Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Guest Teller: Ivan Coyote's "Hair Today" and Stuff

This past Christmas, there were more than a few books by Ivan Coyote being wrapped and unwrapped by a twinkling tree in our houses. I picked up a CD from Ivan last November when I saw her at the Ottawa Storytelling Festival and I've been playing it for many of my friends. I need to pick up her other CDs too.

These two YouTube videos have Ivan telling a story that I heard her tell at McGill University in Montreal in 2009 (although this specific performance was in San Francisco). I have this story in one of the books I got for Christmas, but I have no recordings of it. I hope you enjoy it.

Do I sound like a fan? You bet I am, but there's something dangerous about listening or reading too much Ivan. You'd think as a storyteller myself, enjoying Ivan's work would inspire me to continue developing as a teller. Part of me wants to produce more shows, write more books, record more CDs, and just perform more often.

But instead, the opposite happens. The small, insecure part of my artistic self sees someone as great as Ivan E. Coyote and wants to just give it all up. What if I never get that good?

It's silliness, of course, and I beat down that voice and go back to working on become that good someday. There are a few things I need to work on: I need to write my own stories (both folktales and personal, anecdotal stories), I need to promote myself more, and I need to develop a show that has more to offer than just straight telling (I'm working on that already with Shayne by adding more music to the telling).

The SweLL Company has put a clip on YouTube that features Ivan (see below). I like it's format and theatrical aspects, so I need to develop something similar for my own stories. I'm imagining a dark stage with a couple of spotlights for me and the musicians, with a backdrop of animated images that suit the story. I can see a few artistic mediums flowing together there.


Anonymous said...

Wow. She is awesome!

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