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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Northerner How to handle criticism? (134* d) RE: How to handle criticism? 22 Jun 07

Hi Wendy! No, I haven't dumbed down. I'm just trying to find ways of reaching those in the audience who have more difficulty with it. This could simply be by way of making sure that all my language is very evocative; making sure that I paint very clear pictures, for instance. And also by using clear gestures. And making sure that my telling is well-rehearsed and fluent. The big difficulty comes with adults who have forgotten how to listen, and how to use their imagination. How to spark their imagination, now that's a biggie.

I don't want to come across as a children's entertainer. I am quite an enthusiastic, fun person, who has already gone down well at a school where I did some voluntary work. I brought in props - I was wearing a green and black wig plus a witchy hat for a Halloween telling last year and the children were thrilled. All the signs are that I will do very well indeed with a children's audience, where my sense of fun and my imagination will really be appreciated. Most paid work is with children so this is very encouraging. However, I am a very intelligent person, with a large area of life experience behind me; some sad and some inspiring. I've beaten a rare and serious illness, for instance.   So I should eventually be able to add real depth to my tellings to an adult audience. But it probably takes time for this to come through in the stories. It may be that I have to look at the darker, more sensitive elements within stories when I tell them to an adult audience, and use them as well as the more fun elements that I have been showing more recently. The workshops that I attended this spring, led by Ruth Kirkpatrick may help in this regard, as we looked at existential dilemmas and mood maps.

The story that I am looking at at the moment has quite a dark heart to it, and was obviously intended for an adult audience initially. Even if I am not completely happy with my interpretation of it at present it could be a good choice to take with me to a workshop for further work. I think it would also work well with the addition of either a bodhran or a tin whistle at some stage.

Last night I simply sang a chorus song at one of the folk clubs. It got all the audience with me.

I'm also looking into more residential workshops to help me progress. Application forms for some more came in the post this morning. What complicated applications!! They are for Emerson College. One of my friends has attended the 10/12 week course there and has recommended it. Thought I'd give some of them a try.

Thank you for your interest and your comments.

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