“ONCE UPON A TIME…”
was the original:
“IN A WORLD…”
People love stories. We were born into a continuing and ongoing saga. We hear fairy tales as toddlers. We experience the world as a narrative. We live in our own story, and populate those of others. All the world’s religions have deep and ancient stories. Greek and Roman myths are stories. Pictures tell a story. Books – even now in digital format – are some of the most enduring media.
So, little wonder that when we see a good story unwinding, we perk up.
Granted, some stories are poorly constructed, badly written, composed of tedious material, or are of topics that just don’t interest you.
When I was in 5th grade, I borrowed a book from the Public Library that had a child character who had a habit of saying words backward. It so impressed me that to this day, I find myself playing that word game with almost everything I read.
All of the sudden this blog about “story” offered a quick personal story, and I’ll bet you read right to the end when you realized it was no longer a treatise ABOUT story, but a REAL story.
Every time you open your mouth to talk to someone you’re telling a story. It could be to your wife, your kids, your work mates, the clerk at the 7-11, or a police officer pulling you over for speeding. And it’s YOUR story. Told only like YOU can tell.
Some people are natural storytellers and spin a great yarn; Robert Ludlum, J K Rowling, Lewis Carol, and Leo Tolstoy (OMG the list goes on and on).
Personally, When done well, however, I think verbal storytellers are MUCH more gifted in their craft than writers. If it’s off-the-cuff…there’s a YUGE challenge to telling a compelling extemporaneous story rather than being able to craft a written story in WORD.doc with an infinite number of revisions and all the time in the world to consider word choices…
Voice Actors fall in the middle. We’re verbal storytellers, but we are GIVEN the words to say, and expected to make it sound impromptu. That’s the magic in storytelling for the ear, and why improvisation can be such a challenge, and yet so valuable.
“Sure, Dave…” you say, after getting an audition that’s 42-secs of copy for a 30-sec automotive spot. Where’s the story in that?!!!
Then tell it like only YOU can. It might be just the story they want to hear.