When extending trust to someone we believe they are both capable of the task with which we entrust them, as well as, believing they embrace the values by which we will judge their performance. The following values are the behaviors we at The Storytellers Channel embrace and expect the members of our community to embrace.
Promptness – Woody Allen said, “Showing up is 80% of life.” In the world of theater and the performing arts showing up on time is the beginning. In our world, Call time is when you’re present and prepared to begin work; showing up promptly shows respect for yourself, your fellow artists, your craft, your art, your story. It is not just the beginning; it is THE beginning.
Promptness is the height of courtesy. Please be at the rehearsal hall ready to begin when each workshop session begins. Rushing in late disturbs the experience for everyone. If you know you’ll be late (heaven forbid), please notify your director ASAP. On showcase/performance dates, Do Not be late, period.
Preparation – The Boy Scouts of America’s motto is Be Prepared. In our world this is the result of rehearsal. Storytellers prepare for rehearsal by learning their story (their lines in the world of theater) so when they are in rehearsal they can take chances, risk failure to learn what works and what works better.
During the process of developing work the way we do, it’s important you know what you’re going to present/work on that night. Take advantage of the time between workshop sessions to explore your options, so you can take advantage of your precious time with your fellow storytellers.
Courage – Courage is having the heart, the will, to overcome fear and do what needs be done. Courage is being vulnerable and telling the truth as you see it. Our stories are our witness to the truth of our lives. Standing up and telling the truth to our family, our friends, our communities can be frightening. Take heart, stand tall and share the gift of your wisdom.
The value of the time in the workshop is gaining experience and confidence in sharing your story in a manner that connects with your test audience (your fellow storytellers).
Performance – In the end, the proof of the story is in the telling. Whether in rehearsal or performance, no one is interested in what you’re trying to do. In the immortal words of Yoda, “Do or do not, there is no try.” We come to rehearsal, we tell our story, and we receive our notes. We say, “thank you.” And then we use the feedback however we see fit. After all they are our stories and we will tell them as truthfully as we are able. Our reason for workshop-ing our stories is the value of a first “audience” to reflect our fledgling performance back to us to see if we are achieving our goal of telling our truth well.
Attention – In his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey encourages us to Seek First to Understand, Before We Seek to Be Understood. Whether listening to our fellow storytellers in rehearsal, receiving our notes, or pausing to allow our audience’s response it is imperative we keep our minds focused on the task at hand. This is not easy, but the return on the investment is immense.
Progress – We revere the lifelong commitment to learning. Through learning comes growth. Growth requires change and change is dangerous. Rehearsal is where we initially, courageously face that danger. We work every day on our stories, trying new ways of telling our truth with the express purpose of getting better at our craft. Our vigilance is dedicated to enhancing our capacity to structure a compelling tale, to tell it in a manner that will make people not only want to pay attention, but to ask us to tell our stories, our truth, again and again. And if we’re truly successful, our audiences will share our stories to others.
Truth – At the interpersonal level, trust is the cement that binds all relationships. As such, it’s incumbent upon us as individuals to be worthy of trust. Clear communication aids this fundamental goal. Whether one to one or telling our story to the multitudes our goal is to tell our truth in such a way as it will be heard. This isn’t just about the facts, the denotation of our words, but the heart and soul of our communication, the connotation, as well.
Courtesy – It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Candor is a powerful weapon; just as truth can be dangerous and hurtful. Standing up and telling your story, your truth, requires courage. Our goal is to give honest, constructive feedback to encourage our fellows to continue to develop their storytelling capacity. Kindness goes a long way. Or as the old saying goes, “You can attract a lot more flies with honey, than with vinegar.” The same should be said of our stories; we tell our stories to honor our subjects.
Creativity – In the end, all we do is in service to our craft, our art; which, in turn, is in service of our communities. All of the preceding values are in place to encourage behaviors that demonstrate our respect for our art, ourselves, and our communities.