How do I know if I’ve got a story?
The key skill of a good storyteller is that they can look at the raw clay of their own experience and make out the shape of a story within it. One good test of a story is that you will probably have told it before, maybe just to friends, and they will have passed it on to other people. That pass-it-on factor is one sign of a good story. If it doesn’t pass that it’s probably an experience rather than a story.
What sort of thing are we looking for?
Impossible to answer. We’re fascinated by people who’ve had experiences, done jobs, been places and seen things that we haven’t: served with the Guards in Afghanistan, stolen a painting from an art gallery, defended a petty criminal in court or attended a high end bondage party in Paris, for instance. Then again lots of our best stories have been quite simple tales of experiences we’ve all had: love affairs, career reverses, problems with family, being caught short on London Transport after overdoing the syrups at a well-known fast food outlet. That kind of thing.
How do I know whether I could stand up in front of those people without notes and talk for no longer than ten minutes?
Because you’re no fool and you will have organised your story into a beginning, a middle and an end, left out anything that doesn’t need to be in it, got rid of all those jokes that are just there because you can’t resist getting a laugh and then, most importantly of all, you’ll have practised and practised and practised. If True Stories had a motto it would be the famous golfer’s one: “The harder I practise, the luckier I get.”
Do I have to audition?
We wouldn’t have put it as formally as that but we would certainly want to talk to you a few weeks beforehand and advise you how best to tell the story. Some of our storytellers are quite experienced while others are doing it for the first time. In either case they seem to appreciate our input.
Still not put off. What do I do now?
Get in touch and one of our highly-trained advisors will get in touch with you and talk further about it. Don’t worry. No salesman or bearded bloke with a bell on the end of a stick will visit your home.