Everyone has a story in them. At least that’s what they say. But in the modern age when our lives are filled with white noise, often those stories are, at best told in 140 witty, carefully crafted characters or at worst they go untold. But here at Semple, we predict this is all about to change as we discover the lost art of storytelling.
Once upon a time, in a land far away storytelling was all they had for entertainment. It may be hard to believe in today’s digital world with 24 hour access to, well, just about everything! But in the age before TV, storytelling was how news, ideas and information were spread. Whilst the idea of stories lives on in our theatres, books, TVs and cinemas the actual art of being narrated and guided around a story has somehow been overlooked.
Originally storytellers were not narrators of fiction but instead adventurers and wanderers passing on tales of their encounters and findings and it is this form of storytelling that we seem to be rediscovering. The Moth, an acclaimed not-for-profit organisation, is dedicated to the art of storytelling and finally gives the craft an outlet. Founded in 1997 by George Dawes Green, The Moth brings storytelling to the masses, based on evenings Green use to spend with his friends in Georgia where they would gather and swap stories. It is this intimate and entrancing atmosphere that he wanted to bring to The Moth events which he launched originally in New York but can now be found in various cities around America. Green quickly found that people were drawn to these nights which have grown ever more popular and are now finally spreading their wings across the pond with the first few events taking place in London. The stories told at The Moth have to be true, told live and without notes and it is this honest, open and vulnerable approach to storytelling that has captivated audiences.
The Moth often feature professional writers and performers but they also run “Story Slams”, where audience members are selected to get up onstage and tell their story whether it be happy, sad or funny. At the Moth any story goes so as long as it is true. Even if you can’t get to one of the events you can still experience the stories from their radio show or podcasts.
Ted Talks the popular video site for “ideas worth sharing” is a more formal format but it undeniably has its origins in storytelling. The most popular Ted Talks are not the ones that hit you with hard facts from beginning to end but the ones that take you on a carefully crafted journey to get you to the final idea. This rediscovered fondness for a good story has begun to spill over into TV with Dave launching an adult version of the childhood favourite “Jackanory”. Now renamed “Crackanory”, famous faces like Sue Perkins, Warwick Davies and Simon Callow narrate us through deliciously dark and absurd tales.
So maybe everyone does have a story to tell and as we begin to see through the noisy, misleading and carefully crafted world of social media perhaps once again the world is ready to listen.
By Samantha Vandersteen