Worldwide Jamie

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I’ve finished my story! I’ve finished my story!

For a while I was terrified that it wouldn’t come together. And I was certain it would come to me much easier than it did. Thankfully everything kind of fell into place in the last couple of weeks.

It’s not perfect but I’m really happy with it and this gives me a lot of confidence to create more stories in the future.

Thank you to RK and Greg for helping with the story. I can’t begin to thank Aleah enough for even letting me do a story on her. Especially since the first thing she said was, “Why me? I’m not that interesting!” 

And thank you to Vocalo and WBEZ and the incredible group of people that took time out of their Saturday’s to teach us how to get to this point. 


It’s Almost Finished

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a story must be worth at least the amount of words used to tell the story right? Well, here is a picture of the subject of my Vocalo workshop.
Consider this the teaser trailer?

Stay tuned for more! 

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Israeli diamond dealers and incompetent jewelers. Kosher dinners and incompetent story makers. That’s what this post is about.

My subject invited me out to eat on a business dinner with some friends and one of her clients who happens to be a diamond dealer. Like her. Excited at the opportunity to capture this unique and intimate dinner conversation I told everyone I would be recording and everyone was ok with it. Aleah, my subject who is very insistent that she needs to try to be any more interesting than she already is, suggested everyone tell interesting stories. She wanted to tell jokes and talk about the business of dealing diamonds. Hearing her client tell stories about her and why she is so great to work with was like hearing pearls drop into a bucket. I couldn’t have asked for better sound bites.

When I got home I uploaded everything to my computer to begin logging my sound.  It. Didn’t. Work.

The background noise was too loud. I didn’t have the recorder close enough to anyone and most of the stories were missed. I salvaged a very small sliver of conversation and even it is rough.

Even though my audio might have been terrible, at least I learned a lot from this experience. For example, putting the recorder on the table, EVEN if you have your headphones on and it sounds like you are getting great audio isn’t enough. You are really going to need to put the recorder in people’s faces.

Another thing I’ve taken away is a lesson in editing. I’ve taken a much longer story, edited out the parts too difficult to hear, and turned it into something I think still holds the essence of the story while managing to be listenable. Even if only just barely.

The best thing to take away from tonight is having met new people, heard some great stories, and a commitment to do better next time.

Oh yeah. And one of my shirt buttons was undone for half of dinner. 

Let me tell you a story…

Psyche. I tricked you, Vocalo. I’m not very great at telling stories. At least, not on the fly or in any kind of raconteur capacity. My suspicion is that my brain moves faster than my mouth and I start leaving out details that I assume people are going to fill in the best parts of the story; the details. I’m also guilty of telling stories that you just needed to be there for which, trust me, is just as bad for the person telling that story as it is for the listener. 

But I love stories. It doesn’t even have to be that great of a story. I like the act of listening and imagining what the experience must have felt like or looked like or smelled like and pretty much putting myself in the shoes of that storyteller as much as I can.

I love stories so much that even though I know I’m not so great at telling them I still do it. I launch into a story and either get bored of telling it about two sentences in or realize that it’s not really going anywhere. But, I don’t stop. I keep going. Until I finally reach the end. And it’s a terrible ending. So I usually have to say “The End” to signal to people that it’s the end of the story. Which, you know, I like to think people find endearing. 

What I can do is tell other people’s stories. It’s part of the reason I’m an actor. I like taking other peoples stories and telling them. From the outside of anything it’s easier to take it in objectively and as a whole which makes the arc of a story easier to see. It’s also a way to live vicariously through other people’s stories and pretend like they are my stories being told. Which, yes, is admittedly self centered and probably not the best reason to tell a story.

All of that leads me to this; Vocalo’s storytelling workshop is a way for me to learn how to better tell a story. I’ll have the advantage of an unparalled organization of storytelling behind me, guiding me as I craft a loose set of thoughts, ideas, and sounds into a cohesive and entertaining whole. One where hopefully I won’t have to say “The End” to let people know it’s over. And hopefully one where people won’t even want it to be over.

So, Vocalo, thank you for this opportunity. And fellow workshopsmates*, I look forward to hearing your stories and learning from you. And to those whose stories I deign on telling, I promise to tell them honestly and respectfully. 

The End

*I made this word up. It means “People with whom you take a workshop”