You can make anything by writing – CS Lewis
Gone are the days when children used to sit around with their grandparents or elders to listen to stories. However, everybody loves to hear a good story. So are Michael Burns and Kaneez Surka who are bringing back the old habit with their project Tall Tales – perfecting the art of storytelling in Delhi after doing quite well in Mumbai. Michael Burns the brain-child behind this fascinating idea says, “Story-telling is quite popular in the United States, especially on the radio, but when I came to India, I couldn’t find it anywhere here. So to start something new, Tall Tales is an opportunity for people to showcase their first-person non-fiction stories. It has been easier to get entries than what I had imagined first. It seems like people are bursting with stories to share but didn’t have an outlet for it.” He is by profession a documentary film maker from America and Kannez Surka is an impro comedian from South Africa. It all started in 2013 after they met at an improv comedy class.
The shows are held twice in a month which is a not-for-profit medium for sharing great stories and experiences. All one has to do is to just send in their stories which will be then selected by them. After that the duo will work on the writing and help the person how to perform it. And if you want to just enjoy the session then you got to pay Rs 200. “Quality has been our foremost priority, we do whatever it takes to work on stories and ensure that the standard of our event is upheld every time. We work on the participants’ writing skills as well as their performance. These are both equally important in live storytelling,” says the Assistant Director Kannez Surka. Till now they have held performances for around forty story-tellers.
(Published in Society July’14, Page No.14)