- Always Time for Story
- Coaching-Going Deep
- Discovering The Chi
- In Search of Story
- Stories of Ancient India
- Sacred Voices
- Zhukov’s Barber
Judaism is a world full of stories. Andy Fraenkel explains that over the centuries the stories became like candles which provided a source of illumination and comfort for the Jewish people in exile. Whether dealing with a problem from the often hostile world around them, or a question from scripture, or a doubt, or a celebration there was always a story to be told. Discover the delight and wisdom of the Jewish tale. A tradition comes to life with stories from the Kabala, the fools of Chelm, and the world of the Hasidic masters.
“Your presentation was a smashing success according to both our own impressions and the positive feedback we received from the many members of our congregation in attendance that evening. Your stories filled us with insight and sensitivity.” Stan & Linda Burech, Temple Shalom, WV
“Everyone truly enjoyed your wonderful storytelling program at our Sukkot dinner.” Shari Lipp-Levine, Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, IN
For actors, storytellers, performing artists. Individual coaching or group sessions.
You will come away with solid tools of the trade:
*speech – strengthen the voice
*stage presence – movement & gesture
*exercises to learn, practice and enhance your material
*ways to engage the imagination of your audience
*story structure – writing and editing your material
“Andy is a gold mine for anyone digging in the storytelling field. In addition, he is well equipped to provide the necessary tools for any prospector of tales. He has been my storytelling coach over the past ten years and has helped me tremendously. I have attended his workshops and have received private instruction as well. He offers a mix of humor, honest constructive criticism and knowledge of the art of storytelling. I enthusiastically recommend his services for anyone interested in developing their storytelling and writing skills.” John Sherwood, Musician/Storyteller, West Virginia
“Over the years, Andy Fraenkel has coached me on a variety of pieces, that led to my landing parts and also getting into college, where I studied acting. More importantly, he was the first to introduce me to the concept of technique and stressed its importance, in turn helping to shape my approach to all my work.” Halavah Sofsky, Actor/Filmmaker, NYC
“Although I’ve been writing and periodically telling stories for years, Andy’s expert guidance has taken my creative abilities to a whole other level. His mentorship has been invaluable. Over three decades of performing, writing, and teaching have given Andy the insight a master has of his subject, inside out and outside in. He recently helped this attached writer to learn to edit her work from an initially wordy and heavy script into an effective and fast moving tale that sacrificed none of the emotional content. What a difference this process has made in my ability to communicate in a compact and effective manner. THANK-YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!” Hedy Freed., Storyteller/Writer, Florida
Explore the art of balancing our inner and outer worlds through breath and movement. The Chi nourishes the body, mind and spirit. This gently engaging workshop introduces ancient techniques of meditation and stress relief. Andy Fraenkel shares techniques and principles common to Tai Chi, Chi Kung & Yoga. This is an interactive session wherein we will take away basic forms for our daily use.
Discussion/Writing/Small Group Interaction
The need to express ourselves by sharing our stories is essential to all human beings. In this workshop we come together to explore and reflect anew upon some of the stories of our life; the stories that have shaped us, nourished us and sent us forth on our life’s journey. As we discover these stories, we will find the storyteller within ourselves. And in preserving and sharing our stories, we celebrate ourselves, honor one another, and certainly enrich our lives. This gently engaging, interactive workshop will help us spark our creativity, ignite the imagination, and expand the remembrance of our past.
“I am very grateful for all you have helped me to learn. The workshop was very valuable and I feel there have been many seeds planted that I will now watch grow. ”
Charlotte J., Indianapolis, IN.
“It’s like being at an archeological site. But instead of some other culture, it’s your own life.” Howard S., Cincinnati, OH
“I want to thank you for the inspiring workshop and presentation.”
Rev. Brian Shaffer, Columbus, OH
“I received many positive comments from the leadership team and from those who attended your workshops.”
J.F. Lacaria, Conference Council On Ministries, United Methodist Church, WV
“Andy has an ability to share stories and encourage others to share stories as well. We brought him in to work with our foreign student population. The students who attended his session enjoyed it tremendously. They have already made plans to gather again. I support Andy’s creativity and passion without hesitation.” Karen Edwards, College of Wooster, Assistant Dean of International Student Affairs
Andy Fraenkel offers Katha, a traditional Hindu (Vedic) format of dramatic storytelling and includes a sprinkling of spiritual teaching and mantra meditation, meant to be both entertaining and enlightening. Katha means a telling, a story, a conversation. It could also mean Why.
The ancient stories of India have endured for millennia. The Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavat Purana and Bhagavad Gita are universally beloved by Hindus and provide the spiritual essence of their tradition. In these literatures we encounter avatars, heroes, heroines, demons, mystics and other powerful beings engaged in extraordinary situations, intrigues and conflicts. These stories have also proved to be a well spring of inspiration for dance, drama, puppetry, poetry and music throughout South Asia for countless years. A program can be formulated from any of the above literatures.
Andy weaves together fascinating stories. One example: A Shift In Eternal Time- wherein a bottomless lake suddenly appears in the middle of a forest; a child spends 16 years in the womb of his mother; a king wanders forlorn through the streets of his capitol. These strange stories come together to foreshadow the dawning of this present age of quarrel and hypocrisy – the Kaliyuga.
Andy Fraenkel brings to bear his three trips to India, and makes this Katha art form and these classic epics easily accessible to Western audiences. This ancient art of storytelling comes alive.
“Fraenkel offers an enduring popular manifestation of the art of storytelling, accessible to simple peasants as well as to professors of comparative literature.”
William Collins, Philadelphia Enquirer
“Spiritually uplifting and personally gratifying. You are indeed a gifted artist.”
Dr. Ishwar Harris, Wooster College, OH
“My students and I were deeply impressed by your unique style of storytelling.”
Dr John Ho, Florida State University
“Thank you for the wonderful presentation for my World Religions class of some 200 students. It was very effective and yielded a lot of positive feedback.”
Dr. Galen Amstutz, Florida State University
“Thank you very much for your performance. It was enjoyed by young and old. You created a long lasting impression on our minds.”
Koti Sreekrishna, Hindu Society of Cincinnati
Sacred Voices is a pilgrimage into the world’s sacred traditions through storytelling, poetry, and meditations. The wisdom of the world’s cultures and religions has traditionally been shared through storytelling where everyone can find a place. Sacred Voices provides a focus in our inquiry into cultural diversity, religion and myth. Selections are drawn from the Sufi, Islamic, Hasidic, Hindu, African, Native American, Christian and Buddhist traditions. Sacred Voices declares that our cultural, philosophical, religious, or ethnic differences are, in fact, an avenue to a profound understanding, rather than an excuse for disagreement and strife.
“I am writing to thank you for the many wonderful programs that you provided for the students and faculty of Hanover. Thank you especially for your moving presentation of `Sacred Voices.’ Our students were genuinely touched. We will not soon forget the voices of Rumi, St. Francis, the Jewish shoemaker, or Chief Seattle.”
Dr. R. Rosenthal, Hanover College, IN
“The feedback on your presentations during Religious Emphasis Week has been very good. Clearly, your programs and presence generated a great deal of thought and reflection.” Rev Max Carter, Guilford College, NC
“Your program, for my New School University course of sacred stories from around the world, was one of the highlights of the semester. Many students remarked to me afterward about the charm with which you told spiritual stories, and the warmth and humaneness you communicated through your tales and in the answers you gave to their questions. I will be more than happy to recommend you for storytelling programs any chance I have. I hope to enjoy and learn from your storytelling again soon.”
Professor Yitzhak Buxbaum, Author & Scholar, New School University, NYC,
This talk highlights my research on my book-in-progress – Zhukov’s Barber – which is based on the true story of my father, Duvid Fraenkel.
Duvid is ripped away from his family on the dawn of Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in June of 1941. Relocated n Moscow, amazingly, Duvid becomes the personal barber to General Zhukov and his staff. Zhukov, already a top general, is still a rising star and in 1942 becomes the commander (Marshal) of all Soviet troops. Eventually, Zhukov drives the invading Germans from Russian soil and goes on, by General Eisenhower’s own admission, to become the hero of WW II.
Through all this, Duvid and Zhukov develop a testy relationship. Many of the things Duvid says or does could have gotten him shot. But Zhukov seems to tolerate and even admire Duvid’s candidness. Duvid, although swept along by powerful historic circumstances, is still very much his own man.
In this presentation I talk about Marshal Zhukov’s crucial role in defeating the Nazi forces on the Eastern Front in WW II, my father’s experiences, his roots in Jewish mysticism, his contentious relationship with Zhukov, and his miraculous survival.