Storytelling Professionally

Storytelling Professionally; The Nuts and Bolts of a Working Performer by Harlynne Geisler.Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited,. 1997. PBK ISBN 1-56308-370-1 150pp. $22.50

Geisler's book is a guide to the business of being a storyteller. In it she draws upon her own 17 years as a professional teller to cover, as the title states, the nuts and bolts of being a performer. Here is practical advice on getting started. Her advice on marketing covers establishing your niche, promotional materials, press releases and press kits, in-person promotion at showcases, bumper stickers and giveaways. She gives detailed descriptions of how she handles bookings and keeps records; how she organizes time, her office, and her library; and how to set goals. There is a section on preventing and solving such problems as telling in potentially difficult settings, and how to handle audiences that are disruptive, don't respond, or react inappropriately. There are resource lists in each chapter, and an appendix lists handy information such as the addresses of booking conferences (mostly U.S. but two Canadian),. and the national headquarters of organizations (sadly, no Canadian listings). Then there is the chapter which addresses every teller's nightmares: getting lost, being late, forgetting a booking, sickness, and voice problems. There is all of this and much more, all liberally sprinkled with anecdotes from Geisler's own experience and presented in brief, personal, easy to access sections. The result is an engaging, practical book which can be used for reference and inspiration. A godsend for beginning tellers.

The Second Story Review, Vol 2 , No. 2, June 1997

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