Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rachel Reaches into Repertoire: What Any Storyteller Wants More Of

There are certain aspects of storytelling that I would want a never-ending supply.

Here are ones that would be on my wish list--
  • Creativity/Create--In 1386 from the Latin "creatus", it means "to make, produce", which is also related to "crescere" as in "arise, grow". There is reference to the Creator or "Supreme Being". When we create, we certainly are working with a divine quality. There is a sense of imagination to the act. "Create" also relates to "crescent". In 1399 from the Anglo-French of "cressaunt", then we get "come forth, spring up, grow, thrive". Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, came from the Latin "creare" as in "to bring forth, create, produce". The word "create"references "shape" within the Old English "scapan" to mean "to create, form, destine". There is the sense of scraping, polishing and sometimes hacking.
  • Idea--In 1430 of the Latin "idea" it means "figure, image, symbol" as well as "archetype" in Platonic philosophy. The Greek word "idea" means "ideal, prototype" and has reference to being able to see or have vision. Funny enough, an idea was the "result of thinking". How else an idea may come. . .well. . .I guess some things are like lightnings of inspiration. But even thinking is involved here since one needs to recognize that the idea is an idea! When one delves into the meaning of "vision", the word came from 1290 Anglo-French of "visioun" to mean "something seen in the imagination or in the supernatural". Vision also has the connection "to know, to see".
  • Originality--In 1315 of the Latin "originalis" we have "beginning, source, birth". From the Latin word "oriri" we get "to rise". The word references to "orchestra" of which, in 1606, the Latin word "orchestra" means "area in an ancient theater". The "tra" part denotes place while the "orkheisthai" means "to dance" as well as "to go, come". As storytellers, to be original may then mean to go or come from another direction upon the stage as a starting point for the story to evolve.
  • Theme--Around 1300 of Old French "tesme" (of which the "s" was silent) and from the Latin "thema" we receive the meaning "a subject, thesis". The Greek thema means "a proposition, subject, deposit" or "something set down". This comes from the root of tithenai that means "put down, place". The word "theme" references the word "factitious", of which the Latin "factitius" of 1646 means "artificial". Could this mean that a theme is a man-made device to assign meaning to something presented. Does this make it "artificial" that we put down as if like a thesis for people to make judgments on after hearing the story or stories?
  • Motif--In 1848 of the French "motif" it means "dominant idea, theme". It references the word "motive", of which this word came about in 1362 from the Old French "motif" to mean "something brought forward". Then, from Modern Latin "motivus", we have "moving, impelling". When connecting to the word "move", then it could mean "that which inwardly moves a person to behave a certain way". A motif is much like the universal thoughts and observations that move us to certain results or actions.
  • Archetype--In 1545 from the Latin "archetypum" is the meaning "original pattern from which copies are made". The Greek "arkhetypon" means "pattern, model" or "first-moulded". The "arkhe" means "first" and the "typos" means "model, type, blow, mark of a blow". Then, from Jungian pyschology of 1919 we then have it mean "pervasive idea or image from the collective unconscious". Some of the word "archetypes" connects with "archon" of mean the Greek "arkhon" means "ruler" or "to begin, rule, command". Some common archetypes in storytelling are the wild woman, old hag, the step-mother. We see them in all cultures and seem to "rule" how we view these models or characters.
  • Repertoire--In 1847 from the French "re'pertoire", it means "a stock of plays, songs, etc." The Latin "repertorium" means "inventory. The word references "repertory", which is from the 1552 Latin "repertus" to mean "to find, get, invent". The "parire" part means to "produce, bring forth". There was also reference to the word "parent" from the Old French "parent" or the Latin "parere" as to "bring forth, give birth to, produce". Any stories we put in our repertoire is a form of birthing. The stories become our children. . .and sometimes we "show them off" to the world.
  • Interaction--This is a combination of the words "inter" and "action" put together in 1832. The "inter" comes from the Latin "inter" to mean "among, between". Sometimes "inter" is spelled "entre" in French and used in such words as "entertain" and "enterprise". The "action" comes from Old French "action" or the Latin "actionem" around 1360 to mean "to do". In 1599, relates to "fighting". Then by 1968 it means "excitement". In the storytelling sense, an interaction with the audience could be more "fighting" if anger-based, but usually ours would fall more into the "excitement" area in an attempt to engage among them.
  • Improvisation--In 1786 of the French "improvisation" and "improviser", they mean "act of improvising musically" as well as to "compose or say extemporaneously". The Italian "improvvisare" means "unforeseen, unprepared". When looking up extemporaneous, the word comes from 1656 from the Latin "extemporaneus" to mean "offhand, in accordance with (the needs of) the moment". There is a connection to "time", of which the Old English word "getimian" means "to happen, befall". Improvising is about seeing what will befall when asked to shared ideas at first thought. Whenever we tell stories, there is always the improvising with the audience although the plot of the story may stay fixed. Then there are the storytellers who are 100% improvisational.
  • Spontaneity--In 1656 of the Late Latin "spontaneus" we have "willing, of one's own free will". When looking at "will", this word comes from the Old English "willan" or "wyllan" to mean "to wish, desire, want" as well as to "be pleasing". Rather than the frozen sound that storytelling could have, the free flow of words tend to be more "pleasing" to the audience.
What do you wish you had a never-ending supply of as a storyteller?

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
(801) 870-5799

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