Kiran believes in the power of story as a means to touch people, to engage, educate and entertain. Oral Storytelling enables the teller to connect with the audience and for the audience to connect to the teller, the story and oneself. Kiran believes that folktales in particular have the collective wisdom of generations before us and are even more relevant in today’s changing world.
In addition, Kiran believes folktales from different lands have a universality that speaks to all and unites us as human beings. Kiran stumbled into storytelling quite by accident in 1998 after being exposed to American Storyteller Cathy Spagnoli in Singapore. So captivated was she that she got a storytelling course going in 1999 and she’s not looked back!
She tells all her audiences she’s got the best job in the whole world! Kiran loves travelling, growing herbs and vegetables and watching the birds and other life in her garden in the Blue Mountains of Australia.
Background Info - The Boring Bits
Kiran Shah has had a varied career as a social worker, Montessori Directress, early childhood trainer and bookseller before she became a professional storyteller in 1999. She holds a BA (in Social Work and Sociology) and an MSc (in Early Childhood Education and Child Development). She has lived and worked with children and their families in the United States, Japan and Sri Lanka. She has been very involved in training early childhood educators in Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia , India and Malaysia.
Kiran is a current professional member and founding president of The Storytelling Association, Singapore (2006). She is also the Secretary of the Storytelling Guild of Australia (NSW) and has served as its online newsletter editor. She currently sits on the Guild’s Action Committee.
In her current home in Australia since early 2008, Kiran has participated in festivals, performed at Art Galleries in NSW and Canberra, the Botanic Gardens, in schools, at libraries and even on the train!
Kiran started out performing for preschoolers and primary school aged children in Singapore before moving on to telling to teenagers and adults, choosing stories to suit each audience with care. She prefers performing to smaller intimate audiences but has also told to audiences of over a thousand. She has told in child care centres, schools, libraries, art galleries museums, parks and shopping centres. Among her more unusual venues have been Changi International Airport and Changi Prison in Singapore as well as on trains in Singapore and Sydney.
Kiran has also been commissioned to tell stories related to special exhibits in art galleries in Sydney (AGNSW) and Canberra (NGA) as well as cater to specific themes (Harmony Day, Seniors' Week, Book Week etc).
Kiran has performed in various festivals, conferences and gatherings in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Thailand, Australia, Malaysia and Scotland.
Kiran has conducted storytelling workshops for students, teachers, parents, museum guides, oil executives and military personnel. Workshops last from 2 hours to all day ones depending on what is needed. Her introductory courses have been conducted in Australia, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and India.
Australian Book Distributor for Tulika Publishers, Chennai, India
Kiran has continued her long association (started in 1999) with this publisher of quality children's picture books in English and bilingual titles (English and other Indian Languages). Check out their website: www.tulikabooks.com