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Home » How the Story Transforms the Teller: Donald Davis at TEDxCharlottesville (Transcript)

How the Story Transforms the Teller: Donald Davis at TEDxCharlottesville (Transcript)

Donald Davis

Here is the full transcript of storyteller Donald Davis’ talk titled “How the Story Transforms the Teller” at TEDxCharlottesville conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio: How the story transforms the teller by Donald Davis at TEDxCharlottesville


Donald Davis – American storyteller

I’m Donald Davis, and I tell stories. If you come to see me at a festival, you will meet me as a performer. But a great deal of the most important work I do is help other people find the stories from their lives that are most important to them. And because the theme today is reflection, it gave me an opportunity to think back about how I began to work with other people’s stories, and how I learned a few things about those stories. But to do that, I must tell you a story.

I want to tell you a story that my father told me only once more than 50 years ago. And then share his reflection on that story, and then at the very end, a tiny reflection of mine. My father’s name was Joe – a very common, ordinary name. Our name is Davis, even more common, ordinary name. And even in the town where I grew up, Waynesville, North Carolina, there were three Joe Davises. So they all had community nicknames so people could tell which one were we talking about this time.

There was Joe the photographer. Not my dad. There was a farmer named Joe, who always used his middle name, Joe Silas, so people could tell him apart. And there was my father, who was the one-man loan department in our little county seat First National Bank. His community nickname was ‘Banker Joe.’ I was 13 years old, when one day, my mother was on her way to the ‘Lady Fair Beauty Parlor.’ She didn’t want me to go, so she dropped me off and left me at the bank with my dad.

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