Storytelling Arts' mission is to preserve, promote and impart the art of storytelling to develop literacy, strengthen communities and nurture the human spirit.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Need to be Heard, To Express, To Communicate

It's hard to think, or write, or even talk about anything right now, while so many of us in this region are whirling off balance over the sheer devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.  But as I have been moving through my days this past week, what has caught my attention, as it almost always does (me being a storyteller, after all) are the stories people have and are sharing.  This even is so large and so all-encompassing for those of us in this area, that everyone has a tale to tell.  Whether it be stories of complete safety, or utter destruction, people seem to be yearning to share what their lives have been like in the last seven days.  I have seen time and time again this NEED, this absolutely primal need, to express what is in us, by way of a story.

 In the last year, I have been dazzled on so many occasions by how much storytelling is about relationship.  The relationship the teller has to the tale, the tale to current events, the tale to the audience, but the big one I keep coming back to is the relationship between the teller and the audience.  The way there really isn't a story until there is someone to hear it, before that, what is it?  It's a series of events.  But when there is someone to listen, someone to "hold" the words, the images, the experiences - THAT'S what makes a story come to life, whether it be a folktale or a person's saga of seeing their belongings blow away in a  storm.  It's the listening, as much as the telling - it's the communication between the teller of the tale and the listener - its relationship between one human being and another.

That's why storytelling has been around so long, and always will be.  Nothing electronic, nothing on our beloved i-phones, i-pads, or i-pods, that we were so desperately trying to charge this week (and I was as STRESSED out about this than anyone - believe me!!) can replace this basic human connection, this basic need - to be heard, to express, to communicate.  As we all struggle to get back to "normal", I think it might be nice to - along with remembering to be thankful for light, heat, water, plumbing, and public transportation, to remember that along with these things - and food and water - that there is a basic need in us all to have our stories told and listened to.  To communicate what is in us, to those who are around us, and in this beautiful way, we make community. 


JULIE PASQUAL is a self-proclaimed “creativity junky” whose first art form was dance. After graduating from New York City’s High School of Performing Arts, she danced and sang in numerous musicals across the country and Off Broadway. She has acted in everything from Shakespeare to the work of young playwrights in NYC high schools. Along the way she learned stilt walking, clowning, American Sign Language, and how to tell stories.

Her storytelling work encompasses all her skills as a performing artist, as she brings every aspect of a story to life. Her stories have been heard in such venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the New Jersey Storytelling Festival, and in schools, libraries, bookstores, hospitals, radio and private events across the tri-state area. As an artist for Hospital Audiences Incorporated, Julie performs in halfway houses, drug rehabilitation centers and senior citizen homes.