- Albany, NY
- Travels up to 120 miles
- Contact for rates
With personal, historical, musical, and fantastical stories, Sandy Schuman has captivated audiences at storytelling festivals, professional conferences, interfaith events, and synagogues. Sandy’s storytelling programs include, "My Father was a Storyteller," "Folktales Everyone Should Know," and "Songs of the Century." He customizes programs for specific audiences and events. His book, "Welcome to Chelm's Pond," was described as "sweet without being soppy, funny without being mean, and inspirational without being preachy." It's where the stories of Chelm meet the tall tales of the Adirondacks.
The power of story was never stronger than when Sandor Schuman, Storyteller Extraordinaire, spent Sunday afternoon with us at Knesseth Israel Synagogue at the end of April. The audience was spellbound, and for days afterward, I would meet people around town and hear how much they enjoyed the program. The biggest hit? His tales from Chelms Pond, of special interest to us here in the Adirondack Foothills. Todah rabah, Sandy!
Response from Sandor (Sandy) Schuman:
Thanks for the kind words. Rabbi Chayim Shmayim, Bloomie, Adirondack Mendel, Aufruf, and all of the wise people (and dogs) of Chelm's Pond, hope you'll join them for lunch at the Broiled Beet.
Sandy Schuman was our special guest speaker at an all-day workshop of high-level government officials. His engaging presentation, entitled "Thinking Together", challenged the audience to think outside the box, to suspend their current beliefs about committees, and to solve their wicked problems collaboratively. He was able to show them that wicked problem solving with one’s colleagues can be rewarding, satisfying, and even fun. Sandy led an exercise called "Talking Together" that demonstrated the power of collaboration in groups. He even created a Collaboration Checklist for each workshop participant to take away. We were exceptionally pleased with his performance and will have him back to help with our next "wicked problem!"
When Sandy tells a story the audience becomes engrossed in everything he is saying. He has a way of capturing your attention and keeping your interest until the last word. Sandy is also a talented writer. I'm looking forward to reading his next book.
Sandy told some very engaging stories at Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site. He read his audience nicely and was welcomed with big smiles and clear enjoyment.
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 60 - 120 minutes
What to Expect
I engage audiences by involving them in the story and providing them with mental images they can identify with. Many of my stories will evoke laughter, others will bring tears, some bring both. I aim to entertain, educate, and inspire.
My Father was a storyteller. It was his everyday way of communicating important values and ideas. I followed his example, but didn't realize it until several years ago.
After leading a three-day training program at the Pentagon, I read the attendees’ evaluation forms. In response to the question, What did you like best about the program? several people responded, “Sandy's stories.” I didn't understand what they were talking about, so I asked my co-trainer. He replied, “Remember you told that story about the meeting in the Adirondacks, and one about the volunteer board of directors, and another about …” I realized then that I had told a lot of stories. And that's how I found out I was a storyteller.
Since then I've told stories more consciously and formally. In public performances I tell personal adventures, historical sagas, tall tales, stories about songs and the people who wrote them, and stories in the Jewish storytelling tradition. Take a look at what I have to offer, get in touch, and invite me to tell you a story – or help you tell yours.
Additional Booking Notes
As a storyteller and musician, my technical needs are simple: good quality microphones and amplification for both voice and guitar. The voice microphone can be on a straight stand or a wireless clip-on/ over the ear. The guitar microphone can be on a straight stand or boom. For small audiences, amplification may not be necessary.
Most important, there should not be distracting sounds from concurrent events or traffic. This is especially pertinent for festivals and outdoor performances.
I have a repertoire of over 80 stories. On average, they are each about 15 minutes long. Depending on the audience and the event, the stories in a set may be a mix of different types (e.g., historical, personal, musical, folktale) or they may be all of one type. The following list shows a category of stories followed by a few examples. Many of the stories span two or more categories. For example, "The Transfer" is a humorous, personal story that incorporates some early 20th century history.
- How New York State Got Its Western Border
- Same and Different: The Never-ending Story of Chanukah
- The Forgotten Man
- If Not Even Higher
- A Rabbi, a Prophet, and a King Walk into a Bar
- Honest Scales
- Song of the Century
- George Had Chutzpah; Ira Didn't
- Huddie William Ledbetter: Singer, Songwriter, Murderer; King of the Twelve-String Guitar
- Welcome to Chelm's Pond
- Two Kinds of Liars
- The Way to Paradise
- It's Hard to Tell a Hug
- Lucky Numbers
- The Prize Inside
Influences & Inspiration
Quiet performance space
Two microphones (voice and guitar)
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