It's Your Turn Previous  

Okay, it's time to tell your own story!
So far, you have:

  1. Chosen your folktale;
  2. Created an outline;
  3. Brainstormed and written;
  4. Narrated.

Now rehearse and perform the folktale you chose with expressive voice and gesture. Be sure to know the outline thoroughly, but when performing, you don't have to memorize the stories. By not memorizing them you will get to know them thoroughly but still tell them with slight differences every time. Every time you tell, you must let the story live in you. Not all stories will be as raucous as Monkey. You will discover that each story is a new experience. A good storyteller listens and responds to the personality of the story. Part of being a good storyteller is knowing how much to do. I think of it as painting a picture with our body and voice. If you painted with colors and splashed too much paint on the page, everything would blend and become an ugly brown. Similarly, in a story, we can't use too much movement or sound or the listener won't be able to follow the plot. I always say, use only what happens spontaneously.

Don't plan everything out. Instead, having prepared to tell the story, let yourself play. Don't be shy. Go ahead and try. You may overdo, but better to overdo than to prevent yourself from trying. You can edit what doesn't work. After you rehearse the story many times, you will find certain moments repeating themselves. These are probably the voices and gestures to keep, but new ideas will also appear, and you must let them affect you. The audience/listener enjoys watching you taking a risk. So jump into the story. Let your voice get louder and softer. Let yourself gesture with your whole body. Find places for the characters to emerge. Let yourself play. And always remember the first person to please is yourself.

When you are satisfied that your story is complete, you can perform it for your friends and classmates.