Jamie Crawford is based near the South Downs in Sussex in England with this wife and three year old boy. He's been tellings stories for over a quarter of a century, and professionally for the last 10 years to anyone anywhere who wants to listen. He works as a primary school teacher and has tried his hand at many things including working on a farm and at a meditation retreat centre. I started by asking him why he became a storyteller.
I started telling by accident. It began with a request, ‘Tell us a story!’ at the end of long hot school day when I was teaching overseas. The teenagers in my class did not want Cinderella. After a moment’s desperation I began stumbling my way through a poorly remembered Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Twenty minutes later and long after the bell had gone, Gawain came home to Camelot and everyone was still listening.
What do you do to develop your storytelling skills?
Where do you get your stories from?
I also love little nut-like stories that you can spring on an unsuspecting listener in half a dozen sentences. I’ll be telling both kinds at Settle!
Though my repertoire is worldwide, I increasingly feel at home with stories that have some relationship to where I live.
Do you collect stories?
What makes a good story and why?
What is your favourite story?
Who is your favourite storyteller?
Can you give us three tips for aspiring storytellers?
- Practise the art of listening.
- Ask yourself what is the story of the story?
- Use your everyday voice as a starting point for your storytelling.
What are you reading at the moment?
What did you learn last week?
What recent piece of news has inspired you?
What's your favourite piece of music?
How do you relax?
Finally, as you're coming up to the Settle Storytelling Festival how do you like you tea? And, would you like some Yorkshire Curd tart to go with it?