I haven’t done alot of storytelling but when I have, the response from the audience has been terrific. I have done them at retirement homes and senior groups at church. I’ve only done about 6 or so but now I’m doing one for a ladies tea in April and I have a question. What are some hints on making your voice sound like that of an elderly lady?? I am very excited about getting your free monthly newsletter. Thanks ahead of time for your suggestions.
The Answer, from Doug
The short answer is this:
In storytelling, you don’t create illusion the way you do in traditional theater. Instead, you stimulate people to imagine. Usually, the most important thing to imagine about a character is not their surface characteristics (age, height, national origin, etc.) but rather their intention. Intention, in turn, is conveyed in oral language primarily through posture.
What is someone’s intention? It reflects their relationship to the MIT (Most Important Thing) about a story. . For example, if your story is about generosity, what is this character’s relationship to generosity? Is this a character who is generous, or one who is greedy? Or is this character the one who doesn’t care about material possessions? Etc.
Once you understand a character’s intention, you can bring that out by discovering their posture. Once you have found a posture that convey’s that character’s intention, the posture may have an effect on your vocal quality. Thus, the voice comes last, not first, in portraying a character.
I hope this helps!
All the best,