From Publishers Weekly
Aspiring storytellers will be pleased to know that Lipman's down-to-earth approach allows for flexibility rather than an emphasis on memorization. A professional storyteller who has appeared at such prominent venues as the National Storytelling Festival, he presents a thoughtful framework that can apply to anyone whose livelihood depends on keeping an audience rapt, including lawyers, teachers and salespeople, although his remarks are more specifically tailored to performing artists. Advising the would-be speaker to "think in the present" when performing, Lipman articulates basic concepts in the use of oral language (tone of voice always prevails over meaning, he says) and of imagery and gestures. He believes that retelling a story informally many times helps the speaker determine what is most meaningful about it--a connection he terms the Most Important Thing (MIT), since he firmly believes that a story's meanings flow from the speaker's MIT. In addition to a sensitive discussion of how to build a relationship with an audience, he also focuses on the importance of warm-up techniques, including the use of a "healing yawn" to reduce tension and get an oxygen boost, and numerous anti-anxiety techniques. The best result? In storytelling as in life, one must "combine the knowledge of how to work toward transformation with the patience to let it happen out of your control." (June)
Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Lipman uses theory, practical suggestions, and personal examples in this in-depth study of the relationships among story, teller, and audience. He delves into the definition of "story," structure and meaning, and models for learning a story. The author discusses the appeal of a tale to the teller; the conflicts, fears, and other psychological issues it may raise; and the emotional work that must be done before the telling. He explores the transfer of the tale's imagery by means of oral language, facial expression and body language, and voice. The book is easy to read and has an engaging and personal style. Lipman's guide is based on his own experience and that of other professional tellers. It is a must for those who strive to gain a higher level of skill, and who wish to make the story a transforming gift to the listener.-Judy Sokoll, formerly at Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.