True words and hoop skirts

Written by Kim Poovey, “Truer Words” is a novel about Emma Victoria Brown, a woman born in the Lowcountry during the Victorian era. Kim is a performer too, and is bringing her character to the stage at ARTworks this month: share in Emma’s childhood antics, love, sorrows, Civil War experiences, and ambitions. Poovey has reenacted many Victorian roles and she has the ladylike wardrobe to prove it. Here’s what she has to say about her storytelling journey:

How did you get started in storytelling? 

Kim Poovey
Kim Poovey

Storytelling for me was serendipitous. I was living in N.C. and terribly homesick for the Lowcountry. The kids I worked with at a before/after school care program began asking about a trip my boss was taking to Charleston. After sharing the beauty of the area, I shared stories of Beaufort, specifically ghost stories. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was sharing “Great Expectations” in storytelling form with the group. Needless to say my storytelling progressed from there including participating as a ghost tour guide for the annual ghost tours of Beaufort to benefit CAPA to traveling the Southeast performing as different characters like Jane Austen, Scarlett O’Hara, and the main character of my novel, Emma Victoria Brown.

Who are your storytelling influences? 

My parents were a great influence on me as a storyteller. My mother read stories to us every night. She used different voices for each character leading me to believe it was the way everyone did it, so when the opportunity came for me to share stories with children I did the same. My father told Edgar Allen Poe stories at my slumber parties as entertainment. How many kids can say they not only were entertained with ghost stories at a slumber party but also got a literature lesson at the same time?

How do people react to your Victorian character?

People have responded affectionately to Emma Victoria Brown and her family. I have traveled throughout the southeast for nearly eight years now sharing her life with audiences. I have watched them shed tears over Emma’s losses and laugh at her crazy antics. Many attendees have shared that some of Emma’s childhood stories took them back to their own childhoods when times were simpler and carefree. Others have shared that they felt as if they were actually there with Emma experiencing everything being described. Most people ask if Emma is real. My response is always the same. I suspect that somewhere in history Emma and her family existed but was anonymous to the world. God gives me all of my stories, perhaps it’s His way of memorializing this family.

“Truer Words, a Novel & Event by Kim Poovey” is a performance on February 15 & 16 at 7:30 in the black box theater at ARTworks in Beaufort Town Center, 2127 Boundary Street. www.artworksinbeaufort.org, 843-379-2787.

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