February 2nd, 2008

storyteller doll

After the Mini-fest

Yeah, it's officially the mid-Winter festival, but everyone calls it the mini-fest.

I got to Takoma Park later than I'd planned because, well, it was just that sort of morning. Also, I had forgotten that despite what the FSGW folks claim, there is not really adequate parking at the school. Fortunately, I was able to follow some folks who were leaving and nab their spot. I had wanted to hear Megan Hicks tell her Groundhog stories and got there in the middle of her set. I did, at least, get to hear her very amusing version of Cinderella (which involves a fairy groundhog). I stayed in the storytelling room through Bob Rovinsky's set and Margaret Chatham's "Cat Tails." I was pleased that the latter included "The Boy Who Drew Cats," a story I've always liked.

I slipped out because I needed to walk around a bit. I checked out the goods for sale, but didn't find anything very tempting. The musical instrument petting zoo, however, was pretty cool. I decided I needed to listen to some music and was intrigued by The Chromatics, who were billed as performing "a capella science." I realized that I had actually heard them before, at the Washington Folk Festival a few years ago. They were enjoyable, especially when they were doing their original material.

I went back to the storytelling room, where I heard just the end of Elizabeth Thornton's set. I hadn't heard her before and didn't really hear enough to get a sense of what her telling is about, so I won't comment. She was followed by Penelope Fleming, who told two literary stories and was somewhat more serious than I expected.

Then it was my turn. I got through "The Tortoise and the Hare" (11 pages in verse) just fine and was reasonably pleased with my performance, though the tortoise's voice is still hard for me. That was the "rhyme" part of my "Rhyme and Reason" set and I moved on to "reason" by telling "Berel the Beadle," which explains the reason you can't buy bagels in Chelm. It's a story that I like and I can tell audiences like it. (That sounds immodest, but really is one of my best pieces.) Then I told "The Farmer and His Animals" and finished with "Benny the Bum." Overall, it went reasonably well, though I probably should have told one more longer story instead of ending with two such short ones.

Anne Sheldon's set was titled "Good Old (Testament) Boys" and had interesting versions of 3 Bible stories. I particularly liked the version of The Tower of Babel that she used. Finally, Tim Livengood told "How It Got That Way." I was particularly amused by his account of door to door science salesman, doling out personal bits of astronomy.

All in all, a fun day.