SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Saratoga Jewish Cultural Festival will present an online performance on Sunday, July 11, at 7 p.m. by Beth Sabo Novik. Her Zoom storytelling program that evening is entitled,“Memories and Mishegas: My Jewish Grandmother and Other Crazy Stories.”
According to Novak, her grandmother was the inspiration for the program, which will include Grandma Ida stories interspersed with Jewish folktales.
Grandma Ida “was a 4’11” fireball who was both fearless and full of laughter,” Novik said.
Novik is a storyteller who uses her background in theater and dance from Oberlin College. After a severe injury in her dance company in San Francisco, she moved to Seattle, Washington, where she learned massage technique. After moving to Saratoga Springs, she added personal training and hypnosis to her skills. Today, her career has morphed into teaching workshops and coaching clients on how to have less stress and more joy.
Novik reports that her storytelling fascination began in her youth. As a child, her family vacationed in Bar Harbor, Maine and she met storyteller Jackson Gillman. He would weave together stories while simultaneously performing them, which captivated her. Years later she took a workshop in storytelling and discovered that her background in theater and dance, coupled with her natural expressive style, served her well.
“She has a genuine gift and coupled with her strong professional background she soon realized it was good for her and the audience,” said Phyllis Wang, coordinator of the Saratoga Jewish Cultural Festival.
Several years ago, she won a coaching session with an unknowing mentor at an auction and was thrilled to work with Jackson Gillman.
Following her storytelling, Novak will answer questions of interested audience members.