Megan Wells has been telling stories for 40 years, since she was seven, and is described by her daughters as a storytelling jukebox. “Put a quarter in and pick your favorite!”

“I find joy in storytelling. I was in theater. I was a reader,” Wells said. “Then I saw a play and realized books could come alive.” She describes story like crayons. “It absolutely is magic. We create our best world in stories. Storytelling gives us courage. You’re less alone when you hear a story that resonates. A story can buffer and protect and comfort.”

Wells didn’t have storytellers in her life. Her father was a joke-teller, but it took a while for her family to come around to storytelling. Today, “Storytelling is my joy, launching listeners into galaxies of imagination,” she said. “In the outer space of the inner mind, human beings become wise. What I love is the introduction to the audience and to the story. I try to really get to know an audience. I reach into my big Mary Poppins bag of stories and pull something out they can relate to. It’s like meeting old friends for the first time every time I come to a festival.”

Wells began her career as an actress and director in Chicago. She also worked as a communications consultant to Fortune 500 companies. A lover of words, Wells helped executives craft presentations with great care using the structure, rhetoric, and dynamic of words.

After a workshop, a client said, “You should tell stories,” and suggested a trip to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. There, Wells discovered the art of storytelling. After sharing a personal story at the open mic, she was approached by emcee, Rafe Martin, who asked, “Are you a storyteller?” Wells replied, “I don’t even know what that is!” Rafe replied, “You are.”

At the end of the weekend, Wells asked, “What do I do to become a storyteller?” Rafe advised, “Find stories you love and tell them.” Wells has been following his sage advice ever since.