top of page
  • editor

How do you become a Storyteller? One man’s journey…

Storyteller Will Hornyak says:  “My introduction to storytelling was through working as a newspaper reporter.  I wrote sports, features and covered the mandatory school board and city council meetings at the Milwaukee Journal in Wisconsin. It was good training in crafting a story, learning how to interview people and pay attention to the wider world. In 1978 I received a grant to work as a reporter in Peru and spent the next year and a half living there and traveling widely in Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Venezuela.  I wrote my first performance piece called “For Lack of Steadfastness” inspired by a Chaucer poem, sitting in the plaza in Cuzco, Peru.  The previous night I had walked for hours around the Incan ruins in the hills behind Cuzco.  The big stones seemed to draw ideas out of me like some gravitational force and I just started improvising a play on the spot.  The next morning I went directly to the plaza and started writing.

“I think of that experience as a marker. After that I drifted away from journalism as a career.  I earned my living as a carpenter in San Francisco and lived in an intentional community loosely based around the ideals of right livelihood, eco-topianism and earth-based spirituality. I heard my first professional storyteller, Jay O’Callahan in 1981.  After that I was hooked.  Since that moment I set out to become a storyteller and followed William Blake’s advice:  If the fool would persist in his folly, he would become wise.” 

Will is part of a quartet of tellers performing in the Portland Storytellers’ Guild October 7 show Edge of Illusion: Magic, Mystery, and Moments of Surprise in the Clinton Street Theater at 7:30 pm.

A little more info about Will:

Bio: From Irish folktales and Native American legends to Russian fairytales, Greek myths and original material, storyteller Will Hornyak weaves a wide web of oral traditions into engaging performances, workshops and classes. He teaches storytelling in professional communication at Marylhurst University and assists corporate and non-profit organizations in telling the stories that reflect their values, vision and mission. Will has worked with the Portland based non-profit “Open Hearts Open Minds” to integrate dialogue groups, storytelling and theatre into Oregon penitentiaries. A Young Audiences roster artist since 1997, Will was recently selected to perform at the National Storytelling Festival in October of 2016.

“Storyteller par excellence….boundless wit…endless enthusiasm…takes listeners across a spiritual threshold…” The Oregonian

Get tickets for Edge of Illusion: Magic, Mystery, and Moments of Surprise here for Saturday, October 7 at 7:30 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm) in the Clinton Street Theater.

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page