After 40 years of performance experience, I still thrive on reaching people one story at a time. It doesn’t matter where I present or how many are listening. Connection is everything!
I always ask myself,
“What is the purpose of the story?”
“How will I love the listener through the process?”
“How will I honour them?”
These questions are key. It removes the ego or, at least, keeps it at bay.
There was a sea of children from kindergarten to grade six at St. James School today (thank you for booking us Carla Rea-Gilmour) who willingly gestured with me as I told my story “The Old House”. In one part I invited them to sing not knowing if they would be able. They sang, “Oh Come all ye Faithful” with such heart that I stopped leading them and listened. The joy I felt in that moment is hard to explain. It wasn’t just MY story anymore, it was OUR story and they carried me through to the very end.
No longer a solo performer, the union made the story stronger. I felt blessed!
The musical backdrop intrigued them so much that one class hung back after to show us their dance moves as Clayton Jeffrey shared some techno coolness.
I was hugged, talked to and thanked by the whole community. I gulped at the amount of donations under their Christmas tree! Given the generous welcoming people I met today, I am sure the hampers will continue to grow.
One little boy talked to me about how sad he was that some of the old houses were being torn down near him. His wide-eyed thoughtful compassion made me feel like I had been given a small glimpse into the world of angels with tremendous affirmation.
It’s these moments that sustain me.