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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Northerner How to handle criticism? (134* d) RE: How to handle criticism? 13 Jun 07

Hello Unbiased Listener. I wasn't present at the club's founding so I don't know firsthand who started it and how. If I am wrong I apologise. However that may be, the fact remains that the principal organiser of that club is very happy to encourage my storytelling at that club, and likewise the principal organiser of the other club that I go to. I am careful not to tell a story every week, or even every singaround. Sometimes I sing a song or sit out the session and listen to other performers.

Hello meself. No, I can't avoid him altogether but I can sit somewhere else in the club.

Thank you JeremyC. I really do think the person concerned believes he is being helpful, but has a really poor way of delivery. I was taught at a residential workshop that the correct way to give criticism was always to start with a positive comment first. Developing a thicker skin would possibly help me.

Thank you M Ted. I will keep a note of how any further criticism is delivered. I am also keeping a watchful eye on his own performances.

Thank you Young Buchan. Yes, the type of folk club that we have now may well have a lot to do with what this man has been saying (and other critics, most of whom have now accepted me). I had a period when I lived in the north of Scotland and one of our regular performers was a storyteller as well as a fabulous ballad singer. He is now mentoring me (though informally). Hearing stories at a club therefore feels totally natural to me. I like the way in which the Traveller storytellers move freely between stories, song and music and aim to do the same myself eventually. I believe the man who is criticising me belongs to the culture where stories are something for children only. I am careful not to tell stories that are too long (I never go beyond 10 minutes or the length of two songs). As my skills develop it will also become easier for me to create material that is more entertaining.

I am going to more workshops up in Scotland in the autumn, and am investigating some more residential workshops that will allow me to develop in a nurturing envrionment. Thank you all for your comments and advice.

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