Meet the Storytellers (1) Cath Little
Cath Little: Storyteller
This is the first follow-on article from my first Hub: 'Introduction to Storytelling'.
Meet professional storyteller, Cath Little, and find out how Cath got started and what her work means to her.
Cath's own journey may encourage you to become a storyteller too. Remember though, this doesn't mean you have to make a full time commitment to this work; you can learn to become a good storyteller in a modest way within your own family, or community.
Cath Little has been a professional storyteller and singer for over 8 years now, but she used her storytelling skills before this as a teacher. Cath draws inspiration from her Irish and English heritage and from Wales, her home; her stories often celebrate the Earth and its seasons.
Early Life and Career
Cath's family is full of storytellers: her father made up stories and her mother read them to her, so stories are in her DNA.
She trained initially as a teacher of English and taught in secondary schools in London. Stories in the classroom came naturally to her and were a way of helping children discover literature and their own creative imaginations and skills.
Cath went on to teach English in Italy and Egypt and found that stories helped her students learn. But the turning point for Cath came when she became a Steiner Waldorf Early Years Teacher and learned about the nurturing and healing power of storytelling. And when she met a professional storyteller she knew this was the path she needed to travel herself in her career.
What is the attraction of storytelling for Cath?
"I like storytelling because it’s magic. Listening to a story well told is like stepping into a dream, like making a journey, like seeing the world through new eyes. A good storyteller can cast a spell that takes me out of this world and can bring me home safe in the end. And at the end of a story I can find the world the same, but changed because I am changed."
What makes a good story?
"A good story surprises me and challenges my perceptions of what life is about. A good story can make me think and wonder and feel more deeply. My favourite story is the story I’m telling at that time. I really like telling seasonal stories and so look forward when the year turns and the old favourites come round again."
"I am drawn to telling myths. I am drawn to their timelessness, drawn to how they try to answer the hardest questions about love and loss. Ancient stories puzzle and fascinate me I want to find a way to understand them. Sharing them with others is part of that."
What can the listener or audience gain from the process?
"An audience makes the magic happen. The story is made between the teller and the listener. Traditional stories often give only the simplest of physical descriptions, this lets the listener imagine. The listener is free to make their own pictures."
How do you develop your storytelling repertoire and skills?
"I develop my skills as a storyteller by telling stories. I keep on practising."
What are your three tips for aspiring storytellers?
"Keep telling stories. Never tell a story you don’t like. Try to give time for the story to sink in, for it to become part of you."
- Settle Storytelling Festival 10th to 12th October 2014 | Settle Stories
Find out more about our Storytelling Festival in Settle, North Yorkshire