Connie Regan-Blake was on the forefront of the contemporary storytelling revival in the United States. Having been a storyteller since the 1970s, when storytelling as a modern communication method was nearly unheard of outside of a few regional areas, she’s seen some changes and challenges to the storytelling art form. In this Amphitheater interview conducted before an event at the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute, Sean Buvala (Storyteller.net director) and Connie discuss a variety of those issues as well as a current project that Connie is involved in.
While Connie certainly has a varied and complex background in performance and applied storytelling, she remains a very modern storyteller, still creating and updating stories and bringing the art of storytelling to audiences full of eager new learners as well as experienced performers. As Liz Warren mentions in her introduction of Connie (in part one of the Amphitheater) at the Storytelling Institute event, there’s “nothing dusty or musty” at all about Connie.
Sean says about the interview, “Connie seems to have storytelling ingrained in her very being. I noticed as we spoke that her descriptions of events in her life, especially of those connected to the ‘Beads for Life’ program, were accompanied by subtle and flowing gestures, as if Connie, in the very act of conversational speaking, remains captured by the elegance of the story in a simple discussion. It was fascinating to watch.”
The interview has been broken into three parts:
Part One: Introduction of Connie by Liz Warren (the audio of the intro is a bit buzzy but that noise problem doesn’t last very long) followed by a discussion of the things that Connie has seen change and in the storytelling arts, including the preparedness of new tellers and impact of the “personal stories” storytelling events in the general public. <> Listen: Part 1
Part Two: Connie and Sean talk about Connie’s work with the “Bead for Life” project, including her story of how she connected with the program. <> Listen: Part 2
Part Three: Connie answers two questions from Storyteller.net guests. She talks first about advice for the young or new storyteller as they set about becoming a working teller. With the second question, Connie discusses how she goes about learning and creating a new story. <> Listen: Part 3
Part Four is the entire interview in one file. <> Listen: Full Interview
The Amphitheater is presented in mp3 audio and should be accessible on your computer without any additional equipment.
Connie’s website is at: https://storywindow.com/
Originally published on Storyteller.net in 2013.