In InterPlay storytelling, we believe that some of the most important messages about living and loving come in the form of mundane details.
For example, I could begin a story by saying how life changing it was to witness the birth of my niece… OR
I could tell a story describing the black smudges and tiny swirls on my newborn niece’s finger tips as she received her very first fingerprints.
Both versions tell the same story, but the first gives away the punchline whereas the other gets there along a sneakier path. Perhaps this is what my English teachers meant by “Show, not tell” (which I now repeat ad nauseum to my essay-writing coaching clients).
Tonight at my InterPlay Performance Technique class we practiced telling seemingly mundane stories about the most profound or important moments in our lives. Here are some of the favorite details I heard from our talented Tuesday Night storytellers:
- The handiwipes tucked into a son’s luggage as mom sends him off to college
- The lemonade from Trader Joe’s that accompanied the sharing of a life changing revelation
- The importance of showing firemen-in-training how to wield their axe
- A graduate’s backache as she carries the boxes to the new house.
For all the InterPlay teachers out there, here’s the class outline (my apologies to those of you who don’t know the lingo):
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- Babbling in partners: (1) tell as many details as you can about a mundane moment today, (2) tell as many details as you can about the most important moment in your day, (3) tell a three sentence story that describes a mundane details from the same important moment you just talked about. Notice in a group.
- New partner. Make a list of important moments in your life that you could talk about.
- DT3: Perform DT3’s for your partner. Dance first, then talk about a mundane detail about one of the important moments in your life. Repeat this two more times.
- Reflect in a circle together. Then, perform short DT3’s (the 3-sentence story variety) for the entire group.
- Group hand dance while humming our own music.