I first got up on stage to tell true, personal stories at events like No Shame, The Moth, and The Basement Series because I wasn’t getting cast in anything and I wanted to perform. I also had a lot to figure out about how my relationship with my older brother was changing and there was something about exploring that through storytelling that helped me feel better. I loved the creative energy I got from weaving my feelings and experiences into a story that connected with the audience.
After jumping back into more “traditional” acting after working on my storytelling skills, I noticed some key, positive differences in how it felt. Focusing on my storytelling practice helped strengthen my work as an actor.
Storytelling has made me a better actor because:
- It’s great practice being myself on stage. I get to use my words, my story, my experiences to shape an experience for the audience and there’s something about literally just being myself in front of an audience that’s helped me relax in scene work. Storytelling is a great reminder that “I am enough” and that acting isn’t about trying really hard to be anything but it’s allowing yourself to be yourself under imaginary circumstances.
- It’s helped me let go of anxiety about my ability to be vulnerable. Before storytelling I was often worried that I was either too closed off from my scene partner or trying too hard to show the audience how open and present I was. Getting on stage to open up about who I am and what’s most important to me has helped me get aquatinted with my vulnerability and trust that I know how to access it.
- It’s developed my voice and confidence as an artist. With complete control of the story I’m telling, storytelling has helped me develop my sense of what important messages I want to put out into the world with my art. I also feel more comfortable working an audition room. It’s easier to hold an energy for the table that’s open, relaxed, and excited to be there.
- It’s helped me learn about who I am. Early on in working with the Meisner technique I’d need to come up with an extreme set of imaginary circumstances from my life and I’d have trouble thinking of something that was extremely important to me. Storytelling has helped me more clearly see my values and where I find meaning in my life.
Green Shirt is offering two storytelling classes this fall – Introduction to Storytelling: The Five-Seven Minute Story and Create Your Solo Performance Part 1. Both are open to all skill levelsand you can learn more about them here.