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eTips from the Storytelling Coach - Number 18
Do You Want to Spend More Time on Your Art?
eTips is a free, monthly electronic newsletter from Doug Lipman. You can subscribe, unsubscribe, or read a more detailed description of the newsletter at the eTips page. You can also read the other back issues.
- 1) PERSPECTIVE: DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME ON YOUR ART?
- 2) TIP: INTRODUCING AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
- 3) ANNOUNCEMENT: ATTEND MY MARKETING SEMINAR IN YOUR HOME!
- 4) ANNOUNCEMENT: DO YOU WANT TO TELL STORIES TO CHILDREN?
1) PERSPECTIVE: DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME ON YOUR ART?
I've been a free-lance performer, coach, and trainer for over 30 years. I wish I had a nickel for every time I thought, "Why doesn't someone else do all the marketing work for me, so I can concentrate on my art?"
In recent years, however, I've had a change in point of view. I've finally stopped wishing to be divorced from the business side of my work. In fact, I've come to see it as a vital part of who I am in the world.
What? Have I "sold out"? I don't think so. Rather, I've come to see that my work as an artist is ultimately about people. Which people? Ah, that's where the creativity comes in. Telling stories is about building relationships, not only with my "audience" but also with my "allies" - those folks who share my vision for the transformative power of storytelling and therefore hire me to tell, coach, or train.
I've chosen a new perspective about the business of storytelling. Rather than resist it as an inherent evil, I take it as an opportunity to expand my conception of my own creativity. And isn't the point of our art to empower people to take charge of their lives? Then, rather than only complaining about how hard it is to be a full-time artist, shouldn't I take charge of mine?
If I were to dream up a perfect society, it would be organized differently from ours. People who created beauty and communicated truth, for example, would be revered and supported. Those who despoiled the environment for greed would be restrained.
In the meantime, though, I'm happy to find creative ways to play the cards dealt to me. I've found a new joy in embracing the challenges represented by marketing: how can I use my creativity to make my gifts available to those who most want them?
(For more about some of the business methods I've begun to embrace, see the Telephone Seminar below - and at
2) TIP: INTRODUCING AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
Don't rehearse audience participation before the story. Instead, wait until the participation is about to occur in the story. Simply do what you want your listeners to do, then ask, "Try that!" The emotions of the story will now motivate your listeners to participate.
If the participation is so challenging that it would interrupt the story too much, make the participation enjoyable on its own. For example, in one story I ask my audience to participate by singing two lines in Spanish about going to sleep. Before the story, I sing the lines as part of a four-line, half-English song, asking a volunteer to say something that makes him or her feel safe at bedtime. Then everyone sings the song, incorporating the volunteer's contribution. I repeat with several volunteers. By the time the Spanish lines recur in the story, everyone knows them and can join right in.
3) ANNOUNCEMENT: ATTEND MY MARKETING SEMINAR IN YOUR HOME!
On Tuesday evening, June 4, you can join my marketing seminar - no matter where you are, without leaving home.
I'm making this hard-won information available in an interactive Telephone Seminar. You can call in from anywhere there's a phone. I'll explain the key concepts and most practical ideas I've learned, for helping you find the folks who really want your gifts. I've tried a lot of marketing tools over the years - and have chosen those that really work for storytellers.
I advise you to register now, because the phone line is limited to 29 participants. And early registrants will be able to submit their questions for me to answer during the seminar!
If you aren't among the first 29 to register or aren't free on June 4, you can still benefit from this hour-and-a-half of wall-to-wall information, by pre-ordering the recording of the call. The cassette version is normally $29.95 plus shipping and handling. But, if you pre-order in the next seven days, you can save $5. If you buy the tape (or CD) and register at the same time, you save another $5. So, if you attend the seminar, you can have the tape for just $19.95 plus S&H. (Workshop in a Box Deluxe members save even more - see the order form for details.)
To register or order a tape, go to
Telephone seminar catalog page.
Or you can call, fax, etc., to the numbers below.
What will the seminar cost?
To get this much intense information in an in-person workshop, you would need to pay $300-$395 or more, plus the costs of travel, buying food, and disrupting your life. Instead, you can sit at home in your slippers! And it costs only $29.95! (Storytelling Workshop In a Box members: don't forget that you receive a discount - up to 50%!)
Not only will those who register early have a chance to submit their questions before the seminar, there will also be limited time for questions-and-answers during the call - get the answers to your most pressing questions!
And I'll stay on the line after the seminar, from 8:30-8:55 Eastern time, to answer more questions and refer people to other marketing resources.
How Does It Work?
Attending the telephone seminar is easy - you just call in at 7pm (Eastern time) on Tuesday, June 4. When you register, I'll give you the special phone number and instructions for dialing in. (You pay ordinary long distance charges to the phone number in California. There is no additional charge tacked onto the call.)
The seminar will be jam-packed with insights I have gathered over 2 1/2 years of studying marketing techniques. I have devoured books, articles, tape sets, videos - and more. But I haven't just gained book knowledge - I have actually tried it out. Best of all, I've gotten results! I'm earning more and working less hard to get it - even in the troubled economic times we've been passing through.
If you care about who you reach with your storytelling, this is a convenient, economical way to learn the skills you need to prosper. View more on the web at
or ask me to email you a copy.
4) ANNOUNCEMENT: DO YOU WANT TO TELL STORIES TO CHILDREN?
This four-day workshop in late June - led by Judith Black http://www.storiesalive.com and me - is a chance to touch up your skills, dive into a new aspect of this important topic, or just to check out whether young people are an audience you would enjoy.
What makes this workshop special? First, you'll have the two of us as leaders - well-travelled performers and workshop leaders who both have backgrounds working with young children. Our styles, ideas, and interests complement each other, so you are not "stuck" with either of us.
Second, we know that children present unique challenges that you can NOT learn about just through talk. So we incorporate coaching and an actual performance in front of children! We create a support system to enable you to try out something new, re-visit a favorite story, or just "get your feet wet" telling to children in a "no-risk" environment.
Third, we offer an amazing variety of subjects. You'll be able to vote for your choice of workshops from a long list of possibilities - or to meet a personal need of your own. In fact, many workshops that I've gone on to lead across the country have begun as "special requests" from folks in this session!
Don't forget the amazing location for the workshop. Judith is one of the world's most talented hosts, and her cozy yet airy home is located just blocks from the scenic harbor of Marblehead, Massachusetts, the historic New England whaling seaport. You'll have plenty to see and experience, without even needing a car. Of course, you can also drive to neighboring Salem, MA, storied site of the Salem witch trials - not to mention the other glories of the Boston area in June (when the New England winter is a distant memory, but the dog days are still another month away).
Telling Stories to Children will be held Monday through Thursday, June 24-27, 2002. The cost is $375. You can register on the web at
or by calling Judith at (781) 631-4417, who can also answer your questions about housing.
For a full description of the workshop, see
or ask me to email you the details.
All the best,
P.S., Email me for one or all of these, or view them on the
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This page was last updated on Friday, November 28, 2003
Copyright©2002 Doug Lipman