How it all began for me: I remember the first time I created a ‘Living Bible Woman’. It was near Easter around 1984. We were involved with a small church in Werribee (Vic) and I wanted to do something different for Easter. That’s when I decided to tell the story of Easter as seen through the eyes of Mary of Magdalene. I did not have a costume that first time and afterwards forgot all about it.
Years later, when we had moved to Ipswich (Qld), I was again thinking of doing something special for Easter and I remembered ‘my’ Mary of Magdalene. I went through all my ‘stuff’ and found some of the notes. That’s where it began and since then Years later, 모바일홀덤 when we had moved to Ipswich (Qld), I was again thinking of doing something special for Easter and I remembered ‘my’ Mary of Magdalene. I went through all my ‘stuff’ and found some of the notes. That’s where it began and I have created 12 different ‘Living Bible Women’ and performed these pieces about 100 times all over the Australia and also overseas, including in Israel. The pieces are 15-35 minutes long and make old messages relevant for today’s people. Sometimes I combine a few for special event programs. The ‘Living Bible women’ work is in addition to my ‘normal’ storytelling and public speaking. Let me tell you a little about these stories in which I become the character.
How do I go about writing my stories? I have no real formal training in story writing and learned by doing it and finding out what worked and what did not. I usually start with taking my collection of books about bible women and start reading them. This just gets my creative juices going – I don’t follow any of these story lines closely.
Let me share with you a few things I keep in mind while working on the story:
(Sometimes a story is ‘born’ very quick, sometimes I am ‘pregnant’ with it for a long time. Currently I am thinking about Miriam – but have not put one line to paper yet)
When people are writing it is always about four main areas:
Love -God – Suffering – Death Sometimes it can be funny, sometimes sad. Sometimes second-rate, sometimes brilliant. Sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiographic. But the same themes emerge. What is the main theme in my story?
When I want to re-write an existing story I look at things like:
- Who is who in the story?
- Who is a power person etc?
Is there a conflict that needs to be solved?
- The next thing is really important to me when I write and also later when learning my lines: Identification with a character
I find the part in my character that I can identify with.
- Mary of Magdalene – changed from agonised, demonised soul to follower of Christ.
- Ruth – uncertain future, being a foreigner speaking with an accent
- Esther – dealing with extreme fear and an oppressive person
- Eve – feeling of failure, pain, and guilt when dealing with children’s problems
By finding the part of the story that touches my own heart I can bring it to life. People think they see the Bible character but don’t know how much of this character is of me. However, it is that element that makes the difference.
I find it always gratifying to hear people say things like: “Your portrayal of Ruth brought her alive! Many people commented on the impact that your drama had on them. That’s how I always thought Mary, Eve, Ruth would be like.” It means they don’t see me but the character and God is at work.
Ruth’s story in today’s world it could be something like this:
This is a tale of sorrow and change, a tale of joy and love. A beautiful young woman marries into a foreign family who have been in the land for many years. However, joy is soon replaced by sorrow as the men in the family all die.
Her mother-in-law wants to go back to her own land. The young woman decides to go with her and becomes a migrant who leaves her own country with only an old woman as company. She enters a strange land, lives with strange people, and learns to speak a foreign language.
Why does Ruth leave her family and goes away with Naomi?
- Why did all these men die?
- Why did she go gleaning?
- Why did she do such a strange thing by lying down at the feet of a sleeping Boaz?
I did my research about the religion she left behind and imagined how I would feel living as a child in a land where children were sacrificed. How would I feel when I grew up and I thought about becoming a mother? That became my motivation for Ruth wanting to leave this society behind after she learned about the God of Israel.
How does she feel among strangers in a strange land? I remembered when I came to Australia and barely spoke the language. All my many friends were in Holland and here I was, feeling so homesick. I could not express myself the way I could in Holland. My wonderful ‘word treasure’ was gone and needed to be built up again so I could again be the story teller I used to be. Those feelings could be used in this story.
According to me, Ruth went gleaning because she did not want to be dependent on charity. Later she followed Naomi’s strange instructions because she trusted both Naomi and Boaz.
I believe that the choices made by the character should, in some way, be related to a personality trait, but are also influenced by factors within and outside his/her control.