Carole Forman has performed her story-programs around the United States and Canada, exciting audiences of all ages and backgrounds. She has been called "the most fluent, dramatic storyteller you are ever likely to see or hear . . ."*
Her telling reflects her eclectic background and her love of all of the arts.
Trained as an actor and as a painter, she has also been a folksinger, chanteuse, and long-time yoga instructor. She trained and works as a therapeutic counselor at Life Works Inc. All add to her creative and imaginative storytelling, and to the thoughtful and feelingful discussions she leads with her listeners whether at synagogues, churches, schools, or on theater stages. Wherever Carole tells stories, she creates community.
Carole is a Baal Misaper Ruchani - a Master Spiritual Storyteller; she received smicha-- ordination-- in the Jewish Spirit Maggid Training Program and has developed an extensive and exciting repertoire of Jewish tales. Her diversity programs of stories from many cultures-- Native American, Chinese, African, Hindu, Christian, Sufi, Buddhist, Taoist, and Jewish-- make the particular universal and encourage connection to oneself and to others.
Carole leads workshops in creative spirit-centered movement called Soul Motion ~ TenuYah! using themes
drawn from Judaism and nature, and has encouraged movement in religious services.
As a professional actress Carole appeared in the Broadway production of "Strider: The Story of a Horse" based on the short story by Tolstoy. Carole currently plays the role of the biblical Miriam in "In the Voices of Our Mothers."*** This thrilling five-woman piece charms and arouses listeners of
all backgrounds wherever it is presented, in a synagogue, church, or secular venue.
Carole is married to author, teacher, storyteller Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum.
They live in Brooklyn,
Carole on Storytelling
Why do you tell stories?
Because I feel so alive. Telling story uses so much of me. I get to be all the characters; in fact, I play the story itself! But the reason I tell stories as a profession is because I get to tell to all sorts of people, to share with people I know and with people I’m just meeting for the first time in a togetherness-- seeing eye to
eye, listening ear to ear. We are moved together, we get closer to each other, and together we are lifted up.
What kind of stories do you like to tell?
I like stories that move me viscerally, that get under my skin, that move me emotionally, make me laugh, cry, leap, swell with feeling, recognize myself, drive me to dance. I’m drawn to stories that delve into the depths, the soul of human experience. A good story hangs around, it let's me know, "I'm yours, even if I annoy you and you don't get me yet."
For me, whether a story is inspiring, charming, fascinating, or provocative, it must bring us into
contact with ourselves and our own yearning to be free, to express our feelings, our truth, to be touched,
to be connected, to understand ourselves. Above all, I like stories that contact the Great Spirit, that sing out to
the Great Mystery. Some call this God-- the Source, the Force, the One. It doesn't matter what the name is or if it's not named at all in the story, still, that search for meaning and connection is in evidence. And
this may be in the silliest Chelm story (a genre of Jewish tales about a town of Jewish fools), or in the
adventures of a little mouse from the Lakota, or in a Taoist tale of a woman who weaves a tapestry through which she expresses her heart.
The important thing is that Story has the power to transform, to uplift, to knit us together. Story exists
to empower us, to remind us of our greatness in this wondrous collaboration called life.
Did you always know you were a storyteller?
I was not acquainted with storytellers per se so it took some intervention to recognize the storyteller
in myself. Yet when I painted pictures for my BFA in painting I saw that I painted like the actor in me. If I'd
had the words I would have said I was telling a story in the painting.
When I went on to do theater it seemed to me that the visual artist in me was now showing up in the acting, in the singing--I didn't just want to be one person, I wanted to
describe the scene, the atmosphere. When I was a cabaret singer someone** wrote that I was a "singer-storyteller" and I asked him why he'd written storyteller. "Because you are," he said.
I left acting because I could not overcome losing my voice through fear before performances. So some years later when I'd married Yitzhak, who is a master storyteller, and he began teaching others to be maggidim (a Jewish inspirational speaker and storyteller) and I came along out of my love for Jewish learning, he noted that I was good at storytelling and I pointed out that I had been an actor. And that was when the shidduch, meaning the "union" of story and performance and spirituality, in this case Judaism, happened; it all came together. So that was the shidduch -- the marriage. And I never faced those obstacles again. And that's when I came home to what I already was-- a storyteller. That's what we're looking for in life isn't it? To come home to who we are, to who we were always meant to be?
*Rabbi Alan Greene, Shaaray Zedek Synagogue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
** Sidney Meir, impresario, Don’t Tell Mama cabaret, New York City
*** Written and directed by Carol Fox Prescott, see Links