Jim is an East Vancouver-based storyteller, actor, songwriter, musician and occasional clown who has performed both as a solo artist and with a variety of musical groups. As a storyteller, Jim's mission is to tell his own story and to support others to gain the skills to find and tell their stories. He works to implement this mission by performing, teaching and researching storytelling. His approach is to work to create a safe and inclusive environment that welcomes all contributions. Workshop content is based on an iterative approach developed in the moment to address the needs of those in the room. Jim has written, produced and performed a number of solo storytelling shows that have been part of Fringe Festivals across Canada. As a musician, Jim has performed at the Vancouver Farmers' Market, Granville Island and a variety of venues around Vancouver.
[Students] enjoyed Jim's presentation and the experience of storytelling. They suggested I offer this regularly as part of the course because it offered them an opportunity to develop stronger connections to each other. . . . Many felt that in sharing their stories they discovered things about themselves and understood their lives in ways they hadn't be able to before. The experience of creating and sharing their personal stories made a difference in their lives. Pamela Smith, English Teacher, Byrne Creek Community School
I am so grateful you came and visited our English class. It was a pleasure listening to your story and what you had to say about ours in giving feedback. Thank you very much for spending your time with us. Keep up your good work. You should definitely go to other schools and spread your knowledge of storytelling. Student, Grade 11, Byrne Creek Secondary
I highly appreciate you coming to our class and teaching us how to tell stories. I've learned how to explain stories thoroughly and express my emotions in a way I've never done before. This new skill has made me grow closer with specific friends and family because they seem a lot more interested in my stories now. This has also taught me to share very personal and private stories a little more effortlessly. Student, Grade 11, Byrne Creek Secondary
Human Library was started by a group of five individuals who founded the organization Stop The Violence after a brutal attack on a mutual friend. The first Human Library was held in Denmark in 2000 and the concept has since gained huge popularity and momentum. Over the past 12 years in over 65 countries, thousands of "human books" have connected with "readers" from all walks of life. The project involves recruitment, orientation and training of community members and students who have personal experiences of exclusion and discrimination. Students are able to check-out a human book for a 20-30 minutes session which consists of an overview as well as conversation and "question and answer" session.
This is a longer-term project for students who have mastered the basics of storytelling. Over the course of a LIFE LESSONS project students work to develop an hour-long storytelling performance that may include additional elements such as music, poetry, etc. The ideal performance blends genres, topics and moods to create a tapestry that reflects themes that are important to the presenters. This activity is best for High School age students.
One of the foundations for storytelling work is a format developed by The Moth, a storytelling event founded in 1997 and which occurs regularly in cities around the world. Stories in this format are TRUE, about YOU, and told in as FEW words as possible (about 5-10 minutes). TELLING MY STORY provides a basic introduction to this format for personal storytelling over the course of two sessions. Session One (60-70 minutes) utilizes a large group presentation, storytelling examples (live and recorded), and small group discussion to provide an overview of the art of personal storytelling. The goals of this session are to help students understand what personal storytelling is, know how to develop their own personal story, and understand how personal stories can benefit personal development. Session Two (60-70 minutes) includes time for a summary of the previous session, small group practice time, sharing and feedback with the large group, and time to debrief and review with participants. The goals of this session are to give students an experience of personal storytelling as a listener or teller, develop an understanding about how to create personal stories and move stories to the next level, and understand the uses of personal stories outside the classroom.