The crackling fire and the circle of seats entices the storyteller to fill the air with tales to dance with the imagination. A gentle light within the circle and a quiet anticipation of the opening words sets the scene and calls to the mind of the listener. The teller of the tale may have many ways to portray the story and many lessons and experiences to impart, but the silence and anticipation before the all so crucial first words is a deafening noise to the ready listener.
To truly listen to the bard is to open your mind to the influence of the tale and to know the motive of the bard is important to the perception of the tale. A bard by their nature should be capable of relaying their own perceptions and beliefs of a subject, to portray the words and meanings of others well, will ask a great deal of faith and belief from the bard to the words they will borrow. The teller who chooses to tell their own tale or version will betray much of their own inner self and risk showing their flaws, perceptions and prejudice. Such a teller is a brave soul indeed when it comes to imparting the lessons and meanings behind their own tales.
The bard and the tale is only a part of the show. The listener it seems holds the key to the success of the tale. The mismatch of the bard and listener will distort the spirit of the tale, but success will result in learning both for the listener and the bard. In this instance I suggest the spirit of the tale grows within the minds and actions of all there. The modern bard will speak to us through many forms; the book, the song and the show. But the essence of their work remains the same.