebody Needs Your Story