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?
Burning down the House…
Aloha Steve and Danno
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.
Here are some tips to help you get most out of your 2015 Timpanogos Storytelling Festival experience.
- Take a look at the program, website and blog to find out more information about the tellers and to plan your schedule for the weekend.
- Attend one of our FREE pre-festival concerts to get a preview of our amazing lineup of talented tellers and to introduce your family and friends to see what the festival has to offer. Antonio Sacre & Tim Lowry present a Night of Stories at the Viridian Event Center on August 31, and Bill Harley and Sam Payne will be performing at Timpanogos Storytelling Festival Kickoff at The Shops at Riverwoods on September 2.
- Take a look at our amazing lineup of classes at the Timpanogos Storytelling Conference on Wednesday and Thursday, September 2-3.
- Check out Look Who’s Talking on Thursday night to get a preview of the storytellers and find a new favorite or two.
- Parents- The festival is aimed at adults, teens and older children. Younger children will enjoy Bedtime Stories and events in the puppet area. Toddlers and babies in arms are not allowed in the performance tents, so please make the proper arrangements.
- If you have ever wanted to try your hand at storytelling in front of an appreciative audience then you should go to the Adult Swappin’ Grounds or Youth Swappin’ Grounds during the lunch break on Friday and Saturday.
- Be a judge and find great new tellers at the Timp Tell Contest on Friday afternoon in the Canyon Vista tent.
- Win free great prizes through our social media contest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram contest.
- Do you love live music? Stop in at the music tent between sessions to listen to an incredible variety of musical talent. If you love jazz, bluegrass, celtic, polka, folk, classic country, or rock’n’roll, you will find it here.
- Parking is limited at Mt. Timpanogos Park, so use one of the designated church parking lots. The shuttle service is fast and efficient and you get dropped off right at the entrance.
- Performers feed off the energy of an audience, so relax and feel free to laugh out loud, sigh, gasp, cry, clap, and participate. After all, this is not a golf match.
- We’re always looking for volunteers before, during and after the festival. Timpanogos Storytelling Institute has a year-round program and there are many ways you can get involved.
- If you have additional tips for festival-goers, please free to leave comments below.
We’re busy, busy, busy! The Timpanogos Storytelling Institute offers storytelling concerts, workshops, contests and school programs, not only during our annual festival, but throughout the year. Recent events have included the Utah’s Biggest Liar Contest, and concerts by Charlotte Blake Alston, Kim Weitcamp, Donald Davis and Steffani Raff.
Our current offering is a Bil Lepp telling tall tales at the Thanksgiving Point Gardens on May 4. If you haven’t had a chance to see him live, you are in for a treat. Check out this clip on Youtube of Bil with Andy Offut and Josh Goforth at our 2013 Festival.
Upidstay, Umbday, Ainbray
Another current offering you’re not going to want to miss is our free workshop with storyteller Regi Carpenter on May 7 at the Orem Library.
Check out the calendar on our website, or connect with Timpfest on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest to keep up with all of our current offerings. Through generous sponsors we are able to offer one of the the best values in entertainment throughout Utah, so tell your friends and join us at one of our many events throughout the year.