Dear Friends and Family,
Stories are King
As a kid I got grief from my family because my stories would always veered toward the dramatic. Since mine was a scientific family, facts were king. When my mother died a few years ago and I became the last living member of my nuclear family, I realized that my stories were now the stories. There was no one else to offer a different point of view. This scared me.
I love using stories to bring people together, teaching performers how to tell great tales and showing executives the “powerful vulnerability” of personal stories. As a medical clown working with people living with dementia, I enthusiastically join in and extend any story they tell with no concern for facts; my job is to engage with their emotions, which are still completely intact, not with their fading memory.
When is it OK, even crucial, to veer away from facts and when it essential to stick to them? How much evil has come from one story (e.g. “It is a scientific fact that Jews are diluting the Aryan race so you must get rid of Jews to give your children a better life.”) and how many of us hold, perhaps less pernicious but still dangerous, beliefs based on stories we’ve heard?
Listen to a mini-audiobook from Chapter 26 of The Snow Clown about stories: click the link below.
Medical Clowning: The Noble Job of Spreading Joy
Check out Jeff’s recent Creative Mornings-San Francisco talk about bridging cultural gaps through art.