Meet The Storyteller: Episode 3
Name: Marianne Christensen
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So, what is your story Marianne?
I was born on a family farm in 1954, but grew up in different places on the island Lolland in Denmark, because my father changed from being a farmer to working as a mechanic.
I was educated as a teacher and have used storytelling in my teaching. For many years I worked semi professionally with drama and theatre, and in 2003 I became a storyteller part time. In 2011 I quit my job and became a full time life coach and storyteller.
How did you find yourself storytelling?
I have always loved hearing stories, and as a teacher I started making examples and using storytelling for better learning. I later learned about ‘storytelling as a healing art’’, using metaphors for a change in people’s mind, in organizations and communities. I use the principles of storytelling in my coaching business as well.
I tell lots of stories for amusement, because it is always good to be touched in your heart and your emotions, whether it makes you laughing or crying or maybe just thinking.
I also use storytelling as a way of showing my listeners new and different worlds, new possibilities for ways of living, thinking and behaving. When using a story, a parable or a metaphor it can be easier for at person for example to cope with a new and better ‘truth’ than a limiting perception and belief of what is possible in life.
What is your creative muse?
Conversations between people, things I read, sentences I hear, a walk in nature, driving along the highway in my car and of course the books I read. I feel that inspiration is everywhere, because I am very curious and alert to new stories and perspectives on how to feel better and live a wonderful life.
How has your storytelling journey been? Do share with us your highlights, the successes and the challenges.
Since I started being very shy, just telling for people I knew, a long journey has been going on.
Highlights are situations like when after a performance someone from the audience comes to me and tells me, that my story changed her mind, taught her something or gave her hope for something, she was longing for, or maybe just comforted her in her current situation.
Participating in festivals have been great highlights and especially coming to Nairobi and meeting the storytellers and musicians from Zamaleo Act were outstanding experiences. I met a totally different culture there, but behind the differences I found a warm and loving similarity amongst us in humor and spirits. We had so much fun, and I felt that our stories made a difference for our listeners. The friendships that were made also count as very important highlights.
What key skills do you feel are a must have for a performance storyteller?
Awareness, presence and a humble approach to the value of the story in itself. A storyteller must be able to give room for the story and not ‘flash’ herself; the teller is the media for the story.
If you were not a storyteller, what would you have wanted to be?
I am educated as a schoolteacher, a job I loved for both children and adult. If I were to start over, I might have wanted to become a psychologist.
What tips would you give someone who wants to take Performance Storytelling as a career?
Be sure you really want it, it is hard, and fun, work. Stay humble.
Please share with us the top five items in your bucket list.
- Write a song to be sung by a professional singer.
- Publish a book.
- Live for at least two months in another country.
- Enjoy every day, fill it with love and joy and stay happy.
- Take a looooong ride on the back seat of a motorbike with a nice man
Any parting Shot?
I am sure I want to keep telling stories as long as I can. I love it.
Nørregade 18, 4760 Vordingborg, phone +45 30254774