Listen Firstby Norah Dooley
Storytelling as a 21st Century Skill
Think&Do 1.1 Listen firstStorytelling is as common as rain and often, almost as invisible. It is not reading and it is not film, or theater, or song -- though all these art forms require story and tell stories. For our study, storytelling is a live performance of a narrative by one or more performers who work without scripts, illusions, costumes, makeup or props. There is no “fourth wall.” The storyteller and the listeners create images and emotions, together. The audience is an active participant. Without the audience, the story is not alive.
The adoption of radio, television, and video almost eclipsed storytelling, BUT! people yearn for more personal contact. They realize that television and other media cannot take the place of a storyteller sharing a story -- in person.
Listening to our friends' experiences as they create stories, informally or otherwise, is a gift to them and to you as a listener. A great blog post on Active Listening (here) says we only retain about 25%-50% of what we hear. Listening is about awareness and feeds our wells.
Weekly Exercise 1.1: Active listening
1. Listen to a story - live is best, but recorded is fine - just listen however you can. Remember (in silence) how you pictured an image or several images. Verbally share these images with one or more listening partners. You may also wish to write about the image after sharing.
2. Listen in the dark or with your eyes closed. Make up images and story to make sense of the sounds. Verbally share the sounds and images with one or more listening partners. You may also wish to write about the image after telling.