Storytelling; A Fading Art Form?

Earlier this month, another substitute teacher I work with, invited me to a storytelling event that was to take place on the next Saturday morning. I told him I’d be there to check it out, and at the cost of $Free.99, why not?

On Saturday morning, I woke up to and jumped online to gather information about the event but found absolutely nothing. I looked up the venue to see if the venue had posted it on their website or social media pages, but still, nothing. I wasn’t even sure if the event was still going to go on? I got ready and went anyway.

When I arrived, there was no indication on any of the posters on the venue’s windows that there would be a storytelling event held that morning, but the place was open, so I walked right in. There was a gentleman working in an office inside and I asked about the event and he half-heartedly directed me to the showroom area. I walked into the showroom and was warmly greeted by what seemed to be approximately 10 people. They were so excited to see me and I was excited to see them! They each introduced themselves to me and as it turns out, they were all members of the Tellers of Tales Tucson organization who was hosting the free event. They were all so nice and from the animated way they conducted themselves, I could tell instantly that these were THE storytellers.

I wasn’t wrong. When the event began, some of the storytellers took the stage to tell an original story using the month’s theme, “Haunted”. I’ve been performing standup comedy for 16 years and as a comedian, my goal is to get a laugh every 5 to 6 seconds for 45 minutes straight! I don’t mince words or waste any, for that matter. As I sat there and listed to each storyteller, I was mesmerized at how descriptive their stories were. I was taken by how calculated each detail was. Each storyteller took my mind on a journey I never expected to be taken on. They captivated my attention with only their words and also with the enthusiasm they poured into each and every word. They weren’t trying to hit a Laughs-per-Minute scale. They were capturing my attention with each and every syllable.

I was entertained, and at the same time, saddened. I was saddened by the fact that the only people in attendance were the people of the group and one invitee; me. I couldn’t stop thinking about what a tragedy it would be to lose this type of art form. Groups like these have to contend with the digital world of YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and, well the list goes on and on.

Their next storytelling event is on Saturday, November 5th and I, for one, am not going to miss it. I will also share the event across all of my social media platforms in hopes that I can intrigue at least one or two people to come out and experience the amazing feeling I got from listening to these seasoned storytellers take me to worlds I never thought I’d be a part of. My mind lives in a world it is familiar with, but these storytellers took it to worlds its never thought of. If that isn’t intriguing enough, I don’t know what else is.


Published by Omar Tarango

I am a father, company manager, and a stand up comic. Being a stand up comic is the least funniest of the three.

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