Holding the attention of an entire room isn’t easy, not even for the most skilled public speaker, but for Linda Spitzer, it’s all in a day’s work. As a professional storyteller, it’s what she’s been trained to do. And now, as a new resident of Vi at Lakeside Village, a Life Plan Community in South Florida, she’s finding fun, engaging ways to share her stories and skills with her fellow residents.
Finding Her Calling
Linda didn’t find her way to storytelling until 45 years old. “I went to a conference in Chicago for Jewish educators and I heard an adult storyteller perform. I was so entranced. I wanted to know how to do it and made a point to pursue it with such a passion,” she shared.
Fast-forward 10 years and Linda had a master’s degree in storytelling, an eclectic schedule of regular performances, including at the historic Biltmore Hotel, and a roster of loyal storytelling clients. “People wanted to learn the art of storytelling, so I started giving workshops,” said Linda. “It’s an important skill. In business, if you can start with a story, you’ve got your audience listening.”
Everyone Has a Story to Tell
After moving to The Vi with her husband Norman just a few months ago, Linda quickly identified a way she could work with the Lifestyle department to give back to the community. “People were telling me they wanted something new to do,” said Linda, “so I went to Tamara in the Lifestyle department and said, ‘Here’s something I can do’ And we make a good team.”
They do. The two recently teamed up to put together a last-minute, Moth-style storytelling showcase in the community’s Fireside Lounge. The Moth encourages audience members to come on stage to tell impromptu stories. Linda did the same. “I started off with a story and then asked if anybody had one to tell, and they did! Some people even went twice,” she laughed.
From stories of rocket launches gone wrong to exploring the architectural wonders of Petra, the group of more than 20 residents kept each other laughing for over an hour. “We were all just so excited,” said Linda. “These quality stories will keep people coming back!”
Know Your Audience
The first piece of advice Linda gives all novice storytellers is: “Know your audience.” As a new resident, Linda is still getting to know her audience of fellow residents and friends but, according to Tamara, she’s making quick work of it. “Linda is warm, friendly and very funny, which is why our residents here truly enjoy her,” said Tamara.
And for Linda and her husband, the feeling is mutual. “We’re meeting a lot of nice people. It’s easy to do here,” said Linda. People tell me they will miss their card games for me. I’m happy I’ve built up that kind of trust with my neighbors.”
The Vi at Lakeside Village senior living community offers an abundance of opportunities to expand your social circle and pursue your passions. Live in luxury with a full suite of services and amenities and a complete continuing of care. Request a brochure today!