It’s the most magical time of the year. And although most people don’t realize it, the tradition of telling stories during the Yule season goes back hundreds of years. And who better to tell you a story than the big man himself, Santa Claus!
If you are a Santa that does special events, home visits, corporate events, or any place where Santa is expected to entertain for any length of time, being a good storyteller is a very useful skill to have indeed.
Christmas Performer Workshops
The concept of Christmas Performer Workshops is that it’s not a school, per se. These are ongoing resources, and I and others will help guide and develop programs for the Santa Community. If you have performing or folklore related questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
If you are looking for the Discover Branson 2016 handouts from Santa True, please head over to the Christmas Performer Workshops Branson resources.
Reasons to Build Storytelling Skills
Here are three very good reasons to add storytelling to your skill set.
- You are already half way there. You have created a character and brought it to life! Every time you answer a question about the life of Santa, Reindeer, and anything about life on the North Pole, you are touching on storytelling.
- Learning to be a good storyteller takes work. But after you have some good stories, you will be able to offer storytelling to your clients. When someone insists they want an hour and everything else is done, YOU can gather people around to share in stories that will enthrall young and old alike. And that will make the time fly. You can pull special things about that event into your stories to give them a unique story that they will remember for years.
- The various tools used by a storyteller are also used in almost every aspect of performance. They overlap and re-enforce each other. As a storyteller, your techniques for voice, pacing, characterization, and physicality are also used as a performing Santa. So many of the skills you use as a storyteller can help with doing magic, emceeing, and narrating (The Night Before Christmas, among others).
In short, training as a Storyteller will help you be a better Santa or Mrs. Claus and will give you new ways to entertain clients for longer periods of time. It can also help you have more fun and land better paying gigs.
Topics in the Workshops
Here are some of the topics that can be covered (depending on the length of the workshop).
- What IS Storytelling?
- How is the human brain hard-wired for Stories?
- The History of Storytelling and its role in society
- How was storytelling used and how will it be used today and in the future?
- Where do stories come from?
- The different types of stories: Myth, Legend, Folktale, and modern Personal Stories, Shared stories
- Storytelling Styles and Techniques (Rhyming, Call and response, Improv)
- Finding the Right Story
- Polish and Practice: the Art of the perfect story
- Speaking to truth and relevance: Connecting with your audience
- Coaching and getting the feedback YOU need
- Performance (an entire workshop in itself: Voice, Physicality, Working your Environment)
- Characterization and transitions (first person, third person, narrative)
- Beginnings and Endings
- Storytelling Resources
- Free advice for my Brothers and Sisters in Red
- One-on-One Instruction Coaching
- Storytelling workshops for one or more people via Skype
- Performance video evaluations
- Workshops at your site: by the Hour, Day, Weekend or longer. Specific workshops include:
- The History and Folklore of Santa and the Yule season
I am a professional, traditional storyteller. My specialty is bringing stories to life with fun, energy, and passion. One of the ways I do that is by delivering my stories in character. My personas come from a wide variety of cultures including Celtic, Norse, Western, and more. And one of my most requested characters is Santa True: the storytelling, singing, FUN Santa.
Teaching at the Nationwide Santa’s Convention in Las Vegas, 2015 (photo courtesy of Santa Gordon Bailey)