– What do stories represent for you?
For me stories are like maps for life. They transmit the wisdom of the ages and guide us in the journey of life.
– So do you consider your work as a storyteller a means of transmitting ancestral wisdom?
Yes. Exactly. These stories came to me unexpectedly and, as nothing happens by accident, I feel I need to communicate them with others. Of course you can find these stories in books but it is not the same to read them as to hear them told. When we hear them from the mouth of someone we receive the energy of the story, the teller’s feelings, experience of life, the images that they see and something of their humanity. It is a unique sensation of communication from one to another, to share in the most profound sense of the word. And so something ancestral awakens in us….
-Where do you find your material?
I have found some of them in the collections of traditional tales by Henri Gougaud, Antonio Almodovar and other authors.But above all I received a magnificent legacy from my years working with Tim Bowley who has made an excellent selection of different stories from around the world. Treasures like the legends of King Arthur, stories from the Native Americans, Celtic stories from Ireland, European Fairy Tales and stories from the traditions of Zen Buddhists, Sufism, as well as Arabia, China and India. It is a very rich and varied repertoire of stories that have one thing in common, that they are maps to find your path through life…
– Since words are the primary instrument of your work, how do you feel telling in a foreign language?
There are many ways to tell. My style is to create images and archetypes using simple words. I tell the skeleton of the story without giving too much detail so that each member of the audience is free to create their own images and experience whatever touches them at that particular point in their lives. Obviously, I feel freer in Spanish but even in French or English I find simple ways to tell the story. When a story is good, language is not an obstacle to transmit it.
-Did you fall into the cauldron of stories when you were a child, like Obelix?
Absolutely not! I was thirty when I first met the English storyteller Tim Bowley, who had been telling for 25 years. He suggested that I work with him translating his stories in his shows, and that is how I started. I have gained my experience telling on some of the most important of storytelling’s stages.
– What training do you need to be a storyteller?
I don’t have any formal training as a storyteller. I have done a good theatre training and I have a lot of experience in voice work, corporal expression, dance, yoga, meditation and, above all, many years on the stage. But I believe that for this work the biggest school is that of life. It is from life that we can bring out the characters and transmit the deepest emotions. In this work there is no retirement, quite the opposite, I believe that the older you are the better you become.
– What is your most beautiful memory from telling so far?
1998, in the Storytelling Marathon of Guadalajara, one of the oldest storytelling festivals in Spain and a great meeting place for storytellers. Tim and I started to tell in the courtyard of the Palace of the Infantado in front of an audience of around 2,000 people with a terrible racket in the background. Suddenly there was a sepulchral silence and this immense number of people was listening with all their attention. Two thousand minds becoming quiet and imagining together….. I felt both a peace and an indescribable emotion. This is the most powerful moment I have experienced in the twelve years of my career.
– And your worst moment?
I don´t have any very negative experiences. Sometimes it is to tell in some high schools for groups of adolescents who are made to come and don’t really want to be there or listen to the stories. It is a strange experience like a waste of something valuable. But in the end even the most reluctant audiences end up being captivated. Stories have this power.
– Does your name come from a story?
Not exactly a story but a true story that happened to my father. He was 10 years old and he was swimming in the sea when he was suddenly caught in a whirlpool. He was on the point of drowning when a woman saw him from the beach, jumped into the water and saved his life. This woman was called Casilda and my father swore to call one of his daughters by this name.