KARA: "How do you come up with the stories you tell?"
KIM: "All of the stories that I tell are rooted in the memories from my past. Even my tall tales are born out of an experience that I pull from my childhood. We all have stories to share, some of us just choose to share them with large audiences! Thanksgiving is just around the corner. When you are sitting at the table with your family, start asking questions like:
• What is the best toy you ever got as a kid
• Do you remember your first pair of roller skates
• When was your first kiss! (The kids love hearing adults talk about this one)
• First car ride (for the older folks) first plane ride (for the younger)
• Tell about a time you got in trouble
These are only five questions, but if you think about it for a few minutes you’ll come up with a lot more. Sit back and be patient, gently encourage people to share, look at them directly when they do open up, and then sit back and listen. You will be amazed at what is shared. To me, the best storytelling takes place informally, around the table, with friends and family."
KARA: "Can you talk about trials – what kinds of trials have you had throughout your life, and how did you overcome those trials?"
KIM: "My list of trials is about three miles long which means that I am on pace with just about every human being on earth. I almost lost one of my daughters when she was born, I was homeless at one point of my life while pregnant with twins, I lost one of my twins, my mother abandoned me at a babysitters when I was 6 weeks old, my husband’s business went down the tubes, I was terribly betrayed by my best friend, I was in a wheelchair for 6 months, the list could go on and on.
I have overcome by learning to forgive, leaning on faith, and loving as if I have never been hurt. It may sound corny…but it works. I live by this rule: Be kind to each person you meet, everyone, in some way, is fighting their own personal battle. So with that said, you will find that I rarely focus on my trials. I put them under my feet and use them as stepping stone to helping others who have been through much more than I have. I use trials as a stepping stone to the next level. I also love taking the stories from those trials and using them in applied storytelling to help others open up and realize that they are not alone."
Thanks for joining us on Thanksgiving!!! Come back to tomorrow for 2 more questions/answers with Kim Weitkamp.