The New Zealand Guild of Storytellers

Keith Levy. Naked Storyteller and Social Commentator.
Posted: December 17th, 2017 by Keith Levy | Leave a comment

Keith’s stories are both relevant and important because they are about the lived life.
He is the astute observer of life around him and of his own life.
If anybody can – he has the ability to put these observations to words and rhyme.
And in addition to that, move peoples hearts and get them listening to and engaged in, his stories.
Stories of what hurts, what is unfair, what is incomprehensible, what is funny.
He is able to twist the picture so his audience has to figure out if it’s him or a friend
who is the betrayed or the bastard.
When Keith’s art is at it’s best, it is showing a wondering or a pain more than the didactic or preachy tone. 
When he is showing the wonder, the reflection or the pain, he is really naked in front of his audience.
And he touches their hearts directly.
And that’s the profound art of this Storyteller and Social Commentator.
I guess he had to walk many roads with ‘What Will We Do’ – a story showing and sharing the pain
of what is happening in the modern life of his New Zealand.
Hanne Maja Christiansen
Denmark


At Wellington’s Breaker Bay Hall. October 27, 2017
Posted: December 15th, 2017 by Keith Levy | Leave a comment

I have known Keith Levy in a number of different guises. Advertising Artist, Graphic Designer and Creative Director. Then he became an exhibiting and successful Fine Artist before morphing into an Ocean Going Yachtsman and for the last seventeen or so years, an itinerant living a simple off grid life, a freedom loving gypsy traveler and Housebus Dweller.

Keith’s lifestyle and his variety of talents have always been interesting. He’s a larger than life character, extroverted and entertaining. Those who, like me, remember him from earlier days, shouldn’t be surprised at his bourgeoning career as a Storyteller. Interestingly though and despite his earlier commercial advertising career, he has embarked on a search for truths and has seemingly found a social conscience.

His rhyming stories are extremely clever. His observations human and touching, and his stories wonderfully relevant in a world we sometimes find a little difficult to understand. Keith’s best stories are when he tells you about life, love, growing old, human relationships and personal freedoms. When he tells these stories he reaches you in a compelling way. He also delves into populist global issues like the arms race and the refugee crisis. (‘He’s My Brother’ and ‘Not In My Backyard’) But he’s at his best when his stories are personal and local.

At all times you have to admire his rhyming, his use of language and his commitment to social issues.

Where has the glib advertising man gone?

This was an enjoyable and challenging night at Wellington’s iconic Breaker Bay Community Hall. Keith’s background guitar playing unobtrusively emphasised his words.

I cannot conclude this brief revue without complimenting Keith on his choice of the evening’s musical partners. The ‘Kugels’ played ethnically relevant, wonderfully energetic and instrumentally superb music.

Terry Christie. Wellington.

 


 



A Celebration Of Life. Mangawhai. November 12, 2017
Posted: November 14th, 2017 by Keith Levy | Leave a comment

Thank you Keith from the bottom of my heart for bathing us in your magnificent stories and in so doing, baring your soul. I hope you too were able to drink in the love and care flowing from myself and my beautiful beautiful friends. You were amazing. We cannot appreciate joy without sadness, celebration without grief,and life without death. And in the words of Leonard Cohen “Cracks are how the light gets in”. If I am brave, it is only because I am surrounded by the caring and courageous.

Andrea White



Love Death And Geraniums at Kumeu Arts Centre. February 25, 2017
Posted: March 8th, 2017 by Keith Levy | Leave a comment

I was aware of some of Keith’s views on life from The Flying Tortoise blog which he published for many years. I was fortunate to be travelling in the Auckland / Northland area when he was performing  with The Dirt Road Orchestra at The Kumeu Arts Centre, once again presenting their wonderful ‘Love Death And Geraniums’ program.
The audience was light on the night but to Keith’s credit, he started promptly on time, showing much respect for those who were there and performing as though it was a full house.
His approach and manner to performing is refreshingly simple, intimate and seemingly so relaxed and easy. It’s hard for me to describe the effect of allowing Keith’s rhyming stories and soft, gentle voice to wash over me. The experience allowed me to relax and take in a sense of connection with the simple tales of life he presented.
By half time I was so relaxed it was as if I’d just done a yoga class or finished a meditation.
The format for the evening was simple. Keith would tell one or two stories and The Dirt Road Orchestra would perform a song. They worked together in perfect harmony. Even just to contemplate some of the titles of Keith’s stories tells you something deep and meaningful is happening. ‘There’s Nowhere to Hide’. ‘Those Wasted Years’. ‘Walking The Talk’. ‘There are Those’, ‘Lost and Found’. ‘The Joy of Nothing’, ‘He’s My Brother’. ‘Right Till The End’. ‘Even The Blind Can See’. ‘Not In Our Back Yard’. ‘Will You’. ‘A Mile In His Shoes’. ‘Don’t You Love It’.
His is a thoughtful performance, quiet and quite riveting. More people need to hear these stories.
They are told with a sense of commitment, connection, warmth and intimacy which is so needed in today’s fast paced and distorted world.
Hats off to you Keith. You are a ray of sunshine. A gift to those who take the time to hear your truths.
Jimu Grimmett. Entertainer, Nelson.
 


A Birthday Celebration At Alligator Creek Farm, Waiwera. January 7, 2017
Posted: January 9th, 2017 by Keith Levy | Leave a comment

I’d like to repeat our enthusiastic endorsement of your performance on Saturday night at Alligator Creek Farm’s wonderful outdoor venue. Please be assured that we both enjoyed the content as fully as your relaxed and confident delivery. Your own stories in rhyme and the imaginative rendition of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Suzanne’ were, to us, equally satisfying. I’m sure that if Leonard could have heard you and The Dirt Road Orchestra that evening, he would have approved. We particularly appreciated your story ‘He’s My Brother’. As I mentioned to you earlier, I was immediately struck by how the powerful simplicity of it’s message is underscored by your own cultural background. Please do advise us of future gigs.
Keith Goddard and Barbara Blomfield.
Kaukapapapa.