“Sage Tyrtle tells stories so that you see yourself in them. It’s impossible not to think that the story is really about you.” – Tasleem Thawar, 10 1/2 Stories
So I’m sixteen and on a road trip with my uncle Doug and his family. Doug is the kind of guy who walks into a party and everyone runs over to hear his latest stories. It’s dark, we’ve been driving for hours, and I’ve been telling a story about what happened at school for approximately the entire trip, and suddenly Doug says from the driver’s seat, “If I hear one more word of this story I will actually die of boredom and the car will crash and we will all die.”
And I have two options: I can jump out of the car and end my worthless life, or I can say in a tiny sulky voice, “Well… YOU tell it better, then.”
And Doug tells me my own story. And it’s suddenly fascinating, full of twists and turns that really happened, but that I was burying under irrelevant facts. And I get it: storytelling isn’t a talent you’re born with. It’s an art.
Today, I’m a storyteller. I draw from a rich well of experience – including living in a tent for two years, my lesbian schizophrenic mother, almost killing people with my evil mind control (NO REALLY) – to draw my audience in and enthrall them with true stories.
I give warm and informal storytelling workshops. In 7 Week Sessions, for schools, in corporate settings, for groups. No matter what the situation, knowing how to tell a compelling story matters. It’s the difference between your audience listening, or checking their phone.
I tell stories all over Toronto, including True Stories Told Live, Dare, and Stories of Ours. I tell folktales in schools and senior centres. I’ve been invited to participate in the SOULO Festival, the FOOL Festival and the Toronto Storytelling Festival. My stories have been featured on both NPR’s Snap Judgment and CBC’s Definitely Not The Opera.
My audiences step into my odd life for fifteen minutes at a time, and sometimes their stomachs hurt from laughing. And sometimes they have to go re-do their makeup because they were crying so hard. They forget they’re in a public place. It’s just me and you. And the story.