Ira Glass on Storytelling

I discovered This American Life right about the time I started Telling. I'm not a regular NPR listener but when a friend mentioned a story about The Rubber Room, I had to hunt the program down. I was intrigued not only about the story of suspended teachers held in limbo by the New York City Board of Education, but by the way the piece was put together, that unique combination of storytelling and interviews. There's a particular style to Ira Glass's pieces that makes them easy to get into and think about - the mastery of Telling.

So when Hubby mentioned that he had done vidcasts talking about Storytelling, I had to track them down. What he says about finding and telling stories, crafting and moving through the process of creativity, and ultimately being tenacious about one's art were all things I needed to hear tonight.

Although he says there are only two building blocks to good storytelling, he actually identifies three - sequence of actions, an unanswered but answerable question, and a moment of reflection. All three make up good narrative whether for broadcast, literature, or performance storytelling.

In part 2, he emphasizes that finding and creating a story will take as much or perhaps more time than the actual production of the story. This makes sense, but I often get caught up in the production of a piece before I really know and have the story sunk into me.

In part 3, Glass reminds creatives that our vision and our execution are often gapped, especially at the beginning, and that that gap is when most people quit. Of course he says, Don't Quit.

In part 4, he encourages us to be ourselves, to not try to be the people we admire who are doing the thing we want to be doing, but to also remember that stories are best told when they show how relationships affects the narrator.

A terrific group of vids I'm glad Hubby found. I've got lots of thought and soul food for the journey.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Excellent videos! Thank you so much for posting. Makes me wish I were still in school doing ethnographic film so I could heed his advice. I will definitely pass this along.