Some people just seem to know how to tell a story. They say words, but you feel as if you are in a 3D ride at Disney. It’s pretty lucky to have that skill. But is it really luck?
I’ve been telling stories on stage since 2015. Every year, I get better, and better. What I know for sure is that storytelling is a learned skill. I’m willing to bet that people who tell stories well without any classes, probably were surrounded by story most of their life. The “know-how” just saturated their very being. My grandmom was a phenomenal storyteller. Not necessarily on stage, but most of what I know about my family history comes from her stories and a supersized bible she wrote everything in. My path to being a storyteller is different than her path.
My current level of competence comes from the people I have meet, the books I have read, and the workshops I have taken. Today, I want to take a moment to encourage you to take a workshop. It’s a great way to learn from someone who has practiced the skill and knows how to grow that skill in you.
Below are listed the ones that I know about here in the DC, MD, and VA area. There very well may be more. There are a number of things I love about the organizations below that provided workshops:
- The workshops are for all levels
- They are taught by highly knowledgeable, capable people in the storytelling area
- There are a number of different price points
- They normally provide a place for you to showcase your skills
- It’s all about getting what’s important to you out to the rest of the world.
Check out the description and links below so you can start crafting the story you want other to hear!
- Armed Services Arts Performance (ASAP)
- ASAP as a provides training in all sorts of performing arts; storytelling just happens to be one of them. There are 1 -2 workshops as well as a 5 -7 week “Bootcamp 101” class. The actual content is taught by members of Story District (see more about them below). At the end meeting once week for about 3 hrs., there is a graduation show case so students can show friends and family what they have been working so hard to develop. ASAP workshops and classes are specifically for active duty military, military vets or retirees, military dependents.
- Better Said Than Done
- Better Said Than Done brings storytelling to Northern VA since 2011, and workshops since 2012 . The workshop and class sizes are small, allowing for customized attention for each student and their story. There are one day workshops, as well as classes that last 5 weeks, meeting once a week. There are the potential for classes coming soon to MD, but that is still in the works. Better Said Than Done also offers storytelling classes to business and corporations for employee development and brand development.
- The Muse (Sheila Arnold)
- The Muse writing center in Norfolk, VA is a place for creatives of all sorts. World renowned storyteller Sheila Arnold teaches storytelling as one of the many offerings. The classes range from a few days to 1 day workshops. They also incorporate storytelling in all forms, from personal narrative, to folk tale, to historical.
- Story District
- Story District is a non-profit organization that has been doing storytelling shows in DC for over 20 yrs. They have a long history of helping people to tell a story from their lives whether for a show, for business, or advocacy, They have 1 day crash courses and 5 week classes that end with a performance.
- The Stoop Storytelling
- Located in Baltimore, MD, Laura Wexler and Jessica Henkin produce not only The Stoop Storytelling Shows and a podcast, but also workshops of varying lengths from a half day class as well as full day and corporate training. I took the half day class and thoroughly loved it.
- The Storytellers Channel
- Located in the Richmond, VA area, founders Gayle Turner & John Whitworth, use The Storytellers Channel to produce workshops and performances showcasing the authentic stories of everyday people. Under the guidance of experienced professionals, workshop participants are able to collaborate to shape and share their personal stories.
- ReStory Workshops
- Erin Mahone, founder of #IfYouCouldSeeMe, runs storytelling workshops in the Richmond area. These workshops are focused on helping individuals tell a personal, meaningful story. Class is 6 weeks. There is a showcase at the end for students to show others what they have been working on. Erin even is available for individual coaching sessions. Who wouldn’t want help telling a story from a TEDx speaker?!