Town receives major storytelling honor
by By Michael Howlett Staff Writer
Vicky Town recently received a major award in the field of storytelling.
A CD, entitled “Bill and Vick’s Picks Spooky Tales Vo. 1,” by Town and Bill Wood was awarded the Silver Seal by the Parents’ Choice Foundation. The foundation, which was established in 1978, “is the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys,” according to its website.
Although Town and Wood are accustomed to working with an audience, which results in a lot of interaction, they recorded the CD in a studio without an audience.
“We were each other’s audience, and we were able to bring a really eerie quality to the stories,” said Town.
After finishing with the editing in March, Town submitted the CD to the Parents’ Choice Foundation at the suggestion of Wood. Although computer problems made submitting the CD to the foundation an adventure, Town accomplished it. She found out the CD had received the Silver Seal via phone from Wood.
“We’re in shock,” said Town. “At first, we didn’t even know what we’d won.”
The CD contains five spooky stories, which one reviewer described as exciting and chilling. The reviewer went on to say “Instead of using the Beowulf-style of blood-and-guts story content, these two tellers use their multi-talented voices to elicit goose bumps through their carefully crafted story material that is performed in such a fashion that the listeners are safe at the end of each story.”
Town hopes the award will “open doors” for her talents as a storyteller in the nearby areas.
“I’m hoping that will help me find work in my home-based area, places like Charlotte or Greensboro that are within a two and a half hour drive,” she said.
Town said although she was working virtually every day while living in Philadelphia, she hasn’t had as much work as she would like since moving to Fancy Gap.
After marrying Steve Pottorff five years ago, they moved to Kansas. However, Town’s asthma worsened and they decided to find an area more suitable to her health condition, thus the move to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
“We came here with no jobs,” said Town. “I knew Penny Mosley, who was a big help, and I volunteered with the Carroll County Agricultural Fair. The people who run the fair were very helpful, but friends first. They are really a blessing. “
“I love being connected to this community,” added Town, who continues to work with the county fair, and is working on a grant that will be used for storytelling performances at the Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home.
Although Town said “I love working with families, kids, seniors, groups of every age,” she said storytelling is an especially good way to reach kids.
“The arts, in general, and especially storytelling is a great teaching tool,” said Town. “All stories have a message. They are a great way to teach people to have empathy for others or to explore different cultures. They can also teach children to be resilient.”
Town added that funny stories are her favorite, saying, “I love to hear people laugh.”
“Bill and Vick’s Picks Vol. 1” and the just released volume two of spooky stories of the same name can be purchased at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and at http://www.vickytown.com. In addition, Town has a non-royalty play, “Mayhem at the Museum” available. The 30-minute play also includes schedules and instructions on how to build a set.
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