What propelled you into oral storytelling?
My little brother Hans. He would ask me to tell him about my dreams and that led him to ask for stories. I enjoyed telling stories and to see how happy that made him.
What is one story you heard that stays with you after many years – and why?
The story about Pippi Longstocking. Pippi is red-haired, freckled, unconventional, and superhumanly strong – able to lift her horse one-handed! She is playful and unpredictable. She often makes fun of unreasonable adults, especially if they are pompous and condescending. And I love her because she teaches both children and adults the value of being different.
What kinds of stories do you tell?
I tell stories from my own life experiences.
What audiences do you like to tell to most? Why?
Children, because they don’t judge. They are being present and being honest.
What would you like to tell a story about but you haven’t done so yet?
I would love to tell stories about my adventures in New Zealand and especially when I met the indigenous Maori people and attended a Maori funeral at a marae, which is a Maori meeting ground.
What is one of the best pieces of storytelling advice you have ever gotten? Who was it from and what was the context?
At VASA’s annual Gathering two years ago in one of the workshops, I got the advice to draw the story on post-it notes. I think it’s a piece of brilliant advice – it keeps me staying on topic. And sorry I don’t remember who gave me that advice. [Editor’s note: Ruth Walkup offered that piece of advice.]