Claire Vera Ramsey, Storyteller


Hi! Welcome to Stories With Claire, and thank you for visiting! Stories With Claire specializes in folk tales from around the world for story lovers of all ages -- yes, adults too! Popular programs include:
Impossible People - tales from Claire Ramsey's own impossible family (recommended audience - adult);
Swashbuckling Tales with the Pirate Captain - stories of bloodthirsty buccaneers and the NC coast, told by the unforgettable Captain Jack! (recommended ages - preK and up);
Holiday Party Specials - stories to entertain colleagues, friends, and family and bring holiday spirit to any occasion.
For more programs and details, check out the Program Page!

So, Claire, How Did You Get Into Storytelling?

I started storytelling before I could write or even read. My parents, who were big recyclers, kept a good-size box of scrap paper next to the table in the breakfast room in our upstate New York house (see Biographical Links on the Links page.) Mother often recalls how I would take a generous handful of paper, sit at the table, and draw picture after picture after picture, as fast as I could. When I was in high school (that age where you try to find out what to do in life and get it wrong) I thought that meant I should go into art. It was not until graduate school, with my first class in storytelling, that I realized that what I had been doing was telling stories. Training in theater from childhood through college, storytelling classes and workshops, together with seven years as a children's librarian and extemporaneous storytelling experience as a bard in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) have all expanded my story repertoire. I learned how stories open the mind to new ideas, new cultures, to the way other people think.

But What IS Storytelling??

Though (as a librarian) I love a well-illustrated children's book, the wonderful thing about storytelling is that it exercises the mind and imagination even more than reading a picture book does. Storytelling is a major ingredient in learning... not just learning to read, but learning it ALL. The basis of learning is imagination, curiosity, and as children listen to the words of a storyteller, they create, without meaning to, pictures in their own minds. Once a child learns to create images when listening to words, the gift doesn't go away. It survives, increasing comprehension as children begin reading books on their own. More importantly, that ability bridges the gap between reading picture books and chapter books and, therefore, textbooks on any subject. Best of all, storytelling, especially Stories With Claire, complements school curricula, creates near-effortless learning experiences, and provides the perfect rewards for students of all ages.

Is Storytelling Just for Kids Then?

NO! Storytelling for children is just the tip of the iceberg. Whether they realize it or not, everyone tells stories. People of all ages, just as a part of daily life. When someone cuts you off in the parking lot at the dry cleaner, or you get that part in the play you auditioned for, and you cannot wait to tell your friends and family -- that's storytelling. That kind of story is called personal narrative; many tellers make a great art out of the stories of their lives, or those of their parents and families. Storytelling is never limited to child audiences. Theater, writing of all kinds, movie making, corporate speaking, stand-up comedy -- all of these arts are based in storytelling. Book Stories With Claire for teen and adult events: book studies, club meetings, holiday socials and parties.

Why Do You Tell Stories?

My first love is the stories from my childhood, which were not just "children's stories." They were stories of constellations, mythologies, and tales of cultures around the world. When I tell stories, I return in spirit to a quiet place -- the "just my size" book nook my father built and carpeted for me -- and the stories I first imagined there: tales of Irish elves, fairytale stepmothers, and Greek heroes. Therefore, my first wish as a storyteller is to bring all my listeners -- children, teens, and adults -- to that place where they remember their first stories... where they find themselves again at their parents', grandparents', or babysitters' knees, pictures filling their minds and hearts. Whoever you are, however old you are, Stories With Claire have moments of joy, excitement, and peace for you.