On Thursday night I attended an event in McGuire Hall. The event was the telling of a story by a man named Odds Bodkin. I noticed he had a guitar with him so I wasn’t sure if he was going to play music for us or speak to us. I soon found out that he would be doing both. He had two microphones set up so he could speak and play the guitar at the same time. Then he gave a short introduction and told us he would be telling the story of The Odyssey. I learned a lot from attending this event and enjoyed hearing the story that Odds Bodkin told.
I had never read The Odyssey in high school so this was my first exposure to it. Before he started Bodkin told us that he wanted us to try and picture the story in our minds as he told it. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to picture the story in my mind being so unfamiliar with it but when he started to tell the story I found that it wasn’t too difficult to create a visual image in my head of what the characters and surroundings looked like. I think that this ability to visualize images in our mind from hearing information is a very useful skill and it was one thing I learned from this event.
Bodkin began to play the guitar and moved his mouth to the microphone. Then he began making a sound effect that resembled the wind blowing. He made many different sound effects throughout the story which I thought was very impressive. He also had a different voice for each character and they were very distinct. This helped in distinguishing between which character was speaking in the story. It also made the story much more intriguing and helped me to pay attention closely. Through this and his descriptive style, Bodkin made it easy for the story to appear in the audience’s mind.
He did all of this while playing these complicated guitar riffs that matched up perfectly with what was happening in the story. For example, when Odysseus and his men were walking in unfamiliar territory the guitar would sound very soft and creepy which resembled the scene in the story perfectly. Likewise, when Odysseus was battling the cyclops Polyphemus, the guitar would be much louder and more complicated which was more appropriate for the battle scene. So in a sense the tone of the guitar also helped to make the story more prominent in the audience’s mind.
From attending this event I learned many things. I learned that the art of storytelling isn’t all about the one telling the story. It is the audience’s job to be able to create a visual image of the story in their mind based on what the storyteller gives them. This event helped me to sit back and use my imagination based on what someone was telling me. I felt like Bodkin was very descriptive and that made it easy for the audience to be able to fully experience the story. He had distinct voices for each character, sound effects that enhanced the surroundings of the story, and guitar tones that complemented each scene. He kept the story interesting from the beginning and had the audience on the edge of their seats. I enjoyed listening to the story of The Odyssey as my imagination has never been able to create such vivid images based on what someone was telling me.