I think that I practice storytelling more than most people because English is not my first language. Knowing words doesn’t mean that I can pronounce them properly. American pronunciation and intonation are totally different from Japanese. A wrong rhythm can distract an audience from processing my story. I need to go through each word and sentence before memorizing and replace them if I cannot make them work. As an ESL (English as a Second Language) speaker, I need to work extra hard. A good thing is that the more I practice, the more I get comfortable on the stage. A bad thing is that the more I practice, the more I get bored! Sometimes I find myself feeling disengaged with my story while telling a story on the stage.
Practicing is a science.
That’s what my writing teacher told me when she sensed my boredom while practicing. She shared a story about an 11-year-old boy who practiced cello for three hours a day for six months working on a four-minute piece. 540 hours’ practice for one little piece? Wow, that’s a lot!
But the story gave me a new perception about practice. I see how the art of practice can be implemented in storytelling. The art of practice…that will be my next project. Science makes everything intriguing, doesn’t it?