Chaos Attraction

Improv Storytelling Workshop

2018-05-20, 9:00 p.m.

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I drove out to Antioch--which is like, waaaaay far off on deserted country roads for me-- on Sunday to attend a workshop held by the Delta Wordweavers storytelling group. A few of those folks came to the last local event (on Birthday Weekend) so I knew some folks. But mostly I went because the workshop because the professional storyteller that came to this event, Ruth Halpern, was doing it, and I liked her. She liked me apparently because she said what she remembered about me was that I was really funny!
Anyway, Ruth is a person who makes up stories, apparently frequently on the spot, and this workshop was how to make up a story in a group. She has done improv and taught along those lines.
She gave us a framework that goes along these lines:

Once there was a (who, when, where)
Every day they… (ordinary life)
Until one day (surprise!)
Because of that…
Because of that….
Because of that (repeat as needed-”If you have enough becauses, you can make War and *eace”)
Until finally (solution)
And ever since then… (moral)

You need a place (start out where you are, add some geographical features), make up some characters that need food and companionship so they leave home. They go out on a quest, meet some people, and the story ends when they get what they wanted or something else that’s good, then the resolution happens. The plot will take care of itself because you have so many details. She said to be pretty specific as to what you ask for or else people blank out, to create an environment, and you can ignore/barely acknowledge a suggestion you don’t want to take. You should try to bring it all back again to the beginning at the end.

We went around in the circle saying things like “I once knew a dog who…(fill in something),” and one where we had to imagine various rooms in one weird house, which went very Jane Unlimited after a while. We also did a story on that framework, about Jiminy Cricket and an emu looking for “royal garlic.”

It was fun, a different thing to do. I don’t know how often I’d want to go out there that distance when it’s not summer and there’s not light out past 6 p.m. (I do not think I’d want to drive those roads in the dark), but I might consider it another time or two.


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