Stories Breed Stories
Connection, depth and transformation. These are the superpowers I get to unveil when I take to the stage as a storyteller. Sometimes people hand me a microphone because they think I’m a fancy public speaker. Whatever they may call my art form, what they will get is a story, because like all of us, I am a storyteller.
Storytelling runs so deep in my veins it pre-dates my ability to talk. Growing up on the autism spectrum, I wasn’t non-verbal . . .I just didn’t see a reason to talk. Other people already talked all the time anyway, bringing up abstract concepts like letters and numbers and color . . .none of which made any sense to me. It was just irrelevant nonsense until I recognized that if you knew all that stuff people would stop talking to you about it and they’d leave you alone. That was motivation enough for me!
One day I decided I would make some order out of it all. I started making up stories about the fights the numbers would have when they got together – all the adding and subtracting were of course the result of parties and fights – numbers must have families too. One-by-one concepts, colors, numbers, toys, even people got stories, because the stories made them real to me. I got so involved in creating stories that I started talking to people so that I could share them. I more or less spent all of my middle school years typing away furiously on a typewriter every chance I got. Stories lit my way from the dark recesses of the inner world of autism to the outside world where I can connect and invest in people around me.
Finding new ways to invent and share stories became one of the driving forces of my life. Drawing, writing, music, acting. The more I gave myself to story, the more it gave right back. Lyrics taught me emotion, movies taught me voice inflection, plays taught me to think . . .stories were my teachers, my lifeline and my dearest friends. The stories I took in have become so much a part of me that most people don’t even see the symptoms of autism in me at all. They see my story.
Never underestimate the transformative power of story as an art form. Whether you dance, sing, write, breathe fire or create performance art, you are a storyteller.
What story are you going to tell today?
T. A. is a local Storyteller & Creative Coach. A recent transplant to Lynchburg, she is the voice behind the company, T.A. Tells.” Feel free to check out her latest creative endeavors at her website, www.TAtells.com.