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  Ottawa StoryTellers Newsletter     January 4, 2010  

In this issue:

  • note from the president
  • note from me
  • upcoming performances
  • regular events
  • event reviews
  • book review
  • gig group application procedure
image of Dean Verger standing over the sound board


  • news
  • storyTelling tip
  • recorded interviews
  • recorded story
  • storyTeller profile
  • the decline of wonder tales
  • gig group explained
Dean Verger

President's message, January 2010

Telling in a bar can be a tough gig, but it wasn't my first time. It wasn't even stacked against me: it was New Year's Day afternoon, and I knew half the audience. There I was, the only non-musical performer after an hour of musical entertainment, ranging from good to…

The audience was a little restless, but I had a good story, short and funny, and after a few words, the place was silent. Except for one table, who were chatting away, louder than me, and I had a mike. It was distracting, so much so that after a couple more sentences, I had to stop. Although I don't tell to children, I've got lots of experience quieting students down, and I could have said something, but that seemed like overkill. So I just looked at them, smiling, trying to appear patient (Anne tells me I didn't), until they sensed the whole room was waiting, and they settled down.

I carried on. The interruption threw me off a bit, but I don't think anyone realized that I'd left out an important bit of the story, and had to drag it in just before the ending. It went over well. After, I was talking to one of the musicians who followed me. The crowd had been much more unruly for her, but she just carried on and sang through it. She even told me that I'd quieted the place better than any of the musicians.

Driving home, I was reflecting on the difference. This was only my second time telling this story, while she had sung her songs scores of times, so that had to make a difference. Also, it's much more difficult to pause during a song than a story. But most important, I decided, was that if you can't hear the words, in a song you've still got the tune, but in a story, you've got nothing.

It brought to mind the signs that Dean used to have on the tables in Rasputin's. Very politely, they said "shut up and listen."

You can hear my story at the January 7 swap, if you're quiet :-) !

Oh, I almost forgot the president's report. So, the board is finalizing the 2010 budget next week, plans for the November festival have started, and we are about to start applying for grants for the year.

Happy New Year!


Note from the newsletter editor

Welcome to the second issue of the online newsletter. Throughout the last three months many members have been kind enough to add their observations and writings to this newsletter. Again, people have allowed themselves to be recorded for interviews and storytelling. Thank-you for the many comments that have come my way. Gail Anglin suggested we have a "letters to the editor" section. An interesting idea for a future edition. One of the advantages of sitting in this chair, and going out to many of the events, is finding out what is happening in the world of storytelling. Being a natural born gossip, I am in my element. So once again, thank-you for reading, listening, and telling.

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