I grew up listening to my mother’s stories – which she told over and over. We were four kids and we knew Mom’s stories by heart, but it was always fun to listen. Storytelling is what we did around the dinner table, over desert and coffee.
Now, as a professional teller, I pay more attention to the crafting of my stories, but at the heart of all my verbiage is one motivation – connecting with people. I find my stories and your stories share common themes of family, friendship, and individual endeavors, even though the circumstances of our lives are different. When I take the stage I am personally involved with my audience and I love that feeling.
When I began storytelling, I performed locally. I volunteered at the libraries and schools. Gradually I was asked to perform for statewide events… The Florida Storytelling Festival, Gamble Rogers Festival, The Cracker Festival, Barberville Folk Festival, on the stage of The Lowndes Shakespeare Center in Orlando and the Orlando Fringe, just to name a few.
When slam stories began happening in Central Florida, I honed my slam skills at The Orlando Story Club, frequently taking first place and I became the 2016 Grand Slam Champion. That same year I was selected as a finalist for the National Storytelling Slam in Jonesborough, TN and had the honor of telling a family story on stage at the National Storytelling Festival. I won third place.
Little by little, invitations started coming in. I was a featured teller at Stone Soup Storytelling Festival in SC and began doing house concerts that took me to the northeast. I told at The Northlands Confabulation in WI and presented a workshop there. Now my calendar fills up every month with invitations to private and public events.
Giving back to the community that has supported me has been a priority. I served for two years as President of Storytellers of Central Florida and I currently sit on the board of Florida Storytelling Association. I am a volunteer teller in the local schools and for the elderly and the disabled.
For me, storytelling is a heart to heart experience and I am always grateful for the opportunity to tell and the gracious welcomes I receive as I travel this storytelling journey.