Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ask the storyteller: so whaddya want to know?

I used to write a lot about storytelling. I really miss it, but I'm having some difficulty writing about anything not related to grief, so I'm asking you for help.

What questions do you have about storytelling? I have 20+ years of experience as a performer and consultant. I've told stories in some pretty odd places. I've seen stories transform lives.

I've thought deeply about storytelling, its meaning and practice, myth and folktale, story application, use and misuse. I love this stuff.

This is a chance for you to help me back to my calling, get me back on the road. What would you like to know? About performance, application, process? About my experiences as a performing artist, writer and consultant? The field is wide open.

I'd like to make this a weekly column on Wednesdays. Leave your questions in the comments below or send them to me here. If you see this on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media you can leave questions in the comments section.

I really appreciate your help. Let's make some beautiful stories together.

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. How do you get over nerves to speak in public? I coach kids in horse judging and I can do a good job in the judging part but have difficulty in getting them good with oral reasons because I myself can't talk in public so this answer would help a lot of people on my end! Thanks Laura

  2. How much of your storytelling is planned and scripted, vs. improvised in the moment based on how the audience responds? Is there a process of writing or improvising and then "locking down" a story?

  3. Laura, what did you learn about telling a story and storytelling from Brother Blue and Ruth Morgan Hill?

  4. It's very good to see you opening up this new forum, Laura. You are a storytelling pro so I know people will feel comfortable heeding your advice.

  5. I've been "out of it" for a while too, and now feel that I need to get back in. I need some ideas about how to market myself to new audiences. I know you've had to do this in the past 2 years! What have you done?

  6. Dearest Laura, I am so glad you feel ready to move in this direction. Not only because you are testing the waters of other content for yourself, but for the myriad number of colleagues and friends who will surely benefit from your expertise...I know I have! From the looks of things already, you may be able to blog every day!

  7. Dearest Laura, I'm glad you're coming back to storytelling, I've also been out of it although for different reasons and I would really like to know how to get myself known. Any help would be great!!!!

  8. There are so many genres of stories that you could hear in a live storytelling event. Why is it that science fiction is so rare?

  9. Hi Laura,

    You have taught me so much already! As I am moving around so much, how do you market yourself to a broader region? I am known locally in Western PA but I need to reach beyond my home town and develop new opportunities. Have you ever worked with a booking agent?

  10. Welcome back Laura! These are great questions! Look forward to hearing how you respond to them! Great idea to do this. :-)

  11. I'm thrilled to see so many responses here. Obviously, you have tapped into a hunger among storytellers.

    And you're just the one to satisfy that hunger! I look forward to reading your responses - and to further questions people ask.

  12. How do you balance your time? Performing, marketing, practicing, and writing require very different energies. How does one discern when spending too much or too little time on each?


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