Storytelling Mentor Program

Next cycle, begins  November 15, 2019

Telling Stories is Compassionate Action into the World

The Mentor Program  is an individualized and in-depth process guided by Laura Simms  to develop a story for performance.  Whether you choose to work with a traditional narrative or a personal story, we plummet the unique aspects of how a spoken story has meaning beyond the obvious, and comes alive, literally expands,  in the reciprocity of a live telling.

Providing this structure over years in residencies, personal coaching and group work,  one of the most potent aspects  I  savored were the revelatory personal conversations as people discovered their own relationship to stories, uncovered levels of cultural and transcendent significance,  and began to feel a positive change in their  storytelling and its potential benefits for different audiences and situations.   I  am presenting a more individualized program.  It lasts  three months, and a life time.

It is natural to tell stories. It is how the mind works  – making sense and sequence to events and ideas.  However,  stories told and heard hold within their words, images, character interactions and events far more than the literal or metaphoric.   Honoring the profundity and richness possible in live storytelling, we benefit from   relearning   how to prepare a story, and tell a story  that respects both the cultural origin of a story, or the lived experience, and the diverse audiences we engage.

At this time of increased concern for the consequences of  climate change, a general loss of connection to natural magic, spirit, and the wildness of the natural world,  disembodied communication that leads to violence and opinions, we need ways to open up the fundamental treasure house relating viscerally to  interdependence, the healing power of mythic image and imagination.  Tbe Mentor Program refreshes our capacity for transformation and awareness.   Storytelling is more necessary than ever before.
Laura Simms

GENERAL DESCRIPTION
An individualized three month long-distance learning experience: developing the art of the storyteller. Each participant learns how to prepare a single “traditional” story for performance in a step by step unfolding process. The process offers insight and invaluable practical experience in engaged and reciprocal storytelling.
The Storytelling Mentor Program is a new approach to the Laura Simms training. Each participant receives tailor made instructions, advice and coaching in preparing a single structured narrative while simultaneously creating a personal approach and story.
The process includes a bi-monthly blog (letter, assignments, articles, and a story); a monthly group telecast that offers insight about assignments with discussion; and two half hour individual calls with Laura. There is an ongoing email correspondence.
The course is relevant for storytellers, educators, writers, therapists and business people; anyone who recognizes the power of storytelling in the world today.
THOROUGH DESCRIPTION
The Laura Simms Method is a powerful exploration for those who seek to access the fullest benefits that storytelling engagement can provide for us personally, with audiences young and old, in medicine, education, business and community recovery.. This unique and genuine training offers a foundational study of meaning, method and inspiration that is often lacking in storytelling class. We uncover the direct and symbolic significance of stories as we gain the ability to recognize the crystalline structures of spoken narrative and the potent reciprocity of audience/teller exchange. As we work on stories there is a growing excitement and responsibility for the profound ways in which a story comes alive for a listener.

WHAT WE LEARN
1. How to prepare a story for the unique event of storytelling, including research and development of the text as living event.
2. What constitutes meaning in an engaged performance
3. How to discern between what is happening in a story and our personal projection
4. Structure of the story and structure of the event
5. Mapping a story – lifting it off the page into a spoken ritual event.
6. How does a story relate to our personal lives and how do we tell our own stories
7. The responsibility of the storyteller
8. The Mentor program is tailor made for each participants needs and intentions in using storytelling in the world today.
9. How to begin and end a story that invites and cares for listeners
10. What are the classic forms of stories and how do we distinguish them from one another.
11. From where do we gain confidence to engage others, and to resource our own inherent creativity and compassion

Some of the active themes are:

– discerning story from interpretation;
-finding the turning point in the story and in the performance;
– the responsibility of the teller of tales;
– a deeply personal relationship to story;
– what is a story and how does it transform and heal?
– what is the compassion uncovered in this special living communication of story?
– How do we choose description, language and tone?

THE BLOG

The course offers a bimonthly blog. There is an essay that introduces the assignments, a story to explore, and quotes to contemplate. The blog is a printed course that provides invaluable tips for story preparation and performance.

THE CONVERSATIONS
Each participant has two half hour conversation with Laura, as well as continuous response to assignments and reflections through an email exchange. There is an hour conference call each month for the entire group. It begins with either a story or a discussion that then opens into inquiry and dialogue. If someone is in proximity of Laura’s home or touring schedule, an hour meeting every other month can be arranged.

WHO BENEFITS FROM THIS PROGRAM:
The MENTORSHIP is relevant to all levels of study It is always dependent on the commitment, experience and time of each participant. The nature of on line study demands a personal dedication. IT IS TAILOR MADE FOR EACH PARTICIPANT.

BEGINNING
We have an initial interview to decide on story and get to know one another.

Our ongoing discussions can range from the nature of peace making, working in community, overcoming childhood obstructions and opening into revelation, to unlocking the engine of compassion at the heart of our chosen story. Although our emphasis is not on performance, one’s capacity for increased awareness of audience and a clarity of intention in the telling transforms ones ability to tell a tale with penetrating effect. We move from focus on story as text into a direct experience of the meaning evoked through story as a process of dynamic engagement.

THE COST:
The total cost for the Mentor Program is $1200. This includes the initial set up fee, all access to blogs, email and monthly calls.

Preferred payment is the total paid by check or PAYPAL by clicking here.
To pay in installments:

Checks may be sent care of:
Laura Simms
814 Broadway #3
New York, NY 10003

If you are interested in joining a mentor series please call Laura Simms. Please phone 212 674 3479 or send an email outlining your interest and background in storytelling to storymentor2010@gmail.com

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