I began telling stories professionally in 2000 when I began teaching for South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute in Phoenix, AZ. My background in theatre, improvisation, and puppetry brings any story to life. Audience participation, character voices, first-person storytelling, and puppetry set me apart from traditional storytellers. Prepare to travel the world with tricksters, experience the Civil War, or discover the wonder of Ireland through my stories.
When I was getting my MFA in Children’s Theatre from Arizona State University, I discovered South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute. I started with one class then took a few more then started teaching, and suddenly, I had 72 credit hours in storytelling while serving as an adjunct faculty member! I would have stayed in Arizona much longer but returned to Indiana to take care of my parents. Running the theatre program for Jay Schools for 10 years lessened the time I had available for travel. However, I always made time for schools, churches, libraries, and nursing homes. Storytelling allows me to travel, see the world, and share the craft of telling with all ages.
I was honored to travel twice as a storyteller to The Holy Lands with Bibletelling.org. What an incredible experience to tell sacred stories on holy sites! Another amazing trip was to China with Jay Schools. I was able to perform stories in schools and at a reception. In Anshan, China, the students brought me to tears when they stood with respect after I told Asian folklore. Schools have requested writing workshops, which are incredible experiences. Watching students go from a blank page to a written story with illustrations about Crowbane Island is so exciting! Teachers love to share stories written by students who have rarely written in class. Amazing!
While working for Mesa Schools in Arizona, I was the Drama Specialist for 52 elementary schools. Through that position, I learned to incorporate drama, improvisation, writing, puppetry, and performance in classrooms. Helping teachers learn to bring stories to life is empowering. Performing in the classroom is great fun, but sharing my skills with other professionals— whether in a workshop or through example—gives me rewards beyond words. Teaching teachers is the greatest gift I can give back to education.