"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Listing and Building Allies around Campus

Every so often I think back to my professors at Brigham Young University where I majored in Communications Marketing with a Business Minor. I chose this combination because it was the closest to storytelling. My decision to being a professional storyteller was decided before I setup my dorm room.

From 1997 to 2001, I had professors who supported the idea that storytelling made the most powerful marketing and advertising campaigns. Most of my research papers were allowed to have the art of storytelling as the focus, which included my Honors thesis entitled "Transformation of the Storyteller's Identity and Role through the American Storytelling Movement". Announcements could be made in class about the BYU Storytelling Club activities. Thanks to how I sometimes used other voices such as a witch to make the announcements, even best-selling author Brandon Mull with his Fablehaven series remembered them when I saw him seven or more years later during a writing conference.

Is it any surprise that I would remember my professors for the "Family Famine: Hunger for Love" narrative production? Normally, being only a little more than an hour from BYU, I would stop in-person to make my requests. With the Fall Semester starting August 27th, I felt urgency was in order.

I went to the BYU website, discovered the telephone number for the Department of Communications and checked to see which of my professors were still around the campus. I left some voice mails though was able to speak directly to one of them.

"Remember how there was a class where we helped local businesses with a marketing campaign?" I asked. "Well, I am a professional storyteller and a small business owner--even if by small I mean one person."

"Oh, that would be Communications 330." my professor responded. "I'm not teaching that class this semester, but these are the ones who are. . .." He continued that professors of the Public Relations emphasis would be good to pursue, too.

I received telephone numbers and emails. My next step is to put a one-page proposal of what I would like done for my project. There is no guarantee that my project would be chosen by the professor let alone by the class. Yet I find only positive possibilities.

Besides the Department of Communications, there are several areas at BYU that would be a boon to my work.

For example, the college television station KBYU is the same one that partnered with PBS to create the high-quality "The Call of Story" DVD. As I want my premiere to be recorded--with at least three cameras for angles--then this seems the most likely group to do it for me.

Since my topic is on the family, then approaching the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences makes sense. The performance is not until the Winter Semester so there is time to have professors add attendance to the event as part of their syllabi. With the use of multicultural tales, I can go to the College of Humanities and have support from the Humanities and the Folklore professors.

Not to mention the BYU Storytelling Club still exists since I founded it in 1997 and their support would be tremendous.

My list of allies grows and I am anxious to hear back from all of them.

Until we tell again,
Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance
(801) 870-5799
How-To Blog: http://storytellingadventures.blogspot.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com

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