What do you associate with the word storytelling? What is the visual that comes to mind? What experiences or memories does it conjure? Does it have any place in your life now?
My concept of storytelling is that it is an exchange rooted in the foundation of our humanity and how we relate to those around us. I think of a scenario set in a time/space absent the information technologies we take for granted (internet, TV, radio, written text, etc.)…a group of strangers around a campfire on a back-country camping trip. Aside from our awareness of ourselves and physical proximity to others in a shared space and experience, storytelling is what allows us to connect to each others experiences, without actually being there, exchanging verbal and non-verbal information. As strangers on this trip, you’re forming a story through shared experience and observation, but at the same time, using storytelling, you tell more than where you’ve been or what you’ve done. In your the delivery, phrasing, intonation, timing, and gesture, you demonstrate different dimensions of your “self” that serve to complement the your companions’ observations.
Storytelling involves a process of framing and packaging that provides insight and/or mystery to perceived tangibles that might otherwise go unnoticed or be at the mercy of an individual’s existing knowledge. I liken it to a scene used earlier in this week’s DS106 assignment, where you have a collection random items, but put together in a certain way, those items can serve a purpose specific to the circumstance or purpose.
Storytelling has a place in my person and professional life. When I reconnect with old friends or make new ones, I form stories out of essentially the same material experiences, but in a way that is relevant to the audience and nature of the interaction.