Yesterday I told a story at the Canal Coffee theatre.
Not so bad and not extra either.
But yesterday, it was not me, it was about four people having arrived in London, from various countries and continents of the world, to which we have succeeded 'finding their voice'.
Iris, a refugee from Chile, now Director of Nova, charitable organization helping people motivated "to obtain their goals."
Iris told us of her early difficulties, with authorities and with the language and last night she even showed me an album as "the Queen could not give me the medal of honor of British Empire, because I was from Chilli, but I was invited the Prime Minister's residence, and given it by... look, by him, the son of one of the PMs. "
An old gentleman of 83, Alex, arrived from Uganda, he has full of interesting stories about his country of origin, and even the energy falling on the stage to show us how he fell, when he was a little boy and had cut the feet, using the traditional "knife" inherited from fathers to oldest son, and bleeding even thought dying.
He told me "you telling the story that first day of workshop gave me confidence" to tell mine's.
Jacinta arriving from India, told us the story of how she put two more years to her passport to be able to come and how the family she worked for in London, used her day and night to work for 16 children and even confiscated her passport. The dentist hearing it helped her (and the police) so she was finally "released" after two years! Now she is married, three children of her own and in London for around 20 years.
She told her story with such a brillance!
Tseghe, Etrusquaine d'origine, told to me her story first during the workshop task "how you got your name". She hesitated, how to tell it, and finally she did it brillantly!
Her sister was married at age 11, and she was the only child of her father to be send to school, and she told us a story how 11 year old, she fled from familly and village to a city, there was taken in by a nice but strong woman "do you know work?", met by change her father who finaly let her stay, that helped by the woman's daughter when 14 years to go to Saudi Arabia where she found a job well paid.
She also has many more stories to tell!
All, had no "voice" until Joanna Yates, producer of Spark London did not offer free the workshop of "Personal Storytelling," for Nova Portobello.
She accepted me the help since September. My own example gave them courage, but it is Joanna's work that got them to the stage finally.
Yesterday they told their stories, one of their many stories, for a public of more then 40 at the theater!
I was amazed, how well they all did, without reading, great scenes and with good movements and varied voices. It was fantastic. What a joy!
We were two storyteller to speak too, to open it was my story of changing profession when back from US to France, to close, Tony, a funny storyteller, who has decided to work for a circus, after his girlfriend left him.
But the real heroes were them, to whom Joanna has given voice by her True Tales Workshop at Nova.
PS Excuses for all those storytellers whom story I resumed shortly and only as I remembered. There would be so much more to tell! The most important is: they were wonderful and they are great people that I was happy to meet.