I got into a discussion yesterday which basically was around the question: What is storytelling? To me the meaning is as the word states: the telling of a story.
But what it doesn’t say is how.
You have basically two options: You can read it out loud from paper or a book, or do it from memory. Hell, you can even do either way while standing on your head if that makes your story more impressive. But to do so without script doesn’t make it more or less impressive, it just makes it more difficult and in my opinion most likely with less depth, with the odd exception here and there, which are people I deeply respect.
But unless you have something to tell which creates a real, deep, impact and are able to convey this to the audience, you do not have a story. That is why by my definition most script-less Storytelling is just Standup Improv, an attempt to be funny by regaling something you did in a funny way and get a cheap laugh.
And what you most of all DON’T do is to make fun of other storytellers doing it in a different way, or tell them they should adhere to your way or be considered less than you are. I am letting you do your thing, so why can’t you just let me do mine. Because all of that cocking and posturing has nothing to do with the actual telling of a story, which is why we came together in the first place, to tell a story.
But most of all: You do not get to set the rules on what is and what isn’t Storytelling and that doing it from memory is better than doing it from paper, simply because you are able to do something someone else can’t. You can have your personal opinions about the matter, but just don’t bother me with it, just I never told you that I think you are doing it wrong and that your stories have no depth or impact, that you, in fact, are just acting the clown. There is no definition of Storytelling apart from how a couple of people do it or have done it in the past, and only the owner of an establishment which allows Storytelling has any say in what belongs on his stage and what does not.
So the next person to tell me I am not good enough as a Storyteller as I read from paper because due to Autism it is impossible for me to actually regale it from memory as I am inherently confused just about all the time, and yes, thanks for not getting in touch with me and actually check WHY I don’t do what you think I should do, can from this point on receive a thorough and heartfelt ‘Go Fuck Yourself’ as an answer. I am a published author. What have you actually done with your life apart from being a judgmental b*tch??