Today is the day of the first performance. I have gathered together my resources (biography, posters, video cameras, questionnaires, I have even got up this morning and made bread so I can have a sandwich) I have and tea and coffee for those who come along, I'm yet to get the biscuits!
I have my stories, I have the comfy cushions, and I have the backdrop.
And yet I still have butterflies in my stomach!
I must have told thousands of stories in hundreds of venues to thousands of people and yet this event has turned my knees to jelly. Perhaps that is because it is my PhD, or perhaps it is because even though I've lived in Milton Keynes since 2013 I worry that I may be seen as the outsider gathering these stories and imposing them upon the people to whom they really belong. I like to think that if people in the audience already know the stories there'll enjoy hearing them retold and if people in the audience don't know the stories that they can take them away and share them with other people for these stories belong to the people of Milton Keynes.
Most of all I worry if people will actually turn up; that I will have created flyers and posters, driven around distributing them and preparing and worrying in preparation for the event and then nobody turns up. If this is the case, I will tell to the camera and then at least I can put it on Youtube and it can go on the website so if people miss it they can catch up later. But I really hope that somebody does turn up because a story without a listener is only half the story.
Sometimes known as storyteller Red Phoenix, Terrie has been a storyteller since 2004, and run her own storytelling and performing arts company since 2007. In 2016 she began a PhD in applied storytelling and heritage exploring how storytelling as heritage can impact on the sense of place experienced by residents in Milton Keynes in England.