Storytelling: Ira Glass

February 15, 2009 at 9:38 pm (Reaction)

Ira Glass is the man. In the first five minutes of his spiel on storytelling, he tells a better story than I do and his was boring!

He makes a great point, though, about his building blocks of creating a story: the combination of anecdotes and the points of reflection that relate to them – making the story worth your while. Using podcasts and youtube videos as a comparison was perfect because we all (don’t even lie) spend our time watching these things for no greater purpose.

Some of the things he said about how many story ideas were failures awed me, and how it was completely necessary to be an “ambitious, super-overachieving person” to make the good stories and kill the ones that have had so much time put into them, but simply became crap. After the entropy ordeal (i.e. getting rid of the crap which lumps itself onto a golden nugget of a story and propping it up to make the story good), I felt a little better when he played the recording of a story from his eighth year in the business. It made me want to sleep, but then robots would probably be chasing me in my dreams.

I don’t have much room to talk, but I’ve only heard This American Life once, and it was so much better than that recording.

Glass’ tips were really helpful (and his demeanor humble) which made me want to pay him more attention. Now, I just need to take what he said and figure out how to apply it, because in the end it could be totally great, just like he said.


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