Michael Litzky is a born storyteller. His love of stories springs from his childhood. He grew up in a creative environment, where his mother led art projects and his dad told campfire yarns, such as "The Planet Bagel," about two boys who travel to a planet with a hole in the middle.
In school, Michael excelled at creative writing. Starting in the fifth grade, he wrote science-fiction short stories, drew his own comic books, and created his own hand-lettered magazine, "The Children's Carousel". As he matured, he began telling stories of his own to his siblings and the neighborhood kids.
In college, someone suggested to Michael that he become a professional storyteller, and a spark was lit. He started telling stories at Renaissance Faires and community centers, and went on to earn a Certificate in Storytelling from the Academy for Professional Development at Dominican College.
During his career as a storyteller, Michael has told stories at birthday parties, homeless shelters, schools, and church gatherings. He has appeared on radio and TV programs, and performed at bookstore openings, catered events, day care centers, public schools, campfire circles and various festivals. His audiences have ranged in age from preschoolers to senior citizens.
Michael's richly varied stories are entertaining, moving, and often dramatic and visual. Many are old folk and fairy tales, polished and shining with vitality. Others are original: childhood stories, historical reconstructions and fantasies. Many are whimsical and funny; others mix smiles with tears. All are life-affirming.
Michael becomes the characters he portrays: his body, face, voice and accent become that of a Scottish lass, a crafty fox, King Arthur or a Russian tailor who saves the life of Napoleon. He also has many puppets which younger children love and talk to by name: Willy the Wolf, Francesca the Flying Squirrel, the comically evil Ice King with his tough-talking helper Siegfried the little red monster, and many others.
Michael recalls one particular storytelling experience as a volunteer in a homeless shelter. "When I walked into the room, the TV was on, and the parents and the kids were staring at it as though they were dead. After I told them stories, I saw that the parents and kids were talking with each other and that kids were drawing pictures from the stories I had told. The air itself seemed charged with new life. That, in a nutshell, is what I want to do with storytelling."
All site content © 2011, Michael Litzky