Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Power of Story (3)

The storyteller has to be a jack of all trades. You are the script writer, the director and the actor. As such, you have to make a variety of decisions, beginning with choosing a story for your repertoire.  Then, how is your story is going to begin and how is it going to conclude. You have to be very clear on that. Know exactly what note your story is going to end on. The fun part is getting from point A to point B. That’s when you take the audience on a little journey. You can weave this way and that, sharing the philosophy here and there. Of course, you should know your story inside and out. Then only can you present the story and make adjustments based on the nature of your audience and how much time you have.
You also have to decide on what the story's focus. What’s your story going to convey?  Also, in the hands of different speakers, a story can sound and feel totality different.  The same story will even take on different meanings or evoke laugher at a place where an audience has never laughed before. Very often, all these elements fall in place over time.  You can’t rush it.  Through repeated tellings, deeper levels of the story, and way to share the story, open up. Very often these insights emerge from the responses of your audience. An audience can tell you a lot about how to improve your story. Prabhupada also comments, “Krishna will give the intelligence how to execute. Strictly adhere to Krishna's instructions and He'll give intelligence how to execute them from within your heart.” The thing is, a good storyteller is first of all a good listener.
See for info and reviews of my book Mahabharata: The Eternal Quest –  a ‘cinematic’ rendition of India’s ancient epic.