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  • Tim Hartman

Why do I tell stories?

I'm often asked why I continue to tell stories to children. But the dirty little secret is, there is nothing I love more than standing alone in front of 300 to 400 children to draw them into the world that I describe. The experience remains the most satisfying thing I do as an artist. The kids see this tall, rather scary looking middle-aged man standing before them. What is this guy going to do? How does he expect to keep our attention? Who does he think he is? And as I begin to spin my yarn, even a group that seemed restless and uninterested slowly become enraptured. It works because we have a mutual understanding. Children, even in this age of computer games and TV overload, have an instinctual need to have their imaginations challenged. And even at 57 years old, I have that same need. Storytelling is said to be a dying art. But the truth is, storytelling is so basic to the way children learn about this world we live in, I don't think it's possible for it to ever truly pass away. What I do as a storyteller is exhausting and challenging and sometimes a little silly. But I'm too selfish to give it up. And children need it too much for me to give it up.

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