what is storytelling?
What is storytelling? Just as it sounds!
Adam tells stories to adults, children, conferences, theaters, festivals, camps, schools, libraries, and with dancers. His concerts are programs of variable length that run from 20 - 60 minutes, and each set might contain one to four stories. These stories are told, neither read or acted. The individual stories in his repertoire run from around five minutes long to seventy-five minutes. Yes, music might be involved! He usually tells three types of story:
Traditional Appalachian Stories
Learned from storytellers, sound archives, recordings, and Appalachians met along his travels, Adam's repertoire of traditional Appalachian stories includes wonder tales / märchen (what a lot of folks call fairy tales), ballads (stories in the form of songs), tall tales (such as Tony Beaver), ghostlore, witchlore, pourquoi tales (stories that explain reasoning or existence), and regional lore that has become traditional.
Original Personal Stories
These tales are based off of real personal events. Because Adam is a champion liar, he is often asked if the stories are true. Yes, these stories have plenty of true sections as well as truth, but most have tall sections — parts where the order of events have been recrafted to help deliver a stronger narrative. Many of the characters are conglomerates. Some of the details are made up. And the "I" character is just that — a character.
These are original stories that are based on traditional tales, structures, or archetypes. If you know your traditional stories, they might have familiar elements. The new tales in the Appalachian 20th Century Series are all based on existing stories, traditional character archetypes, and regional folklore; therefore, they are neo-traditional. Other examples in Adam's output include New West Virginia Lore, such as The Broommaker and The Death Crown.