Katonya is an “Energy Vampire”
I just got back from talking to Bill Tortorelli’s freshman humanities seminar at Temple. The course has been focusing on various models of storytelling – like the travelogues of Marco Polo – and the biases and motivations of each author in creating a first person narrative. Bill wanted to bring the live storytelling experience into his classroom. So, with help from Temple’s GenEd program, he partnered with First Person Arts.
I gave a little spiel on the mission of FPA and our philosophy on the power of storytelling. Then Katonya took the floor and interacted with the students in true Katonya style- frank, funny and totally engaging. She got the students storytelling right away by asking the simple questions, “How are you doing today?” and “What do you think about storytelling?” She shared her principles of storytelling. First and foremost, know yourself. She talked about using the energy from your audience, being an “energy vampire,” which was how one of the students described Katonya herself.
(And Katonya is our guest storyteller at next Tuesday’s StorySlam at L’Etage! Watch her tell a story on the theme of Gifts. Here is video of Katonya using her non-linear narrative style to talk about mortification at last year’s Chicago v. Philly Slam at the Free Library Festival.)
We’ll be returning to Bill’s class on March 29th for the first ever First Person StorySlam at Temple! The theme, chosen today by the class, is Growing Up. Katonya and I (along with another “celebrity”) will be the judges. I’m psyched and while some students were honest about being nervous for the Slam, a lot of them were totally into it. I’m looking forward to some awesome stories.