ABOUT LONDON STORYTELLER, ANDY COPPS
Andy lives in Surrey, United Kingdom with his wife and three children. He enjoyed a 20 year corporate office career and spent many hours volunteering his time on weekends to work with children in storytelling, which was the start of his journey to tell stories to all ages. He is passionate about people across all walks of life and relishes opportunities to listen to their stories.
Q&A WITH ANDY
Where are you from Andy?
I am originally from South Africa and moved to London in 2001.
What made you decide to become a writer and storyteller?
I love creating stories, characters and visual settings based on my experiences and travels. When I started sharing my stories with children and adults, I started receiving requests "for more" or "tell it again ... and again ... and again"
What's your favourite 'well known' children's story?
Oooh, that is a tough question. For young children it would be choice between The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle or The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl. For older children, I love Michael Morpurgo’s work.
Why is storytelling important to you?
I strongly believe that "the story" is everything and the best way to share a story is in the way our ancestors did, which was in person through dance, art and the spoken word. It's a marvellous skill to develop which can be applied to all aspects of life including family and social interaction and for the development of public speaking.
What is your favourite type of audience?
I thoroughly enjoy telling stories to all ages. What is wonderful to see is the way that children are so expressive when listening to a story. Adults slowly lose that lively expressiveness, so something I have come to learn is "don't read an adult's face as a measure of satisfaction". I have recently also started working on Reminiscence storytelling with the elders.
Why is storytelling for all ages important?
I am fascinated by the stories from our elders and feel that it is so important for the young and the "not-so-young" to share stories together. Society needs to get back to the way our ancestors respected our elders and I believe creating a haven for stories from the past will be invaluable in so many ways.
What are you working on now?
I am currently writing some stories set in Southern Africa and experimenting with puppetry. I am also performing with more musical instruments, including my invaluable ukulele.