Intro: Be a City Storyteller
Every city needs a City Storyteller.
It may be you.
- Minimum imagination.
- Desire to tell a story.
- Some public-speaking confidence.
about 10mins to a lifetime.
Step 1: Desire/Imagination
The first step to be a city storyteller is a desire to tell a story.
Living in a city helps. The closer you are to your story, the better.
Imagination is nice too for creating your city stories.
" I never imagined a kebab shop could ever be closed. I thought they are always open for my stomach. Today I saw one that is closed. That is surreal. "
It is of course a simple story. But I am going to tell this story to my friends. That is desire.
But to be a true City Storyteller, obviously I need to build up the story that will keep others interested.
Step 2: Gathering Stories
You need stories. That is why you exist as a City Storyteller.
New stories, old stories, bar stories, urban horror stories, war stories, children stories, blog stories, madman stories, tourist guide stories, painfully shameful stories, drunk man stories, housewife stories, market stories, gossip stories and so on. Collect them all. Know what stories are already moving around your city. Know your market (and competition).
Do look at your surroundings. Stories comes from a lot of unlikely places. Like that truck without a company logo. Or the half-chipped car front. If you have no ideas yet, start with imagining stories about your neighbours. That usually helps.
Step 3: Creating Yourself
This is a critical step to be a City Storyteller. It is similar to a makeover.
It involves changing your persona, your costumes, finding a "stage" and getting some notice for an audience. Unfortunately you may have to do some administration work too. But relax, at least grammar checks of your stories is not really a need for a City Storyteller.
1) Costumes and Persona
To differentiate you and the increasing number of madmen (and tourist guides) rambling on your city street, you have to act like a real City Storyteller. You must have a costume and a persona that says you are a performer to be taken seriously. Go see cabarets, theatre shows, and TV. The important factor is that you have to fit into your surroundings and stories but at the same time stands out. These objects may be in the form of clothes, makeup, a chair, the stage, an animal or a weird looking animal.
I have an instructable on making a City Storyteller's Backpack.
2) A Stage
A stage can be a carpet you unroll or an Aerosmith tour circus. It is basically a space you create to elevate you from your audience. It is also part of your persona. Scout for your stage that fits your stories and persona. Also take note accesibility for your audience.
The next step shows an example of a possible stage somewhere in Berlin.
Your city is most likely being runned by people in suits. Therefore, filling forms are inevitable. Check them to see if you need permits for your public appearances, tax, benefits for artists, and those sort of stuff. If you are money-blessed, you may hire an agent.
You have to tell people that you are performing. This can be done with traditional posters/flyers. Blogs are nice too. Joining already extablished storytelling festivals and groups help too.
The picture shows a good example of a storyteller blending in but standing out of his environment.
Step 4: Stage
As mentioned in the previous step, here is an example of a stage - in Berlin.
The City Storyteller's Alley
This stage is an unused narrow bridge in between 2 warehouse building by the river Spree.
Since it is unused, a City Storytellers' Alley can be set up. This will provide fellow City Storytellers an exclusive area to tell stories and get together.
Google Map Link
Step 5: Enjoy
Of course, enjoy.
You dont have to be a big-time City Storyteller. You can also tell your stories to your friends, or as bedtime stories, or when you are drunk.