I had a very eventful first week of my vacation in Guam. Not only did I perform a poem for the first time at an open mic, I told a story in front of an audience. This was not my first time, but it was my first competition. I would have done it even if it wasn't a competition though. I was, and am, in the mood for doing new things.
I have been a fan of the art and craft of storytelling since ever since, and still consider myself a storytelling groupie. I still have never attending the National Storytelling Festival in Tennessee, but it is on my bucket list.
There is something about this practice that appeals to me, that resonates with me. I am talking about a person or maybe 2, performing in front of an audience, and telling a story, using tools of the trade, such as gesture, intonation, memorization, and pacing, to tell a spell-binding tale. The reasons vary: to teach, to entertain, to solve climate change.
My creative expression has been the opposite of this. I write, I edit, I read. It is a challenge to speak without a script. I have gotten better over the years, but it does not come naturally.
The question for myself is: Should I stick with writing as my means of story telling, in particular playwriting? Or shall I venture into this new arena in which I have a lot of learning to do? Only time will tell. As I move forward on my quest to follow my instincts to do and show more creative work, we shall see if traditional oral storytelling will be a path for me to explore.
Diane Aoki is a writer who explores other modes of creativity as her intuition leads her.