Last week I posted a simple message on my personal facebook:
“Twelve years ago we started a monthly storytelling night in a tiny teahouse. There wasn’t anything like it. The result is an actual storytelling revolution. Festivals, performances, classes.
So, who wants to join this revolution? Get involved in storytelling, spread its benefit? whether you’re a complete amateur, a professional, or simply someone who has an interest in the artform, send me a message! (or leave a note here)”
The result was overwhelming, 250 people liked it and left over 80 comments. Also my inbox was flooded with private messages. I had never expected such a huge response. Though I’ve started to write most people personally, here’s some general thoughts about my cri de coeur.
– The revolution is already happening. We don’t want to start anything new, just make sure that the latest growth in storytelling (all the interest in amateur nights, storytellers being invited for non storytelling festivals, etc) is not a passing fade. Storytelling is still not seen as an “adult” art form next to theater, dance, or even Dutch cabaret and Stand-Up comedy. So let’s keep at changing it!
To sustain this growth it’s of course important that more and more people come to Storytelling events, wherever they are organized. We will try to create different formats and have them at the Mezrab. But if you have ideas to start a storytelling night, let us know how we can help you out! Yes, you read that right, if you and a group of people want to practice telling stories in your house or in a bar, let us know. We’ll give you advice and point you to people looking for a group.
– Apart from getting “new” people into storytelling, this artform will flourish a lot if performers of other disciplines find their voice in storytelling, or at least a way to incorporate storytelling in their art. We’re talking theater makers, dancers, slam poets, etc. Do you know anyone in this discipline? We’re offering a FREE course during our storytelling festival. Connect them to us. Send them to our site. Or take them to the talk we’re organising on the same day. (PS, the regular shows are pretty good too).
– We have been developing a huge amount of workshops (from three day ones to a MASSIVE 12 week daily full time course) we can keep sending it to people in our own network, but we’re looking for an intern to help us out to spread the message beyond. Do you know anyone who wants to intern for a few months? Send them our way!
– Apart from the “open” nights we’re starting to programme more artists that we want to give a solo show. We try to visit as many artists as we can. But if you know of any artists that we don’t know and you feel they deserve a spot, please let us know!