10/18/2009

Sunday - A Storyteller's Dream


Margaret and Ralph Chatham hosted the monthly Voices in the Glen Story Swap Saturday night. (l-r. Ralph, Mohammed, Margaret, Rachel and Csenge.)
Really nice crowd and a wide variety of entertaining stories.

As I listened I thought how much more satisfying it is to listen to stories than just casual conversation.

I enjoyed the opportunity to see Csenge Zalka, a young storyteller from Hungary and particularly to hear her tell a native tale.
(l -r) Ellouise, Csenge, and Jane Dorfman.

Csenge is in the DC area with Euro Kids Festival. She is representing Hungary as one of the international performers for the event.

Jane and I were not just meeting Csenge - we three are Internet colleagues through the international community of storytellers that follow the Storytel Listserve.


Csenge joined the Storytell three of four years ago before she entered University in Hungary. She introduced herself by email and talked about her dream of becoming a professional storyteller and the problems she faced. Her family was less than enthusiastic about her goal and there was no community of tellers to join.

She was so passionate and enthusiastic that the members of the list became her supporters and from-a-distance-mentors. Two years ago she won a competitive fellowship to study at a college in the US for a year. The year was a love-in between Csenge and the storytellers in the US. When she could she traveled to other cities, met many US tellers, appeared at Storytelling conferences, attended the National Storytelling Festival and before she returned to Hungary she spent several months in Jonesborough on an internship at ETSU. Csenge was focused and open to every opportunity that crossed her path. I met her when we were both attending a storytelling workshop with Master Storyteller Elizabeth Ellis in MA.

When her scholarship year ended she returned to Hungary and the University. Now she has returned - a national storyteller - representing her country for this Festival.

Oh, by the way - she is a very talented storyteller. Saturday night she told a long and complicated folktale and her telling was all the more impressive because she had never before told it in English. This means she was translating to herself as she told the story. And she told the story well.

Csenge's own story is a lovely story of a young woman who has a dream and is making it come true.

4 comments:

Granny Sue said...

She is something, isn't she? A real inspiration to others who think it isn't possible to follow their dream. What a story.

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