"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trek (6 of 7): "Battling Out" Story Project Priorities

I must decide which priorities are most important for the premiere.

This is six of seven posts relating to my info-gathering trek to BYU on October 21, 2008.

Ideally all of the following options would be available, but I may need to drop one or two of them. Perhaps all of them would be possible for a future time but not for the premiere.

After much debate, here are my priorities in order of preference:
  • Out-of-town Professor, Elizabeth Ellis, to be Present
  • High Attendance
  • On-Campus Convenience
  • True to RSVPs Received for Monday, February 9th
  • Fundraiser Capability
Out-of-town Professor, Elizabeth Ellis, to be Present
Though this "Family Famine: Hunger for Love" project has been on my mind since 2005, the project did not emerge into being until Elizabeth Ellis urged us East Tennessee State University graduate students in the Storytelling program to take an incomplete for her Advanced Storytelling class. She wanted us to perform at our top caliber for the "My Finest Hour" assignment.

Finally I had enough courage to see the dream become reality.

There is a benefit for having a professor who is also a national storyteller: she travels often to reach her engagements. However, this does not mean she is in Utah every month or every other month.

When she became one of the two keynote speakers/tellers for the 2009 Timpanogos Storytelling Conference during February 5-7, I this was my chance for Elizabeth to see my performance in-person. True, I could videotape the performance and mail a copy to her, although any storyteller would tell you it is not the same.

Elizabeth Ellis would be in Utah about a week after the conference to perform for schools and community groups. Nevertheless, I could not have Elizabeth pencil in every single evening as one of the possible dates for my premiere. While a venue is determined, Elizabeth has been so kind to reserve Monday, February 9th as well as Wednesday, February 4th.

High Attendance
For any performance you want an audience and the exact number in attendance does not matter.

Yet, when your venue will have 300+ seats, then you want to fill as many as possible.

The main people I aim to attend are: Timpanogos Storytelling Conference attendees (most likely from Utah unless others extend their stay), college students, and Utah Storytelling Guild members. I expect there will also be people from chambers of commerce, youth groups, and senior citizen groups as well as other miscellaneous groups.

If the premiere is scheduled any farther from the Monday, February 9th, date and the less I would gain from the conference attendees.

With Monday known as Family Home Evening, this could help or hurt my efforts. I would like the audience to compose of 12-year-olds+ with no one younger than eight. It may be strange for parents and youth to attend and yet discourage the younger ones to be there on such a night as Family Home Evening. Although, for the student BYU Family Home Evening groups, this may be a nice activity due to the performance's theme.

On-Campus Convenience
The Timpanogos Storytelling Conference is held at Brigham Young University because of its partnership with the Division of Continuing Education housed in the Harman Building. Anybody coming from out-of-town or out-of-state may book a hotel closest to the BYU campus. Being on campus is also desired as I hope some professors will encourage attendance from their students through listing it in their syllabi or at least making an announcement in class.

If the event did not take place on-campus, it would need to be close enough for students and conference attendees. The name of the venue would also need to be recognizable and, hopefully, easy to find.

True to RSVPs Received for Monday, February 9th
Ever since I started the "Family Famine: Hunger for Love" blog and Facebook support group, the date has been announced and I have placed various countdowns throughout the Internet. I have also included the date in my email signature.

As such, I have friends and supporters who have already RSVPed.

One of my storytelling friends, Carol Esterreicher, was offered to tell stories for the Salt Lake County Library system on Monday, February 9th. Carol explained that she would need to tell another night because she was attending my premiere. She did not have to do that and she told me about it after the fact. With friends like Carol, I am truly blessed.

Fundraiser Capability
Being part of the Storytelling Heroes Campaign Advancement Team, I felt a duty in dedicating one of my performances for the 100-benefit-concert-effort to each raise at least $250 for the National Storytelling Network and further the art.

After my trek to the BYU Campus, I realized that this would involve another approval form to be filled. Being sponsored by a college department or club meant I had to abide by the campus' rules. The Family Home Evening night, if also sponsored through a religious group, would forbid the exchange of money, donations, goods, or services. There seemed little to no success even once the approval form was completed.

Having the Heroes fundraiser for this premiere would complicate an already intense project. I have other performances which would be easier to transform into a fundraiser.

So now you know where I stand.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Former Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance (2005-2008)
Tel: (801) 870-5799
Email: info@rachelhedman.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com
Other places to find me: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Professional Storyteller

No comments: