“Mentoring is a relationship between two people with the goal of professional and personal development. The “mentor” is usually an experienced individual who shares knowledge, experience, and advice with a less experienced person, or “mentee.”
You don’t have to be an A-list storyteller to be able to offer a supportive ear and constructive feedback to an up-and-coming storyteller. Trying to find your way as a freelance storyteller can be a lonely and frustrating process. Having someone to “ask the awkward questions to”, “bounce off ideas” and generally explore “what it is you might want to do”, can be very useful. When I started out, I found it so helpful having an experienced storyteller that I could ring up and ask things!
I’ve been a freelance for 20 years having a steady career as a jobbing community storyteller working both in the UK and abroad, earning a decent amount. I’m not a big stage name but I have a reasonable reputation and through Sidmouth Folk Festival and other places, I’ve enabled hundreds of people to take first steps in storytelling. Many of those have come back and asked for advice and support on how to go forward to develop their storytelling, and then for some how to make a career of it.
I’m a trained life coach, and creative reflective supervisor. I apply these skills when mentoring and offering a safe space to reflect on development and next steps. I don’t offer training or direction in storytelling (and not counselling) but I do share skills, insights and resources that have helped me along the way and which may (or may not) help the mentee. Most importantly I listen to the person as they work out their path and help explore different options.
This is not a service I promote or sell but is entirely dependent on people approaching me to ask if I could mentor them. We discuss it, and so long as we have a mutually agreed vision of what is wanted, we take it from there. I’ve lost count of the number of people who I’ve mentored (and we didn’t always call it that) – but they know where to come when they need a safe, confidential space. And they still do.
Just ask me.