The storytelling podcast some friends made one day
Like so many ideas, this one finally surfaced on a long solo car ride home from San Francisco. Ever notice how the best ideas don’t always surface on the drive out? When I start a journey, I often find myself too tethered to my daily life/fears/concerns etc to think big thoughts. Then I get to your destination and see friends, eat (too much) great food, take in amazing sights. If it’s a good trip, somewhere along the way my mind decouples and starts to roam. And then on that straight shot home on the 5 freeway, that’s where I sometimes get the small ping of an idea. And driving on that high speed lonely cow-shit road is the one place I usually have space to think it through.
Which is just to say, I was driving home from San Francisco and had a realization: I love telling stories. I’ve spent my time in the journalism mines, and the experience forever shaped me, but I found I rarely cared about the lede. I liked the small moments that usually got cut from the piece. I loved telling visual stories, and had some beautiful experiences making feature mini-documentaries, but again I was always sad about the small moments that got let go. A very wise CBS News correspondent once told me that a two minute news piece is a straight line from beginning to end. There’s no time for digresssion. And I found that to be just as true for an eight minute, forty second mini-documentary. Once you set the premise of the story, you have to follow it to the end. You can’t take a turn down a side path, even when it looks really tempting.
But those side paths, as I’ve learned, are my favorite part of the story. And so I thought, what if I just gathered a bunch of friends together around some microphones and told stories, the parts we usually cut out, for time, or because maybe they’re not completely appropriate, or we’re worried about offending someone.. And what if we just talked on mic the way we talk when we’re out at a restaurant or a bar with the people we really love. And what it we just put it out there without thinking about it too much.
Ep. 15 “I Knew It Was You, Frodo: Stories of Betrayal”