04 Jan Member Spotlight: Lily Alcott
I am honored to be the focus of a BPW Member Spotlight. My craft is storytelling. I longed to storytell from childhood. My childhood was enriched by storytelling. Truly, I longed to storytell; however I did not envision myself as a storyteller. In my immediate family my father told stories from his life. He also enacted scenes from famous trials and the lives of well-known politicians. My mother told stories of her family. She enjoyed poetry and would give dramatic renditions of favorite poems. Later, I had a good friend who could mesmerize you with ordinary stories about ordinary people.
My personal interests of history and literature have influenced my choice of characters. I write the scripts for my characters. I embody the character and at times the characters change. I use minimal stage props and dress as the character would in their environment.
2020 the Year of Covid affected my business venues. I make personal appearances at graduation and birthday parties. I am booked at weddings as well as bridal and baby showers. In 2020, I would have portrayed 100 years of Women and the Vote. Unfortunately, lockdowns and the need to keep groups from congregating shut down my storytelling. When I travel, I usually have a storytelling engagement. I am not traveling due to Covid 19. I believe my storytelling will be revitalized in 2022. Although not Storytelling at present, I am developing future projects for presentation.
I have taught storytelling to children. Storytelling enhances literacy. The art of storytelling gives students the ability to develop a wide range of skills. As students embrace storytelling, they build self-esteem, vocabulary, research skills, writing skills, stage presence, and knowledge of literature and history.
The pandemic has changed my business. I have new stories to tell; however, I have to leave my comfort zone and am now making a storytelling presence online. This is a new adventure for me and one I am embracing out of necessity. It is uncomfortable but over time I will adjust.
I wish one and all a prosperous, happy and healthy New Year. We have encountered a strange, new world one for which we were largely unprepared, yet a world we are exploring and accepting.
Lily Alcott, BPW/St. Petersburg-Pinellas