Teri West began entertaining people as a teenager in the ‘60s as a singer/guitarist in pubs and clubs. Life, and single parenthood intervened, until, after thirty-odd (very odd) nomadic years, pursuing various and diverse occupations, a set of mysterious circumstances led to her becoming a full-time student at Europe’s only School of Storytelling at Emerson College in 1994, when she rashly gave up all secure means of earning a living to concentrate on becoming a ‘professional’ storyteller. Since then Teri has worked at clubs, parties, theatres and pubs; festivals, fun-days, play-days and fetes, in schools, halls, arts centres, and the street, around the UK, in France, and Japan for a wide variety of audiences.
Solo storytelling shows include:- ‘Gawain & the Green Knight’, ‘Dodgy Doings & Delightful Ditties’, ‘Speaking to the Stars’, ‘Welcome to Winter’, 'Under the Bodhi Tree'
Autobiographical anecdotes and old hippy songs make up ‘My Aunty Knew the Shah of Persia’ (true).
She sings a variety of melancholic and whimsical songs with guitar accompaniment, is a mean jaw harp player and has been seen on international boulevards and in Japanese shopping precincts playing in samba bands as an improvising surdo player (the big loud drums) and with youth groups making magic with trash (a la 'Stomp' in its infancy).
She has acted semi-professionally, playing Midi Paradoc in ‘A Resounding Tinkle’, Ratty in ‘Toad of Toad Hall’, Jean Brodie in ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ and as ‘Mother Holly‘ or ‘Aunty April‘ (slightly ascerbic larger than life characters for street performing / festivals / parties.
Having been seduced into clowning a few years ago from a chance meeting with Nose to Nose (www.nosetonose.info) Teri trained in fooling around and eventually became a founding member of The Fool Effect (sadly no more, one developed Parkinson‘s disease, one went blind, one left the country) an improvising group of clowns, taking stories or anecdotes from the audience, national or local news, and re-interpreting them in the fool's inimitable fashion.
From there Teri and Ali Dando, also from the Fool Effect developed a double act ‘Doris and Gladys’ a couple of theatre cleaners who carry the show when the main event doesn’t turn up.
Teri, Ali and Carol Thompson, were on the streets again at the Summer Squall Festival in Ramsgate in August 2015 as ‘Tea Time Tales’ (Mad Hatter’s Tea Party meets Listen with Mother).
Current Fool Effect show: 'Heroes Anonymous' three biographical clown acts - with Carol Thompson and Judy Cassels
Teri is currently enjoying performing on the cabaret stage with 'In Bed with the Buddha' 'using material taken from her part in 'Heroes Anonymous'.
The cabaret stage may appear an unlikely environment in which to meet Buddhist philosophy, particularly concerning death. However, 'In Bed with the Buddha' brings together a set of self-penned songs and personal stories inspired by the great deal of time Teri has spent sitting around with monks and nuns, pondering this and that.
The wisdom Teri brings from the Zen tradition in her songs and experiences may be deep, but comes with a generous helping of fresh wit, and a light garnish of irreverence.
Listen to an inspiring interview with Teri West on The Elsabe Smit Show on 29th October 2017 at 4pm on this link: https://www.facebook.com/AskElsabeSmit/videos
Here is a link to the recorded show on Youtube.