After having acquired considerable experience telling a wide variety of stories to diverse audiences, the storyteller begins to think about telling for money. The development of a program then becomes a goal. Little information deals with this aspect, so the falling are some general factors to consider.
Brainstorm what stories you know well enough that someone might pay you to tell.
Identify the sources of these stories: how many are copyrighted and how many are traditional (copyright free tales)? Anything under copyright will require written permission, and possibly a fee, if it is used in a situation in which you will make money from it.
Look at those traditional tales ,or your original tales, in a new light. Can you give it a new “slant” or perspective? Change the viewpoint, setting, main characters, or mix up elements from several tales to create a uniquely original one.
Outline the order of the stories you plan to use. Is there a theme or motif? Are there linking ideas between the stories? Think of ways to visualize the theme. How will you transition between stories? How will you vary interest and attention? Are the stories appropriate to the audience in regards to content, topic, and time?
Practice, practice, practice!
Have several small, good quality, professional head shots taken in black and white.
Invest in a small run of quality business cards or brochures.
Investigate how much performers are making in your area (check with the public library and they can provide you will some general information about the performers they hire). Consider: Length of performance, amount of preparation required, number of performances involved, travel costs.
Be aware that most places will not have much money.
Be aware that there are only a limited number of performances venues and most people will have total ignorance of the scope of storytelling. They will think that storytelling can take place beside the battle of the bands or the dance competition in the next tent. That a single voice can be heard in the open air for an audience of 300 without use of a microphone and with a strong Oklahoma wind blowing! They will think that the specialized program for middle school students (on original oral stories from the Medieval Period) can be adapted (without consultation) to fit the elementary school next door. The series of small, manageable class or grade level groups you were scheduled to tell stories to has, on arriving at the school, become an auditorium of everyone, from the preschoolers to the custodian, and they are already early!

No comments: