Fully guaranteed! You must feel that this workshop gave you just the help you need
- or I'll refund your entire tuition!
"You created a climate that was tremendously supportive, a climate that
allowed people to grow as storytellers. The other striking thing was how well
the workshop accommodated a range of experience: the experienced people seemed
challenged, and the beginners seemed unafraid." - Faith Mullen, attorney, writer,
and storyteller, Washington, DC
Personal stories have been a mixed blessing
in the storytelling revival. They have widened the scope of storytelling
and allowed us to share the experiences of a wide range of new voices.
At the same time, however, personal stories
have sometimes been presented without the fully satisfying shaping that we’ve
come to expect from a masterful traditional or literary story. They’ve
even produced a backlash against their increasing popularity; in the extreme,
opponents claim that they are “not
"I do not think things could have gone better. I felt each
attender left feeling lifted up, feeling that they worked well, feeling that
they had been able to develop their story or work on their issue in a strong
"I especially liked the way you took the energy of those of us in the
room and helped us focus our energy toward the positive development of
our own stories and the stories of the others." -
Cynthia Changaris, professional storyteller and musician, Louisville,
This workshop helps you get the benefits of telling personal
stories while avoiding the pitfalls. You will be coached on a personal story
of your choice, and I’ll
lead you in exercises to help you imagine, shape, and present your story.
"I worked on...a story from Philadelphia history that I was just
beginning to work on and could scarcely remember the story line. That little
story fragment has become part of a one-hour performance which I do with
an African-American storyteller, called Voices of Germantown Women. We
just gave the 2nd performance today, have 4 more performances coming up
in the next month, and will probably be doing this show for a few years!" -
Barbara Baumgartner, author and storyteller
What Can You Expect to Learn?
The single most common mistake in creating a personal
to avoid it;
Three special demands that personal stories make of you—& how
to meet them;
How to decide what to include and what to leave out;
What key audience expectation
you MUST fulfill, to avoid falling flat;
Four reliable techniques to gain
enough “distance” from the
events in your story;
A universal method for adapting your story
for the needs of different situations;
How to create a satisfying ending
for your story;
Five valid ways to deal with “did everything in your
story really happen?”
How to know when your story is ready to share
with a paying audience;
What to do when you feel, "Who wants to hear about what happened to me?"
"What you ... do is nothing short of phenomenal. You somehow zeroed
in on exactly where the problem was and, like a skilled surgeon, cut to the
chase and exorcised it." - Marilyn Kinsella, professional storyteller, Fairview
By the end of the workshop, you’ll know how to create a
personal story you can be proud of, that is satisfying to tell and to hear, and
that has the desired impact on your audience.
"I now have some ideas of what I can do to begin to shape these stories
into a series of professionally told stories. I think the next step for
me is to look for the places in the stories that need more expression by showing
the listener what I saw and felt (rather than telling how I felt).
"The workshop, for me, was a storytelling life changing experience. Thank
you. The other workshops and classes I have attended have been fun
- this one was work. It was truly professional." - Lois Pines, storyteller
and teacher, California
When, Where, etc.
We have the great privilege of holding this workshop in Wanna
Zinsmaster's unique condominium, with its view of the mountains. Pasadena weather
is reliably mild.
Wanna's condo is irresistably itself, just like Wanna. She's active,
curious, welcoming and accepting. At the same time, she clearly follows her
own path. Her place is filled with beautiful works of art - and very little
furniture. "I like to have room to dance," she says. For someone who studied
education and theology with some of the famous names of the twentieth century,
she's disarmingly unassuming and only mentions that she's "Dr. Zinsmaster"
when someone treats her dismissively. As someone who has nurtured countless
storytellers in her area, she's generous and warm. At the same time, her back
wall sports pictures of her dangerous adventures around the world - riding
a camel in the Sahara, heli-hiking in Alaska, visiting Arctic penguins. And
as the most physically-active retired professor I've ever met, she's a model
of being your own kind of person, no matter what preconceptions society might
try to mold you into.
There's a great motel a short walk away where most of the attendees will stay.
We'll have lunches at some of the varied Pasadena restaurants. If you're coming
from the frigid Northeast, you'll think you're in paradise!
"I felt this was a life changing workshop. It opened a door, oh, many
doors for me. I learned so much on so many different levels. As a storyteller,
it allowed me to enter the creative space in a way that I craved and haven't
found before. When I wanted to do real deep work I did voice workshops
with the Roy hart work. But this was directly in MY world, in my medium.
It was life giving!" - Noa Baum, storyteller and actress, Washington, DC
Note: As of February 2, 2004, America
West airlines is offering low, low fares to nearby Los
Angeles, that are being matched by some other carriers. It's a great time
to book a flight!
February 27 - March 1, 2004
Friday evening through Monday afternoon
Location: Pasadena, CA
Limited to 12
Tuition: $395; $355 if you pay in full by Friday 2/6/04.
For lodging information, email
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