The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on September 29, 1996 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 29, 1996
Page 13
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SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 1996 THE SAUNA JOURNAL Life WEDDINGS / B3 ALMANAC / B6 CROSSWORD / B7 B Barbara Marshall demonstrates body language during a recent storytelling session at the Salina Public Library, 301 W. Elm. She is a professor of theater at Kansas Wesleyan University. a tradition Newly formed guild wants to bring art of storytelling back to life in Salina area i torytellers can use folklore, old j memories or even Dr. Seuss to < keep a room entertained. Dianna Waite hopes to use her heritage. A Salina Public Library employee, she formed a new storytelling guild along with Sharon Benson, director of arts education at the Salina Arts and Humanities Commission. The guild started in June, but it's just now getting off the ground. The few who are regular members admit they're beginners and want to polish their skills before they perform for a crowd. For Waite, that means researching the Cajun-French people, developing a Cajun-French accent and talking to her Cajun-French mother from the Louisiana area. "Most of what I've heard from them is their life when they were children," Waite said. "It's difficult to put into a format where I could tell a story. But if I can, I think those would be the most interesting stories. The accent is tough. I keep slipping into Irish." The guild is free, open to anyone and meets monthly at the library, 301 W. Elm. The impetus for such a group came after an all-day June workshop with Eth-Noh-Tec, a storytelling duo who performed on the children's stage at this year's Smoky Hill River Festival. The duo also visited Salina for a weeklong residency in November 1994. "They really got people thinking about telling a story with your bodies — how to take a story and bring it to life," Benson said. "We're just now getting four or five people who are secure enough to get up and try out some stuff." Benson hopes to take the group to a storytelling festival in Downs in April and have them work with Michael "Bad Hair" Williams, an Appalachian storyteller from North Carolina who will be here that same month. She would like to plan with Williams a storytelling "slam," much like a poetry slam, hi which individuals would enact their tales at a public event. Eventually, she wants the local group to become a stand-alone organization, such as the Salina Symphony, and be actively involved in schools and the annual river festival. See STORY, Page B7 Marshall scrunches her face, waves her arms and strains her voice to Imitate her grandfather's scratchy characteristics In a story she tells about him. "It's an excellent match for the children's library. We hope to give them a place to meet, a place to practice, and eventually a place to perform." Joe McKenzle Director of the Salina Public Library How to join To join the storyteller's guild, call Dianna Waite at the Salina Public Library, 825-4624, or the Salina Arts and Humanities Commission, 826-7410. The guild meets at 7:30 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month in the library's Campbell Room, 301 W. Elm. The next meeting is scheduled Oct. 8. Story by DAN ENGLAND Photos by TOMDORSEY Five tips on telling a good story by members of the storytelling guild: • Be ANIMATED-Show what this story means to you. The story can be great, but if the presentation is boring, interest is lost. • Use your BODY — Point to a tree or demonstrate how you might walk across a patch of ice. Gestures add realism to a story. • RESEARCH — Talk to people. Read books about your story's time period. Look at old artifacts. • Find human CHARACTERISTICS — Maybe your grandfather used to yell at you when you were acting up, or maybe your grandmother always baked peanut butter cookies for you. Human touches make a story entertaining. • BE a REAL person — You aren't acting. Ask the crowd questions. Be informal. Act as you would if you were telling a story to family members gathered around a table. Five stories that usually work: • HISTORICAL — A grandfather who fought in the war or a great-grandfather who worked in the mines. • COURTSHIP/WEDDING These show the differences between generations. The audience relates to these because of the human angle. • TRAGEDIES-W$ all have them in our lives. • DARK OR SUPERNATURAL — Mysterious things that went on in your life show that strange things happen to everyone. • FAMOUS PEOPLE - Do you have an aunt who competed In the Olympics? Was there any Jealousy In the family that wasn't talked about in a television profile of this person? TIN THE HOME Delegating one way to simplify life MARY LOU ODLE ','KSU-Sallne County f Extension Agmit- Famifyand 1 Consumer Sciences Are you playing Supermom or Superdad and having a hard time asking others to help out? As long as one person works double-time, others are not likely to pitch in and help. That's where delegating comes in. Whether you are volunteering within a local group, serving on a committee at work or dealing with a family situation, the division of large tasks into smaller segments that can be shared benefits everyone involved. If you find it difficult to del- egate, follow these suggestions: Define responsibilities clearly. Allow for individual differences in the way tasks are done, but define limitations to provide consistency. ^0 Delegate complete segments of a task. Make sure others see the end goal. takes in the beginning. &Q Set goals and performance standards. Discuss expectations and deadlines for particular tasks. It may be helpful to write out responsibilities and deadlines. spouse to do grocery shopping, let him or her plan the schedule and decide when to shop. Feedback is important, but be honest and accurate in your assessment. Emphasize what went wrong, not who did something wrong. Praise efforts and expect some mis- Provide support. Share your knowledge, information and plan. If special skills are required, take time to teach or find someone who can teach the skill. Share decision-making. Let others have a voice in the plan. If you ask your Let goof authority. Transfer authority to allow others a feeling of personal success or failure. Perhaps the most difficult part of delegating is letting go. Remember to say "thank you." After a job is done, acknowledge the accomplishments of others. Commend and encourage others as they learn new responsibilities. SUGGESTIONS? CALL SHERIDA WARNER, LIFE EDITOR, AT (913) 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363

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