To see Kevin Kling perform once is to love him for a lifetime. Kevin is perhaps best known for his commentaries on NPR’s All Things Considered as well as storytelling events around the globe—he is a favorite at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival—but is also an accomplished author and playwright. Growing up in the Minneapolis suburbs of Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove provided fertile ground for a special blend of autobiographical stories rooted in the unique culture of Minnesota (If you have heard Kevin tell his stories, you had better be pronouncing that with the proper Minnesotan accent). But Kevin can just a quickly take you on a whirlwind tour through the Mediterranean and Texas. Whether you are in need of a powerful story that touches the heart or a bit of humor that splits that side, Kevin is the storyteller for you. Kevin recently agreed to answer a few questions for us to help us get to know him just a little bit better.
1.What book are you currently reading?
Six Memos for the Next Millennium
By Italy Calvino
2a. What is the first story you remember hearing?
My mom reading bible stories, Moses
My dad would just make up stories, if it was called ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, there would probably be no Bears and as good a chance Snow White would be in it as Goldilocks. I took a little from each style.
2b. What is the first story you remember telling?
As a kid in French class I told ‘Le Petite Chapeau Rouge’
As an adult ‘Lightning’
3. How was the seed of storytelling planted in your life?
My grandmother. She would visit me in Shiners hospital when I was three years old and bring stories from home. The power and need of a story was planted.
4. Where does storytelling grow from here? How do you want see storytelling influencing society?
I ask that question every day and everyday get a new answer.
I think society should influence stories, we need to be responsive to our communities. Stories are at different times medicine, a meal, a desert, a tonic … what is needed at the tip top of “once upon a time…” Whether we influence or not can be argued all day. We can hold up a mirror, a roadmap or a recipe and hope folks take it from there.
5. If you needed to start a dance party, what song would you lead with?
Jimi Hendrix Polka (Purple Haze)
Don’t miss Kevin at our special free storytelling performance during this year’s Orem Summerfest on Monday, June 5th at 7 pm. The event will be held at The Orchard at University Place, the large outdoor gathering space to the north of H&M. The stage will be located in front of a large grass park. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or chairs.
This special free Orem Summerfest event is brought to you by DoTerra, Timpanogos Storytelling Institute, University Place, and Orem City. Timpanogos Storytelling is supported by the Utah Division of Arts and Museums and the National Endowment for the Arts.