Improving One’s Art

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.

Quiet Summer for Stories

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!