I am excited to bring you today’s guest Michael Harvey (no relation), a professional storyteller who knows a fare bit about story, myth and magic.

Over the last few weeks, I have been talking extensively on the Sunday Shortcast about stories and the importance of having a narrative for the life we want to live.

I believe that story is a fundamental part of who we are; our story gives life its meaning. But there is more; through the sharing of stories, we find resonance with others, we build community bonds and stronger friendships. However, the digital world has commoditised it and we are surrounded by stories from music, film and social media. To some extent, as humans, we have lost the art of the shared narrative.

If there is one thing that all of the top entrepreneurs have in common, it is the ability to bring people together under a shared narrative. A story of how life could be better if…

As you will hear in this show, his vocation found him. You will discover the difference between performance and storytelling; how a well told story creates the illusion of time stopping.  Our conversation covers, his journey through myth and magic and we touch on archetypes like the ‘Hero’s Journey’. Michael also introduces us to the Mabinogion, a Welsh tale of lust and war from the middle ages.

Michael’s Journey

Michael Harvey was brought up in Glasgow and had a childhood desire to become a policeman. By the time he reached college, he did not know what he wanted to do.  There was a time in the UK when getting to University was hard, but if you made the cut, there was a grant to cover the cost of tuition and living expenses. In his words, he was paid to go to Nottingham University so it was an easy, obvious thing to do.

By the second year, Michael’s fellow students looked at companies they might want to work for and went to interviews as part of the milk round. He knew that was not for him.

“I had this image of myself buttoning the suit up, and then there was a flash and I was being buried in it.”

He drifted around for a few years, then finding himself at the 1st ‘Beyond The Borders’ storytelling festival; he witnessed a fantastic story and was smitten. 

“When your vocation comes and gets you, it makes other decisions very simple.”

He got out into the world and made a name bringing stories to schools and art centres. He built a company and toured with a show for eight years.  He has travelled all over the world, telling stories and teaching the skills of storytelling ever since.

At the time of our conversation, COVID had clipped his wings. However, he went online and is currently teaching presentation skills to senior executives from a storytelling perspective.

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