Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Storytelling Fan Girl

When I was just scouting storytelling as a performance option, I attended the 2005 edition of the Ottawa Storytelling Festival.  And that's where I became a fan girl.

The specific set I'd targeted was a telling of the Lady of Shalott, the tale of the beautiful maiden who loved the not-so-pure knight Lancelot.  Hark!  Forsooth he never loved her back, never even truly noticed her.

And she, like a daft maiden, ended her life.  For a boy.  Seriously?  I mean, I hear he was shiny and all, but still!

Anyway, it was this set that turned me into a fan girl.  It was a very well done amalgamation of various Lord Tennyson poems from Idylls of the King, one of my favourite cycle of poems.  Plus, it was accompanied by a harp.  Neat, eh?  The storyteller, Ruthanne Edward, was evenly paced and wrought all of the right emotions, while looking stunning in a red medieval dress.

OMG! It's Ruthanne Edward!
After the show I merrily went book shopping at a vendor's table and, suddenly, there stood Ruthanne Edward beside me.  I remember thinking: "OMG, it's Ruthanne Edward - say something cool!" (Except it was Oh my God.  We didn't OMG back in 2005.  And I didn't say anything cool.  I tried but failed. Sigh.)

In 2008, it had been a long winter and I needed some light.  So I asked some of my favourite performers/poets if they wanted to throw a show together, just for fun.  Sean Zio, spoken word artist, Kathryn Hunt, Lady Poet, and, of course, Ruthanne Edward, all answered that call.  We had so much fun we formed the Kymeras, and I got to perform with one of my favourite storytellers on many occasions!  How awesome is that?

Okay, so I'm gushing because today Ruthanne is turning 40. She's throwing a party tonight, and invited some of her performer friends to put on a show.  She's one of those people that shows us all that each decade can be even better than the last. I've only been her friend for the past five years, and she's constantly grown and challenged herself while staying true to her core values, and it's inspiring.  I'm loving my 30s, but I now know that my 40s will be awesome as well, and I hope that when I throw my 40th birthday party, Ruthanne will be there to perform.

Because I'm sure I'll get that little rush of excitement I still get every time she stands on stage to tell a tale and I think "OMG, it's Ruthanne Edward!" 

Happy birthday, Ruthanne!

Check out some of her telling to understand why you should be her fan, too!