Day One Stories

This week’s field trip was Day One Stories, a site sponsored by Prudential where people tell their story about their first day of retirement. Although the main purpose for the site is to promote the insurance company services on retirement, the way they do it is by appealing to their audience. Several videos and audios count touching stories about individuals on their first day of retirement. Carefully done with appealing music, plot, images, and video, each piece successfully connects the audience with the storyteller and feel immediately identified.

Each storyteller embodies their story as they tell it from their hearts.  They are not reading, they have no script. The way they narrate their lives makes you feel as if you are sitting next to them having a cup of coffee. Because they feel what they are saying, the voice doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter that it’s not narrated by a professional voice-over, there is no need to: they talk with rhythm that goes according with key scenes during the videos. As Jack Maguire states in his book “The Power of Personal Storytelling: Spinning Tales to Connect with Others”, when you feel what you are talking about, embodying your story, “[C]hances are you will still be speaking naturally because your voice will proceed from your full being, rather than merely from your heart” (p. 184).

Maguire also mentions “key” scenes, parts of the story that you re-create either in words or images and they represent “stones” in the plot that give the audience “perceived needs and cues; the circumstances surrounding the telling ocassion; and the influence of the physical setting” (Maguire, 1998, p. 139). In the video narrated by Hermann Bouska, as he narrates his story, he asks himself what is it that he always wanted to do but he couldn’t do as he was working. Now that he has retired, he sees this as a “new beginning”. As he is saying these words, the next scene in the video is a white garage door slowly opening, as if representing his life now: a blank slate opening to a new beginning that he will have to discover. This key scene helps Hermann say a big concept about his life ahead with less words.

References

Maguire, J.  (1998).  The Power of Personal Storytelling.  New York:  Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam.

Prudential (2012). Day One, Hermann BOuska. Retrieved from http://www.dayonestories.com/#/hermann

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StoryCorps

This week’s field trip was to StoryCorps http://storycorps.org/ a nonprofit site where anyone can produce, upload, and share any storytelling revolving in our lives. As Maguire’s book points out, this site truly displays that “inner” storytelling we have inside.

The first story I heard was “What has happened to the human voice?” http://storycorps.org/listen/studs-terkel/ by Studs Terkel, about his search of a human voice in one of main US airports.  His voice, as stated in Maguire book, is a voice that “proceeds from one’s being” (Maguire, 1998, p. 180). I then proceeded to listen “I’m so thankful for everything you’ve done” by Tracy and Sarah Johnson, about a mother and daughter-in-law whose daughter and wife was killed in Afghanistan.

All stories people talk with their heart. They are not only professional storytellers but professionals in life, with moving, touching, real situations that move listener’s emotions. “Just as a personal tale must be true to our selves to ring true to our listeners, so must our storytelling voice be natural—or true to our being—in order to move our listeners in a lasting way” (Maguire, 1998, p. 180).

Every story inspires; storytellers embody their story because they lived it and they want others to learn and benefit from them. It’s not memorization, but I envision them with their eyes closed as they speak and having each scene they narrate briefly displayed in their minds, making it easy just to report what they are actually seeing.

References

Maguire, J. (1998). The Power of Personal Storytelling. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam.

Awesome Stories

Our weekly field trip’s turn was for Awesome Stories, a place where one can get lost for days reading and learning about everything and everybody.

The site Awesome Stories somehow forces us to go back in time as we see many of their stories. As I was looking at stories about the 2004 tsunami, immediately I started thinking and daydreaming what I was doing and where I was when I heard these devastating news.

I read from What Matter This Week? The Impossible the story of “Tsunami Victims Speak”. The storytelling of Spanish doctor on how her Christmas vacations turned into chaos in December 2004 as the tsunami hit right where she was.

This site is also a wonderful compilation of history through narration, videos, slideshows, among others, all in one place for easy retrieval. As Maguire says, this is a place for “[G]aining a better sense of the places that have shaped our lives doesn’t just give us more and richer story ideas. It also helps ground us as individuals and tellers” (Maguire, 1998, p. 113). This is a place where to find inspiration, to go back to the human race’s childhood to fully understand where we stand today.

Listened to narrated story “Assassination of John F. Kennedy: http://www.awesomestories.com/history/john-kennedy/story-preface

Saw video “Slumdog Millonaire – Reaction to Film by People of Dharavi”: http://www.awesomestories.com/assets/-slumdog-millionaire-reaction-to-film-by-people-of-dharavi. An interesting point of view from locals from both young authors from the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”.  Amazing and genuine reactions to their success.

Channel: Argo – http://www.awesomestories.com/flicks/argo

Saw: Visual Vocabulary Builder, “Our Visual Vocabulary Builder is intended to help people of all ages to more efficiently and memorably learn new words. ” Opened pdf for “The Girl of the Dragon Tattoo”

References

Maguire, J. (1998). The Power of Personal Storytelling. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam.

This American Life

This week’s field trip was This American Life

This American Life Website is a place that helps people “find” their story by either making their own and uploading it or by listening to someone else story. I see this as a way of finding meaning in life.  We make a podcast, we share it, people listen, we identify with them.  We no longer are alone but there is someone out there going through our similar circumstances.

Lambert’s Cookbook mentions how in seven steps one can build not just a digital story, but good, powerful one that will have your audience completely identified.  Just as the Cookbook stress on identifying “the moment of change” (Lambert, 2006, p. 9), the site “This American Life” in the About Us section they stress this as well: “Tell us anything you think will help us understand what a great story it is. If the story happened to you and showed you something about the world you hadn’t realized before, or changed you” (This American Life, 2013).

Podcasts I listened:

The Fear of Sleep: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/361/fear-of-sleep?act=5#play

Halloween: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/39/halloween?act=2

In the Halloween podcast, go to Act 6 Screams, 7 minutes, at about minute 50:00.  Screaming. Something so liberating about screaming, where each scream has a story behind. People were told to call a number and leave a scream as a message. After you hear their explanation, you make sense of such scream.  A life behind indeed!

 

References

Lambert, J. (2006). Digital storytelling: Capturing lives, creating community. Berkeley, CA: Digital Diner Press.