At her upcoming workshop, “ Giving Voice to Our Stories: A Storytelling Workshop” starting Friday in Candler, Regan-Blake will help participants of all skill levels weave a story into personal and professional lives. “One of the focuses for this workshop is how old stories reflect our lives today,” Regan-Blake said. “Finding moments of common experience that are relevant and alive in our lives today.”…

Storytelling Legend Set to Hold Workshop on the Art

By Melissa Stout
Mstroth340@yahoo.com

Asheville – Connie Regan-Blake, a pioneer in the revival of storytelling, has been bringing the magic of imagination and wisdom to others through the power of a story for more than 30 years.

At her upcoming workshop, “ Giving Voice to Our Stories: A Storytelling Workshop” starting Friday in Candler, Regan-Blake will help participants of all skill levels weave a story into personal and professional lives.

“One of the focuses for this workshop is how old stories reflect our lives today,” Regan-Blake said. “Finding moments of common experience that are relevant and alive in our lives today.”

The workshop will include individual feedback sessions, activities for developing stories, companion listening, and tai chi movements.

“Anyone can learn and tell those stories. I encourage everyone to tell some of those ancient stories,” she said. “There is something about those stories that resonate with us.”

Marvin Cole, a 70-year-old storyteller and workshop participant, has been telling stories as Mark Twain for 25 years.

“She changed me,” Cole said. “I would memorize the story word for word. With storytelling, you don’t have to do that; you can be flexible. She taught me not to be so rigid. I feel it was a great move for me.”

Sandra Gudger, founder of the Asheville Storytelling Circle, tells Appalachian, personal and historical stories.

“Even though I’ve attended several of her workshops I still come away with some new ideas,” Gudger said. It provides an opportunity to work on a new story. It seems easier when you have other inputs to help you develop a story.”

In 1973, Regan-Blake met Ray Hicks, “a mountain man recognized as the patriarch of American traditional storytelling,” at the first National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn.

“He had a huge influence and continues to have a huge influence on my life,” Regan-Blake said, “He was an extraordinary man.”

Regan-Blake has been recognized around the country as a top storyteller. She has traveled to 46 states and 14 countries telling traditional stories and stories combined with classical music. Her work has been praised by New Age magazine, School library Journal and Southern Living magazine. She has been a guest on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” ABC’s “Good Morning America” and CNN.

Space is still available to attend the workshop. The cost is $250 per person. For details and to register go to www.storywindow.com or call 258-1113.

Asheville Citizen Times