True or False: New York City has a full-time paid storyteller.
Answer: True! So exciting and unbelievable. Apparently there’s this woman, Diane Wolkstein who was a teacher and a pantomime in the U.S. and France in the 60s. She dreamed of being a storyteller when she got out of school, but didn’t think this wasn’t a real or viable career. Later she was hired by NYC’s Parks Department to run a summer program for kids and became renowned in the neighborhood for her stories. Her first public storytelling session got a ton of press and led to her getting hired by the Department as the city’s first and only official storyteller.
She’s been telling stories now for 42 years. Here’s Wolkstein herself from a recent article:
“I read a lot,” Wolkstein said. “I have to read 100 stories to find one I can use. You have to find a story that moves you, because if it doesn’t move you it won’t move anyone else. That’s what stories are about, sharing your heart,” she added. “You cloak it with words, but what you’re really doing is exchanging love.”
You can check out Diane’s personal website here for more information on her upcoming appearances.