The problem with the storyteller is that it is a kind of system failure, many storytellers even believes that this art can not be taught, despite the fact that tradition refers to a formal or informal learning situation. The system failure is that the stories have become fair game, so far that one as contemporary storyteller invokes the right to tell stories that are far beyond one’s own culture, a culture colonization many get paid to implement.
A couple of years ago I saw video of a young Norwegian storyteller I had never met, she was a student of a student and I recognized the young storytellers hand gestures as my own. This is another side of this “system failure” to learn the craft, we must copy – this is implicit in the telling. I have taught this subject at HiOA since 1996 and know from experience that this is a necessary way to learn the art form. It is of course incredibly provocative, once I spoke harshly to a student something I regret strongly in retrospect, I have had to accept that students take your repertoire when it comes stories and verbal and non-verbal language. And this is also a phase even I went through, I stole or copied the storytellers I recognized something in, until the day I found my own expression. But getting there takes a long time, this the master knew who slowly led his student into the artistic expression. What is bad is that we are so eager for storytelling to be recognized as an contemporary artform that we forget and in some cases dismiss the tradition, because the tradition carried something which now might be experienced as gone and that is a fundamental respect for the master of the artistic expression.