Just returned from a WONDERFUL weekend trip. Hit Richmond, went to The Camel for a storytelling show then slept in my friends living room. Woke up headed to Courtland, enjoyed a ton of kids from the gifted program. We had a blast as I told stories and hopefully awoke in each of them the storytelling bug.
From there took the ferry across the beautiful James River and went to Williamsburg where I rounded out the weekend with a wonderful time of telling at the Williamsburg Tellebration. A lot of great tellers performed and I was honored to be featured with them. Stayed at a friends house - always an adventure. Thank God for people who will let you stay for free!
Now on to a little soapbox.
Artists (any type, but here we will mainly focus on storytellers) always want to get better at their craft. It is important. If you want to make a living doing what you love to do, then you better be good at it. To get good at it you better be open to criticism. I love criticism - even when it comes from a wrong heart, because usually there is truth in it. And truth brings realization and realization offers up the choice to change and get better or stay the same and stagnate. I prefer realization with the outcome of change.
I think, and forgive me if I am wrong, that many tellers seek out the kind, positive words of admiration when they are done performing. Some of these comments are offered up to them only out of kindness, not truth. So they walk around duped - believing that they are better than what they really are. This leads to confusion, because in the end they do not get the call back or get the gig.
I encourage you, no matter what your art medium is, to surround yourself with people who will tell you the ugly truth because they love you and want you to succeed. I am so grateful that I have friends who will do this. It has enabled me to fine tune much of what I do. And just when I think I am really hitting a home-run, they make sure I am brought down to earth with a few loving comments that let me know I have a long way to go before I hit perfection.
Loving criticism is really just pruning. Pruning brings growth . If you are interested in being pruned, give me a call. We can take turns clipping each others branches.