The Power of Story

IMG_3454-0Kristen Coury is Gulfshore Playhouse’s Founder and Producing Artistic Director. She will be blogging every Saturday throughout the 2014-2015 season

The other night, I was leaving the office at midnight. I got in the car, and turned on the radio. You know how the radio is late at night. You hear totally different things at that hour than you do during drive time. Well, in this case, there was a gentleman mid-way through telling a story. This is what I heard:

“And we proceeded to spend the next two weeks together. And it was really romantic, like we were the only two people on Earth. It was like something out of a book, kissing under the African moonlight and all that….so I’ve been thinking about her all this time, and just recently I found her on Facebook. She’s in China teaching English so I decided to write to her.

Pause.

And the response I got back from her was, “I’m sure you’re a great guy and all, but I have no idea who you are.”

And I literally spoke aloud in the car and said, “WHOA.” It was like I, myself, had just suffered that terrible emotional blow, that life-altering rejection, the heartbreak…

How is that possible? How is it possible that after 5.6 seconds of listening to this man’s tale, knowing nothing about him, the beginning of the story (how they met, etc.,) or the woman he was talking about, I was suddenly personally invested???

THE POWER OF STORY. This is the magic web a storyteller weaves, one that drawBlog images you in, reveals the unity within the story…the universality that makes you say “ouch” when the blow is struck because suddenly it is YOUR story. It is remarkably strong stuff. Delicate but strong. Like a little wisp of energetic significance it seeps out of the story and into your heart, mind and body…until it becomes yours. Walt Disney has drawn it. And you have experienced it, whether it’s been reading a book, hearing a snippet of a story on the radio, or watching an actor bring it to life before your eyes.

It’s what binds us together as humans and makes all the difference. And that’s the business we’re in here at Gulfshore Playhouse. Weaving the magic web.

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