“Yes I’ll write you an article about being a story teller.” That’s what I said and that’s how it began- the gnawing doubt!
I mean I call myself a story teller but I can’t recite the whole of the Odyssey by heart, I don’t know hundreds of traditional and obscure oral tales and I am in no way mystical or mysterious rather manic and messy.
So am I a story teller or am I just a big fat (post Christmas) fibber?
Then I remembered something. I spoke my first word at four months old.
|Would I fib to you?|
Okay I don’t ACTUALLY remember that moment, but my mum does and she says I have not shut up since. Then I realised, the reason I spoke so soon was because I had stories to tell.
I spent my whole childhood telling stories. Stories to my friends, stories to my parents, stories to my teachers (okay I know it was supposed to be my weekend news but this story is much more exciting). In secondary school I started writing plays for my friends to be in which we performed during lunch in the school theatre to packed houses (I still can’t think of ‘Og the Librarian’ without getting all misty eyed).
|Taking my education seriously|
The only problem was for a long time I was so busy doing this that I wasn’t writing my stories down. In fact it took two children to bring me to my senses- my own. Now teaching part time and two bundles of inspiration at home I had just enough space, and energy to begin to actually write my stories.
But writing them down was not enough, it had never been enough, I needed to tell them to an audience. No problem, with my background in teaching and a bargain rate (free in the early days), schools were quick to agree to let me come and try out my stories on their classes. A lot of good stories were shot down in flames. Never mind, you need a lot of ashes for a phoenix to rise.
|My first ever public story telling was at my son’s nursery|
“George is a fantastic story teller who captivates any child who listens, her interactive sessions are amazing.” Kathy Young Library Manager
|Children in Need story marathon|
|What I keep in my picnic basket|
Preparing for these events was hard work. I always like to know my material by heart so that I can tell stories directly to my audience. I love books but they can be a barrier. You need to make a connection with your audience to really take them with you, you need eye contact. This does mean that when I am preparing for a larger event I spend weeks walking round constantly muttering under my breath or listening to myself through my MP3 player.
|A very packed schedule|
‘George enthralled her audience (both children, adults, and the library staff), and engaged them fully. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend George Kirk, a fabulous, multi-talented storyteller.’ Catherine Cooper ~ children's author and festival committee member.
So am I a story teller or a big fat fibber?
Both! After all what are stories except very brazen fibs. I’ve been a story teller since I spoke my first word and now seem to taking my early steps into the world of professional story telling. I hope it is a long and interesting journey, maybe by the end of it I’ll be magical and mystical and know the Odyssey by heart?...
So are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin...
Five years ago she started trying to pin her characters down onto paper. They objected, so she joined SCBWI and began writing about them instead. Since then she has been longlisted for the Undiscovered Voices competition, shortlisted for the Commonword Children’s Diversity Writing Prize and was outright winner of the Brit Writers’ Award.
A hopeless romantic, she believes that one day her publisher will come. In the meantime she writes ridiculous poetry for The Funeverse and promotes literacy for fun in her school, library, local community and anywhere else she can get away with.