In this project, we worked to better understand the Hero’s Journey through listening, reading, writing, watching and telling stories. We started off the project by reading all sorts of articles about the Hero’s Journey. Our first article we read was called, The Hero’s Journey: Life’s Great Adventure.This article helped us dip our toes into the project we had ahead of us. We talked about how the Hero’s Journey originated, and what the Hero’s Journey was made up of. We then began drawing out the cycle of the Hero’s Journey. This cycle has eight steps. The eight steps are: The Call, The Exit Threshold, The Road of Trials and Temptations, The Abyss, The Transformation, The Apotheosis, Crossing the Return Threshold, and Rejoining Our Community. We then spent the next few weeks digging deeper into what each of these stages are. We looked at another cycle that was called, The Shadows Journey. The Shadows Journey, is the journey you take if you don’t accept your call. Once Ally felt like we all had a strong grasp of the Hero’s Journey, we then started reading the book, The Alchemist. We read through this book picking out how it applied to the Hero’s Journey. We also began looking into archetypes which are the different characters in a book. These archetypes consist of the hero, mentors, allies, shapeshifters, shadows, etc. After finishing the book, The Alchemist, we had a Socratic Seminar discussing our understanding of the book. We then repeated this process while reading another book, Siddhartha.We were now done with our background knowledge and began learning about The Moth - a website where real live stories are told. We started learning how to tell great stories, by mind mapping and story boarding. Then we spent the next two weeks telling our stories over and over again. This helped us feel confident in what we had to say and we received feedback on how to strengthen it. We finished the project with an exhibition, exhibiting our stories, though not everyone had to tell one. It was a great way to come closer as a class and a community to see what people were really feeling in their lives.
As an actress you would think that presenting stories in front of your classmates and in front of an audience would be a piece of cake. I guarantee you it was not. I grew a lot through this project, with my reading, writing, and public speaking skills. Though, I feel like the most growth came from my trust for others in my class, as well as being able to tell a story that wasn’t scripted. It is easy to get up on a stage with memorized lines and not know a single person in the audience because the light is blinding you. It is a whole other thing to be able to get up in front of a class with no bright lights, knowing every single person, and not having your lines memorized. When having to come up with a story idea that I would be telling, I was really worried about what others would think, and how I would deliver a story that would change each time I tell it. After going around telling my story to others, my worry of what other people would say no longer lingered, because everyone was helping one another. The point of this project was to help one another with their storytelling abilities. A great growing experience I had was when I recorded myself telling my story and sent it to Ally. It was just me in my room talking, and I realized that I could tell my story with this much expression and emotion in front of my classmates too. I didn’t have to be the shy introvert I was used to being. My story was something I was proud of, something that I knew better than anyone else. I was then able to tell my story a few days later in front of the class. Though I didn’t tell my story at exhibition, I still learned lots about telling my story, even when it was just in front of my class.
An understanding that I will be able to take away from this project is that heroes, people, animals, etc. may have to go through challenges, hardships, and pain to turn out better in the end. I found that this was a fact, when looking over the Hero’s Journey. I especially found this fact in Siddhartha. When starting off this book, Siddhartha feels sad and alone, not finding the peace everyone was talking about. He travels throughout the book, trying to find this peace. He is faced with so many hard challenges, he gets to his abyss, where he feels there is no more use in life. He then rises from this experience, and finds peace with the river. As someone who has seen lots of sadness in other’s lives, I have worried that it may not get better. By learning about this journey that everyone takes, I have now realized that it is just a part of growing. I will continue to grow through my experience with ups and downs, but everything will be alright in the end.