Professional storytellers are a diverse bunch, from Irish-style balladeers to African griots to tall-tale swappers. But one demographic consistently underrepresented is young people.
"I'm 52 years old," Cleveland quips, "or, as they call me in storytelling circles, 'The Kid.'"
Andy Offutt Irwin, a perpetually boyish singer/storyteller from Covington, notes that, "the good thing about storytelling is that it doesn't matter how old you are. The longer you live, the more you know.
"But there needs to be more young storytellers," he says. "My cousin who's 28 came to see me in Oklahoma City and afterward said, 'Andy, you're a rock star!' And I said, 'Yeah, but everyone's 55.'"
February 01, 2008
Journalist Curt Holman has the arts section cover story this week in Atlanta's alternative weekly, Creative Loafing, where he profiles local storytellers Carmen Deedy, Andy Offutt Irwin, Rob Cleveland, and Audrey Galex. The article juxtaposes the ancient art form against the latest technology... and leads with a story about Deedy at the TED conference. The brief article also manages to highlight other issues, such as the generation gap: