"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Friday, December 12, 2008

The 3:00am Discovery: Opening Story Found!

Oh how glorious it is to feel like the whole program is in place for "Family Famine: Hunger for Love"!

I wrestled at night, for my mind was bothered that I did not have an opening story. With less than two months away, I was in panic mode.

I had actually found center and finale stories for other "Family Famine: Hunger for Love" programs beyond the premiere--but no opening stories.

Yesterday I talked with Don Doyle on the telephone for some advice. I did not talk long as he was in the hospice to be at the bedside of his wife. If I had known before I placed the call, I would not have called.

Nevertheless, he brought up the Irish story The Changeling also known as The Brewery of Eggshells. My mind was shaken when he mentioned it as I had considered the story at one time for the "Family Famine: Hunger for Love" premiere. I had brushed the story aside as I thought that it was a tale too familiar with people. I tend to gravitate towards stories that few people know.

However, this may connect me with the audience faster as they hear something familiar yet shared with a Rachel twist.

So as this story tossed around in my head, I tossed about and could not sleep. Then at 3:05am I knew that The Changeling really was the story for this premiere and by 3:08am I sent an email to Elizabeth Ellis on my decision.

I had told this story for my St. Patrick's Day set in March 2008 and bookended this story with a personal moment being the oldest sister and my Mom showing off my little brother to everyone. This was similar to Mrs. Sullivan and her baby. She showed off her baby so much that the fairies exchanged her baby for one of their people.

The way I told it had humor as well as a kind of suspense found in a ghost story. I did a little research on fairies and changelings, though I could do more. This story could also address child abuse indirectly as Mrs. Sullivan asks her neighbors what to do. Some say to roast the child alive and other say to burn off its nose. I could emphasize this slightly and have Mrs. Sullivan wonder about her neighbor's children as a result of their answers.

Interestingly enough, this was my opening story in March 2008 and now it will be my opening story in February 2009!

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


Tim said...

What a relief to know which story will open! It's all coasting from here out, right? ;-)
Just kidding. Get to work!

Professional Storyteller Rachel Hedman said...

Dear Tim:

You bet it is a relief!

Though every story in the program is important, the opening story has the most pressure. The audience makes their first judgments at that time (besides the walk to the microphone). Once they "approve" of you, then it is easier to take them on other story adventures.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman