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.
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