Adrian Beckingham 'The Man From Story Mountain' - The power of story telling.
Updated: Aug 20, 2020
Adrian is a professional storyteller. He started this role in the late 90s after he moved to England from Australia. He had no idea that he was going to become a storyteller, but fate had other ideas. He was watching an elderly storyteller in his local library and was so taken by this experience that he went over to speak to the old man. He wanted to say how much he enjoyed the experience and he was taken aback by what the old man then said to him. He thought the man would just say, “thank you very much” and leave it at that - Adrian was sure that he would often have people come and thank him for the experience. But he tapped Adrian on the chest and looked him straight in the eye and said, “you will be a storyteller.”
Sure enough, he was right. The old man called him up six months later and told Adrian that he was going to do a story evening at Portland Castle in Dorset. At first Adrian thought, “no, I’m not”, but because he was a new father and could do with the cash, he agreed. After the evening was done and as the lady was handing him the check, her phone rang. She took the call and then came back to Adrian to say that the call was asking for a story teller to work all 12 castles in the South West. Would he be interested in the job? He found himself saying yes. The rest was history.
I asked Adrian if everyone has a storyteller in them.
“I think an awful lot of life is stories and people are always telling stories. Stories about what they’ve heard, stories about what they’ve seen, what they’ve done, what happened that day, what their dream was, things I’d like to aspire to, things that have upset them. They’re all stories, life is one big story board, really.”
Adrian believes that telling stories with intention is very empowering – and he would know! He has worked with all types of people, from people with mental health problems and people in jail to people bumbling around festivals… including every Glastonbury Festival for the last 25 years.
“Myths were created because they hold a central core of something that is valuable.”
Adrian believes the concept of myths being ‘untrue’ is wrong; he believes they are of architypes and there’s a lot of truth in the stories. This why they have been created and why they have been passed down through the ages. The power of these stories then creates legends of someone or something to aspire to. That’s what myths and legends are there for: to be inspired by, to give us something to work with in our lives.
Adrian wrote an amazing book called ‘Stories That Crafted the Earth’. This book is filled with ancient creation myths from around the world. It is wonderful to think of how these stories might be tens of thousands or maybe even millions of years old. But a good story – a good myth – stays fresh. Many myths and legends have been recrafted into fairy tales and folklore. Hopefully, they will be recreated again and again as the popularity of storytelling grows.
Adrian has been imparted with some very sacred and magical stories from various tribal shamans. One, when told, will bring the sun through the clouds. He has been strictly told to use this story only five times in his life, and he has two more times to use it. The last time he used it was a few years ago at a very wet Glastonbury Festival and, sure enough, after he told the story the clouds parted and the sun came out, witnessed by the audience. Another story about a raven will help you find an object that you have lost, but you have to say it all the way through without leaving out any detail – only then will you find the lost object.
Adrian will always continue to tell stories. Hopefully, until he is an old man and telling a story in library when a young, enthusiastic person will come up to him. Then he will know, “this is the person I need to pass the magic onto.”