STORIES / spoken

Childhood | Adulthood: Episode 1 / audio / 33:00  >

My work as a visual artist and eccentric musician ceased when I became a single mother with two young children. But I started to write. Having kids sparked memories of my own childhood. I wrote personal stories about the family I grew up with. I discovered I loved to write and I have continued doing so.

The films I made when my kids were older were based on stories I’d written. There was a Little Girl is an autobiographical film, and I’m Here It’s Me Can You See combines a personal story and a series of interviews. Films take a long time to make and though the visuals add an additional dimension to the stories, I have too many stories to turn them all into films. It was time to work in a medium that was not quite as time-consuming.

At first I crafted my stories to be read. But after a while I wanted them to have a sense of immediacy. As I have terrible stage fright, I initially nixed the idea of working on spoken stories. But it also seemed like the obvious form to present them in. I decided it was time to try something new well out of my comfort zone. I knew I would crumble going in cold to an open mic, so I signed up for some storytelling classes. I was fortunate in choosing classes taught by an excellent storyteller, Adam Wade, who has told many stories at the Moth and other venues. The other students in the classes were smart and thoughtful with open minds and great stories.

And so, in late middle age, I am entering a new world, challenging myself and looking forward to the time I can get on stage and not have to quell my overwhelming anxiety. Despite this, I’m having a hell of a lot of fun.

My interest in personal stories goes beyond my own, so I have also embarked on a project where I interview people about their lives. The theme is Childhood / Adulthood. Check out Episode 1: Stephanie.