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The Newsletter of the Story Circle of the Capital District


Editor and Publisher: Claire Nolan 11 Norwood Street Albany, NY 12203 (518) 209-6477

Email: cbnolou@yahoo.com

Visit our web site at http://timesunion.com/communities/storycircle


August/September 2007 Issue

"We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth …

~ Pablo Picasso


Meeting Notes

June 20

Roundtable discussion: Crafting Historical Stories led by Kate Dudding

Carol Connolly, Facilitator

Stories told:

Adam Hoffman   The Hare and the Hedgehog             from Grimm

Betty Cassidy      The Edge of the World                     folk tale

Louise Koenig       The Monster Den: Look What Happened at My House -John Ciardi

Kate Dudding        Jury Summons                                 original

Listener: Carol Connolly


July 17

Nancy Payne - Facilitator

Stories Told:

Joe Doolittle         Dr. Ida and Drums in the Night            Semi-original

Adam Hoffman      The Sobbing Ghost                               Story he has read

Kate Dudding         Keeping Secrets                                   Original, Historical

Nancy M Payne      The Brownies of the Lake                    Folktale 

Story Circle Business News

Meetings run from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the William K. Sanford Public Library and 6:00 to  9:00 p.m. at the Guilderland Library (GPL).  Every other month, from 6:15 to 6:45  at Guilderland, we will have a topic for panel/roundtable discussion.  

GPL: August 15; 7:00 – 9:00 (No Round Table for Summer Meeting); William K. Sanford: September 18, 5:00 pm, Annual Dinner Meeting, The Club Room at Calloway Grill 661 Albany Shaker Rd. Albany, NY 12211 (518) 869-9893

Upcoming Events 

Family Programs 

August 1-–Frank-Lee Speaking at North Country Academy, Queensbury NY 10:30 a.m.  For more information please call (518) 458-1781.

August 2--Tales ‘n Tunes will tell at Cady Library, Nichols, NY. A Summer Reading Program performance. 10:00 a.m. Free.  Call (607) 699-3835 for information.

August 2--Frank-Lee Speaking in Delmar NY 10:30 a.m. For more information please call (518) 458-1781.

August 3--Tales ‘n Tunes will appear at Penn Yan Public Library, Penn  Yan, NY. A Summer Reading Program performance.  2:00 p.m.  Free.  Call  (315) 536-6114 for information.

August 8 Dee and Frank Wind Family Program at Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga, NY 10:15 a.m. For more information please call (518) 458-1781.

August 15--Tales ‘n Tunes at Collar City Live! at Riverfront ParkTroy, NY. Noon. Free. Open to the public. For info, go to  www.uncle-sams-home.com/collarcitylive.  

August 16--Tales 'n Tunes--New Lebanon Public Library, New Lebanon, NY.  A Summer Reading Program performance -- “Super Sleuth Solves It @ the  Library” 11:00 a.m. Free. Call (518) 794-8844 for information. 

August 16--Tales ‘n Tunes will perform at Chatham Public Library,  Chatham, NY. A Summer Reading Program performance.  2:00 p.m. Free.   Call (518) 392-1546 for information.

August 17--Tales ‘n Tunes will perform at Pittsford Community Library,  Pittsford, NY. A Summer Reading Program performance. 2:00 p.m. Free.   Call (585) 248-5493 for information.

August 25--Claire Nolan will be telling stories around the campfire at Emma Treadwell Thacher Nature Center  at 7:30 pm87 Nature Center Way; Voorheesville, NY, near Thacher Park. Call (518) 872-0800 for directions.

 Adult Programs

July 29--Lorna Stengel and Kate McClelland with “Around the Campfire” at Schoharie Crossing, Fort Hunter, NY6:00 p.m. Call (518) 829-7516 for information.

August 5--The Storycrafters with “Tell Tale Stories for the Mysteries of Life” at Schoharie Crossing, Fort Hunter, NY6:00 p.m.  Call (518)829-7516 for information

August 12--Alan McClintock with “Tales from Near and Far” at Schoharie Crossing, Fort Hunter, NY6:00 p.m. Call (518) 829-7516 for information

August 19--Len Cabral with “Stories of Color from Around the World” at Schoharie Crossing, Fort Hunter, NY6:00 p.m. Call (518) 829-7516 for information

August 21 6:30 Pot luck, storytelling show by Verena Tay, Singapore storyteller, and swap (in that order). Held at the home of Gail George outside Scotia. No charge, but we’ll have a free will donation basket to help Verena on her travels. To RSVP  and for directions:  Marni 381-9474 or marnigillard@earthlink.net

August 26--Bob Reiser with “Tall Tales, Shaggy Dogs and Fabulous Fools” at Schoharie Crossing, Fort Hunter, NY6:00 p.m. Call (518) 829-7516 for information

September 6 Interfaith Story Circle at the  College of St. Rose Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary, 959 Madison Avenue. Sharing Stories of Compassion and Collaboration Among the Jewish, Christian and Islamic Faiths. Vegetarian pot-luck meal 6:00; storytelling: 7:15 to 8:45. For additional information, contact Gert Johnson, 374-0637. FREE - Listeners and Story Tellers Welcome. Dr. Mussarat Chaudhry, Nancy Marie Payne, and Audrey Seidman facilitators

September 9—-Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi with “Old Wives Tales: Stories of Women and their Husbands” at Schoharie Crossing, Fort Hunter, NY.  6:00 p.m. Call (518) 829-7516 for information.

On September 29 "Frank-Lee Speaking" will be featured at Cindy's Retreat in Silver Bay.  The performance will be at 7 p.m. For more information please call (518) 458-1781.

October 14--Four Stories High will perform a program of "Leaves, Loves, and Lunacy" at Story Sundays at the Glen Sanders Mansion, 1 Glen Avenue, Scotia. 5:00-8:00 p.m. Dinner and stories. $27. Call 384-1700 for reservations.

Among Ourselves

Local author and Story Circle member, Eric Randall has published a helpful companion to the popular Harry Potter series of novels.

 Pottersaurus: 1,500 Words Harry Potter Readers Need to Know by Eric Randall

“Bác Eric D. Randall, Canada thường xuyên đọc Harry Potter cho con gái, Julia, mỗi khi có tập mới..” That’s what a Vietnamese website had to say about my book, The Pottersaurus:1,500 Words Harry Potter Readers Need to Know.

The Pottersaurus is a dictionary of the challenging vocabulary words that appear in the Harry Potter books, such as “elude” and “omniscient.” Each entry includes at least one example of how the word is used in Books I-VI of the series. No “magical” terms are defined -- just words from the English language. 

The reason "Canada" appears in the quote above is that the Vietnamese translator apparently picked up the story from the website of a newspaper in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Stories about my (self-published) book have also appeared in newspapers in Beaumont, TX; Columbia, SC; Columbus, OH; Lakeland, FL, Minneapolis, MN, and Wichita, KS, among others. Most stories were pickups of a single story written by the Times-Union.

My daughter (who helped with the book) and I were guests on WAMC’s Roundtable on July 18, and Channel 6 interviewed me and ran a story on July 19.

I wish I could report that all this publicity has generated huge sales, but I still am a bit shy of the 325 million copies that J.K. Rowling has reportedly sold. I’ve had plenty of expenses (printing, graphic design, cover photography, website design, postage, etc), so I don’t think this book will end up paying for my daughter’s college tuition.

On the other hand, one major publishing house has expressed interest in publishing a second edition of the book, which will include words from the newest HP book. And there has been extraordinary interest in the book in Korea, where I have received inquiries from four publishing agencies including Random House Korea.  One firm has made an offer in writing for translation rights. If anyone knows anyone with expertise on selling foreign publishing rights, please let me know!

- Eric Randall

You can learn more at www.pottersaurus.com.  Pottersaurus is $9.95

and is available through the website and at local bookshops including the Book House & Market Block Books.

You can also buy the book directly from Eric when you see him – he keeps a box in his car and he will be happy to autograph it for you.


(Curious readers will want to know if and how Mr. Randall defines “git”.)


Opportunities for Storytellers


The 12th annual Tellabration, is Sunday November 18th, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Whisperdome (First Unitarian Society of Schenectady, 1221 Wendell Avenue, Schenectady). Theme: Laughing Matters at the Whisperdome

 Audition Guidelines for Potential Tellers at Tellabration 2007
 - Potential tellers must be Story Circle members; new members are encouraged.

 - Potential tellers must have performance experience.

To audition you may choose to:
(a) Give a live audition of one story for the co-producers and members of the program committee at one of the following venues:
Sept. (Date TBA) 7:00 pm Moon and River Café Open Mic (call 384-1700)

Sept. 9 7:00 pm Saratoga Open Mic at Café Lena
Sept. 18 7:00 Story Circle Meeting at Colonie Library


(b) Submit a tape/CD with one or two stories on it. Send tape/CD by September 1 to: Kate Dudding, 8 Sandalwood Drive, Clifton Park, NY 12065-2700.
• The theme is “Laughing Matters at the Whisperdome.”

Submission details for both live auditions and tapes/CDs:
1. On a piece of paper:
• Teller's name, address, telephone and email address

For each story include:
• Name of story
• Source of story
• Length of story
• Type of story (folk tale, literary, etc.)
2. Start each story on the tape or CD with its title.
Please consider auditioning and helping us to make this the best Tellabration ever!   
Joe Doolittle and Kate Dudding, Co-producers

Storytelling Tips

Compiled by Carol Connolly

A Storyteller’s Conundrum: Do I Do the Freebie Gig?


A client calls and asks a storyteller to perform at their event. BUT, there is no budget for remuneration. However, it’s at an event (at the Mayo Clinic) where folks in the audience  have affiliations with other groups. What to do?


David Joe Miller, deejumtell@yahoo.com, of the Philadelphia area writes: “This is one of those "freebies" that offer a lot of opportunities. I would do it for free or for what little they are paying just to put myself in front of those "right" people.  I've done "high exposure" events just like this and have booked several residual gigs from them. You never know who will be listening in the audience or who is on the board of the fund raising arm of Mayo or on the board of the charity that is raising money. In my opinion, the key is to take this opportunity to use as much ‘shameless self promotion’ as possible.  Network, build off of it and use it as a reference in promotional materials.   Having a reference of the Mayo Clinic Pediatric Research event looks and sounds very impressive.  I say, go for it.  Have fun, make a difference and use the experience to book more paying gigs....  This can be a WIN-WIN event for you AND them, not just a ‘freebie.’ “


Granny Sue Holstein, holstein_susanna@hotmail.com, from Sandyville, WV says: “Yes, I've done the same thing, David. I did a presentation for a teachers’ conference in February…. that has to date brought me about $1200. I did it because I have few gigs in February, it was a chance to meet teachers from all over the state, and the organizer is a good friend. And it gave me an opportunity to develop a new workshop that I'd been thinking about. At the same time, I was able to promote storytelling, advance it in the minds of the teachers (many of the evaluations said things like "I'd  never thought about using storytelling before--what a great teaching  tool!) as something alive and important to what they do. It was a fantastic day. On the other hand, I did a gig for full fee and it also brought me over$2000 in additional work. It's not just free performances that can be great promotional vehicles. As I've read many times on this list, a person can die of exposure. But with the right reasons, planning, and organization, a free performance can promote storytelling and the storyteller, and help a good cause—a real win-win.”


Dianne Hackworth, dianne@diannehackworth.com, of North Carolina writes: “Here's something I keep posted by my phone as a reminder. It's a paraphrase from Holt-Mooney's The Storytellers Guide:


Four Factors to consider when taking a job:

            1. Fun - How much will you have?

            2. Exposure - How much will you get?

            3. Altruism - How much do you care?

            4. Money - How much?

Two of these factors should be present to take a gig. It can be fun and you feel altruistic toward the group. Or it can pay the big bucks and have good publicity. Or fun and money. Or exposure and....You get the idea.”


Sean Buvula adds:

“What are the chances you will sell CD/products at the back of the room after the event? If I do give a free event, the sale of my CD's and other products MUST be included. Lately I've been making a good chunk of change from these sales...soooo who knows. Or...can you use this as a place to bring out new material and [or] test new stuff? That has value, too.”

Brad Wendt, wendtworks@ameritech.net says: “Make a contract and put the value of the performance in there so that they can see what they are getting. Write in something about it being gratis or reduced fee of $ for ..... donation, charity, etc. (If I do a program for $xxx that is usually $yyy, I will write $yyy and the reason why I am doing it for less.) Take brochures, business cards, etc. to handout to everyone! Make fun looking "tickets" to handout to all in the audience with your picture and contact info on it, but maybe a joke, riddle, nature experiment to try, or a booklist. Maybe you have an upcoming public event that you can put on there, too.”


See You Next Time!

All meetings are held from 7 to 9 p.m. on the 3rd Tuesday or Wednesday of the month alternating between Tuesdays in odd numbered months at the William K. Sanford Library and Wednesdays in even numbered months at the Guilderland Public Library.

DIRECTIONS: The Guilderland Public Library (GPL) is located at 2228 Western Avenue, Guilderland, 1/2 mile west of Rte. 155 on the south side of Western Avenue.

 The William K. Sanford Library is located at 629 Albany Shaker Road, just off Northway Exit 4, and 1/4 mile east of the intersection of Wolf Road and Albany Shaker Road on the left side.  

August 15 Story Circle Meeting (GPL) – 7:00 – 9:00 (no Round Table) Marni Gillard Facilitator

September 18 Annual SCCD Member Dinner: RSVP Dee Wind we_tell@verizon.net or call 475-0118 (Calloway Grill 5:00 pm). Meeting (William K. Sanford Library – 7:00 pm) Carol Connolly Facilitator.

October 16 Story Circle Meeting (GPL) – 6:00 – 9:00 Joe Doolittle Facilitator









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Membership renewals are due each January and are good for one year.  Please make checks payable to “Story Circle” and send to Carol Connolly, 

1100 Niskayuna Road, Niskayuna, NY 12309



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