Driving Out the Snakes II

Posted by jdhBard | Posted in Events | Posted on 04-03-2014

I’m honoured to announce that I will be hosting the Driving Out the Snakes concert in Montreal on March 16th, 2014. I performed in this concert last year as their seanchaí (storyteller) and this year they asked me to host and be their teller! Here is all the info you need to know. I hope you can join us for what promises to be an incredible night of music, myth, and magic.

Driving out the Snakes II: A St Patrick’s Day Celebration

Resto Griffintown
1378 rue Notre-Dame Ouest,
Montreal, Quebec H3C

>Doors open at 3:00pm
Show begins at 4:00pm
$10 admission for adults
$5 admission for children
Facebook Event
Contact Aine Doan at ainedoan@gmail.com

For the second year in a row, we are inviting you all to join us in driving out the snakes. The event will be MC’d by acclaimed local seanchaí John David Hickey. With live music by two wonderful Celtic folk bands, The Mudlarks and The Bombadils, and a performance of Irish dance by Richard Chalut, this is a celebration that is not to be missed!

—- About the Mudlarks:

The Mudlarks are a brood of misfits spawned in the ooze of the River Thames. They concoct a delicious musical stew drawing ingredients from traditional British Isles sources and a corpus of original work.

Ben’s original compositions draw their inspiriation from local history, including: the adventures of Quebec-bound immigrants who braved the perilous sea-crossings, the bitter memories of survivors of World War II’s Dieppe, and a moving interpretation of the Stan Rogers classic Barrett’s Privateers.

—- About the Bombadils:

The Bombadils are a “charismatic and kind-hearted bunch of rascals.” Their music features a bluegrass and Celtic-inspired voice that combines soaring melodic lines, tight rhythmic energy, and a decidedly contemporary sound.

Since the release of their first album, “Fill Your Boots!,” this band of four musicians have wandered cross-continent, performing in canoes on the Tobique River, skiing in the mountains of Sierra Nevada, and riding the VIA rails. They look forward to performing these songs, as well as a number of Irish classics, for this year’s mighty St. Paddy’s day celebration in Montreal.

Improving One’s Art

Posted by jdhBard | Posted in Blog | Posted on 09-01-2014

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Recently, I saw a post on the Storytellers Facebook Group from Limor’s Storytelling Agora blog that made an interesting statement:

“I’m a storyteller. What do I need to improve on?”

So I asked myself this question and here’s what I came up with.

What I need to work on is how I sell myself to schools, event organizers, and festival organizers. I’ve won competitions, I’ve won awards, I organize events, I’ve hosted storytelling events: these are all experiences that recognize that I have talent as a skilled storyteller. What continues to elude me is how to market this skill to make me an attractive artist to potential employers.

I keep trying to come up with new and innovative ideas to create storytelling shows that appeal to a mass market, but the mass market still relegates storytelling as a juvenile activity and not worthy of adult interest. Someone suggested to me recently that I need to market to a niche market instead, allowing me to specialize rather than generalize. I think there’s some wisdom in that.

In the meantime, I waffle between trying to acquire the skills myself or to hire someone who understands branding and marketing to help me bridge this gap.

The Weight of a Snowflake

Posted by jdhBard | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-12-2013

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The Weight of a Snowflake

~ Anon

“Tell me the weight of a snowflake.” A mouse asked a wild dove.

“Nothing more than nothing,” the dove answered.

“In that case I must tell you a marvelous story,” the mouse said. “I sat on the branch of a fir, close to its trunk, when it began to snow, not heavily, not a raging blizzard, no just like in a dream without any violence. Since I had time, I counted the snowflakes setting on the twigs and needles of my branch. Their number was exactly 3,741,952, when the next snowflake dropped onto the branch- “nothing more than nothing” as you say-the branch broke off.”

Having said that the mouse went away.

The dove, thought about the meaning of the story for a while and finally said to herself, “Perhaps there is only one person’s voice lacking for peace to come about in this world.”

Yoinked from Karen Chase’s blog:

Something I read today…

Posted by jdhBard | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-12-2013

“The tale is not beautiful if nothing is added to it.”
— Tuscan proverb

A Yuletide Gift of Silence

Posted by jdhBard | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 23-12-2013

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You don’t need to know sign language to be able to appreciate this little girl’s telling of the Night Before Christmas. She could teach us all a few things about storytelling.

Happy Yule everyone and a safe, joyful holiday!

Slamtastique Podcast Ep. 01

Posted by jdhBard | Posted in Slam | Posted on 16-12-2013

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As some of you may know, I host my very own storytelling competition called Slamtastique (2nd Monday of each month at Shaika Cafe in Montreal). I’m currently in my third season and it’s going very well. As I do at most shows, I audio record the show and then post the stories I like to the website. However, I’ve been finding that these posts lack a certain amount of structure and production quality.

So I took the last show, picked out the stories from the top three winners, and build a small podcast around them. It’s been quite the learning experience, but I’m very happy with the results. Have a listen to it here, and if you want to learn more about the competition, visit the website!

Pirate Testimonials on this Special Day

Posted by jdhBard | Posted in News | Posted on 19-09-2013

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Woohoo! I get my own Pirate Testimonial on International Talk Like Pirate Day!
Also, who knew that pirates could be so immature? Hickey. *snort*

Like my Facebook Fan Page! Arrrr!

New Site, Same Old Look

Posted by jdhBard | Posted in News | Posted on 10-09-2013

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So this year, I decided to move my storytelling website to its own webhost. I’ve been wrangling with the HTML and  moving the site over, but it’s turning out to be a real hassle. I may have to recreate the posts manually, so this might take some time. Please be patient.

The cool thing is that you don’t have to update your bookmarks! For the past couple of years, www.johndavidhickey.ca has been referring off to another site. I just didn’t want people to get confused between the two sites (documentia.ca is my business site).

Quiet Summer for Stories

Posted by jdhBard | Posted in News | Posted on 15-08-2013

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And by quiet, I mean I’ve been so busy, I can’t even speak.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. I had a few gigs booked until July before my calendar cleared out. It’s odd to get storytelling gigs in the Summer; storytelling is more of a Fall/Winter/Spring activity.

So I know I told a few people about taking over from Mike Burns’ gig at Hurley’s Pub, but unfortunately, it fell through. After 20 years of Irish tales, the pub owners decided to end the tradition on Mike’s retirement. I realized that this was a possibility, but I hoped I could sell them on the idea anyways. I failed. Drat.

Oh well… This just means I can focus more on hosting the Slamtastique events this season (or 3rd year!).  I think I will prepare one story to tell per event so I can get some decent recordings for the next CD. I thought I had enough recordings for the new CD, but I’m realizing the audio quality just isn’t there. With the Bard’s New Hat CD, the audio quality was all over the place, so I’m striving to a deliver a higher quality product this time.

In this coming year, I’m going to focus on getting gigs at Festivals, so I need to prepare my press kit and send it everywhere and anywhere. Maybe I’ll end up playing in a venue near you!

Story Slam Finals!

Posted by jdhBard | Posted in Events, Slam | Posted on 10-05-2013

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On June 10th 2013, I’m hosting the 2013 edition of the Slamtastique Story Slam Finals. This our 2nd annual Story Slam competition and I’m really looking forward to it. There will be six story slammers competing for the glory and fudge! These six competitors are the winners from this past year (October – May), but only one can be crowned victor!

We’ve also got celebrity judges who will also be telling stories of their own, so that should mix things up nicely. Come check us out!

Slamtastique Finals 2013
June 10th, 2013, 6:30 pm – 7pm
Shaika Café

5526 Sherbrooke Street West/Quest
Montreal, Quebec
Google Maps

For more information about the Story Slams, see Slamtastique.
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