Meet The Storyteller: Episode 1
Storyteller: Lavanya Prasad
From: Bangalore – India
So, whats your story?
I am a dreamer who sees everything as stories in this world. Stories are an intricate part of me. I’ve been telling stories since I learnt to speak, that’s what I heard from my maternal grandfather, the man who made me realize that stories are more than what we hear and was the inspiration behind Tale‘scope, my organization. I never dreamt that I would make storytelling my profession, but yes I am one of the lucky few in this world whose passion is also the profession. It’s been almost three years since I have been professionally telling, and there is not a day that I don’t look forward to.
I usually do solo telling, but yes Tandem works well too. There is lots one can learn when you do a tandem telling. One such is understanding and playing to each other’s strength and learning from them. Another important aspect of my style of telling is the way I use props, costumes etc. I believe less is more when it comes to costumes. Storytelling for that matter gives the advantage of playing with words to the teller. It enables the teller to change from one setting to another by just helping the audience visualize what you are telling by the right usage of words. This works with every audience I work with. Be it in schools with children and teachers, or, general public who come to my sessions in bookstores, libraries and even corporate
How did you get in to storytelling?
I love teaching and was a teacher in a school, before I took in to telling professionally. Working with children made me realize how I could use stories to play around with concepts. While that was there, the actual realization happened when I had to quit school owing to my pregnancy. The one year and a half break is when I got back to reading, something that I hadn’t done in days. And what did I see in everything I read – stories that helped me learn, helped me unlearn, made me cry and made me smile. It was then I think I made up mind to spend my life telling stories.
Because I believe that this is the most powerful tool of communication for mankind!
What is your creative muse?
Music and Dance, you’ll find them in most of my telling!
How has your storytelling journey been?
My storytelling Journey is more personal. There has been an immense emotional growth for me in this journey. And more than me finding the story, there are times when the stories found me and as a teller I had the privilege to live the life of every story I have read/told which has molded me to the person I am today.
Do share with us your highlights, your successes and challenges
Highlights – Every time when my stories resonate with the emotional mind of the listener.
Successes – When I went to tell stories in a blind school and by the end of the session when the children came to me and said – thanks for helping us see.
When a story session with a women group evoked so many emotions among the participants that led to wonderful sharing of stories.
Challenges – When I fail to help certain people appreciate this lost art and what it can do to an individual or a society
What key skills do you feel are a must-have for a performance storyteller?
A dedicated and a creative mind, a heart full of love for sharing what you know the ability to know your audience and finding and telling the story that speaks to you.
If you were not a storyteller, what would you have wanted to be
A dancer – Again I would be telling stories through dance ( winks )
What tips would you want to give someone who would want to take performance storytelling as a career?
Oral tradition is something that needs to be preserved. Take it seriously and work with your heart to give your best. And you’ll never be disappointed,for you’ll give the world something that they’ll cherish forever – your stories, the world’s stories.
Please share with us, the top five items in your bucket list.
- Travel the world, listening and collecting the wonderful stories from the nook and corner and sharing it with everyone.
- Reaching out to the lesser privileged and giving them the gift of stories.
- Visit the hub of storytelling – learn from master storytellers
- Tell in “The Moth”.
- Do my bit to help this wonderful art stay alive.
Quoting Robert Frost,
But I have promises to keep;
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.
Lavanya Prasad runs Tale’scope ( www.facebook.com/Taleescope). She lives in Bangalore, India.
Twitter : @TalescopeBlr
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lavanya is also part of the Bangalore Storytelling Society: Meetup. This is a monthly Oral Storytelling event by the Bangalore Storytelling Society that aims to revive the Oral Storytelling culture among the adults . With each meet up carrying a different theme and open to anyone interested to tell their story , they have been running monthly for over 4 years. The society has over 5000 members.