Catherine Magruder

Catherine Magruder wows ’em at SAC’s Tall Tales night.

One of the “lemonade” aspects of pandemic-era meetings on Zoom has been watching a number of StoryMasters and friends, following President Miyo’s lead, appearing on Zoom shows such as Strong Words, The Otter Story Hour, Tales by the Sea, The Antidote, and the Turbine Arts Collective, to name a few. When the Storytelling Association of California approved our nominee Catherine Magruder to represent StoryMasters at SAC’s Genre Storytelling night on January 20, it became Catherine’s turn to appear on the big stage, telling her original tall tale, Angus Haggis.

Catherine was the last of seven speakers, many of them long-time regulars on the SAC stage, and this was a professional (paid) gig for her. We heard amusing tall tales, many told in a sort of cowpoke drawl, and a couple of downright scary ones. Meanwhile a quick check of the participants list showed that Catherine, all by herself, was responsible for more than a quarter of the viewers that night, thanks to her fan club: Anna, Aprille, Camille, Cynthia, Jill, Jim Somerville, Kathy Falco, Mallery, Margaret, Miyo, Roberta Shintani and me.

And when Catherine finally appeared — oh my! She looked enchanting in her bright tartan scarf. Her sound and lighting were professional. She knew her story by heart and she stood up to speak so we could appreciate her body language and gestures. Her Scottish dialect was authentic, with plenty of vocal variety as she skillfully wove her tale about the heroic giant Angus, his pregnant wife, the worried midwife and the London doctor whose jokes . . . no, no, stop me, I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn’t yet heard it.

What a delight it was, and how proud you made us, Catherine!

If you missed it, check out SAC’s YouTube channel at  Past Genre Storytelling shows and Stories in Living Color events are posted.

Kathy FalcoBREAKING NEWS: There’s another SAC Genre Storytelling show coming up on February 17. The theme is “romantic stories” and we just heard today that our nominee Kathy Falco has been confirmed! Please register now: storytelling-series-romantic-stories-tickets-124353375293. It’s free, donations are optional and go to the tellers.

Have you visited the “Events” page on our StoryMasters website lately? Miyo does an admirable job of curating it — be sure to check it regularly! Psst, I hear Miyo’s appearing in Bold Faced Secret on January 29 and The Otter Story Hour on February 1. I’ll see you there!

Tina Tomiyama
Tina Tomiyama


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