We’ve talked about a lot of heavy stuff on the podcast this year – the pandemic, sexual violence, trans healthcare, mental health and reconciliation all to name a few. So before we take a summer break* it felt like we needed a safe space, somewhere serene where we can get back to nature and just talk like two people. In other words, we just need someone to tell us a story.
This week’s guest is Jay Wilson who’s an actor, puppeteer, elocutionist, vaudevillian, writer, producer, and director. You or a friend may have been on one of his Jaywalking tours, a storytelling series where Jay almost literally takes you on a walk through Guelph’s history. Wilson had a long and varied career in live theatre before he retired and started Jaywalking in 2019, and becoming one of Guelph’s premier storytellers. Even the pandemic couldn’t keep Jaywalking down!
On this podcast, Wilson will talk about how he got into storytelling, and how he crafts his set list depending on the crowd. He will also discuss what makes a good story and what makes a bad story, and Wilson will talk about how the pandemic affected the storytelling business, and his preference for performing in-person. Wilson will tell a couple of stories; something for the parents with “Strickland’s Storm”, and something for the kids with “Francis O’Feline”.
Let’s set the scene: This podcast was recorded live at Riverside Park, which is the first time in two years that an episode of this show was recorded with two people in the same space. The choice of location is very particular because the enabling garden inside Riverside Park is often a stage for storytelling with Tea ‘n’ Tales, and Wilson has often performed there. Tea ‘n’ Tales is coming back to the garden on September 2, and Wilson will be there, so this week’s podcast might best be seen as a kind of warm-up act.
So let’s get into story time on this week’s Guelph Politicast!
To learn more about Jaywalking, or to book a private show for your event, you can visit Jay’s website here. It’s not too late to still get on the waitlist of the “Gwelf Early Days” performances for the Guelph Public Library on August 16.
*Programming Note: Guelph Politicast will return with new episodes on Wednesday August 31.
Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.