TSL #1: New Beginnings

I can’t believe we have a website! I can’t believe we are about to embark on our second storytelling session! I can’t believe I just ate 1/4 of a Cadbury Fruit & Nut bar!

Welcome to our brand spanking new site! You like? My husband made it. Isn’t he clever? Never mind that it took some oral manipulation, the fact is, it’s done!

I’m sorry if you missed the first episode held at That Spare Room at The Fabulous Baker Boy. It was magical. It was moving. It was hard to top.  Our 5 first-time storytellers came forward and bravely shared a piece of themselves to a roomful of strangers.

We sat enthralled as they told personal stories of PIN numbers and heartbreak, travelling to escape home and family, a childhood with no photographs, shared birthdays and a funeral, and witnessing your father marry your mother’s best friend. All amazing and brave, all true, and all with a sense of (or at least a hope for) a New Beginning. We laughed, we shed some tears and we celebrated.

As some of you may know, I am a Voice and Presentation Coach and I help people communicate better especially in public speaking. So you could say I’m an expert in the area. But I have to admit, that even for me, this whole experience was rather nerve-wrecking. It’s one thing to present numbers and annual reports, but quite another to reveal a personal story to a roomful of strangers.  That act of revealing your deepest emotions and personal truths is at once petrifying yet cathartic, vulnerable yet deeply satisfying.  It’s a bit like your first sexual experience I suppose. You spend a lot of time preparing for it and thinking about it, but once it’s over, you feel great and want to do it all over again!

I guess you could say it was a rousing success, thanks to all the loving hearts in the room. And it seemed like our apprehension about whether this format of live storytelling would work in Singapore was laid to rest.  In our fast-paced, phone-tapping, live-tweeting world, I think a simple true story told face to face still manages to move us in profound ways. One of my favourite storytellers Khalil Gibran once said, “That next to hunger and thirst, our most basic human need is for storytelling.” – What was fascinating was also hearing everyone’s comments after the session.  Everyone left feeling uplifted, inspired, moved and thinking about their own stories.

I’d like to officially thank our partners The Fabulous Baker Boy, Mr Juwanda Hassim for being such a champion! Mr Shah Tahir and Sandra for coming to help us record the sound. And most importantly, our storytellers; Alison Lester, Shyamala Narayanswamy, Jeremy Toh and Joe Augustin for being our first storytellers and hopefully not the last.


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