21 august 2010 - g10, f/2.8 0.4s, iso-100
the hall is dark and a voice pierces through the air. it's the voice we had all heard over the radio, on our automobile journeys home or around, and then we have our first hint that what we are hearing is real--and not some sort of tape recording:
"i had asked the folks of benaroya if we could keep the lights down like this for the whole show and then everyone here would tell their friends they had experienced some radical night of extreme theatre. they said no."
it was the voice of a man who built his life around storytelling, whether it be in journalism or entertainment. non-fiction or fiction. it was a man that had shown us that even the most mundane routine, or the most banal of response or gesture could, in some greater whole, serve to drive a story forward to a point.
and then there was the animal balloon portion of the show where he made a poodle.
but even with that tangent, through the course of the evening he shared with us the way he works a story, the edits that sometimes have to be made, in order to elevate a story's effectiveness and personal value as a whole, and it's in these edits that turn the whole process of regurgitating a sequence of events into a bona fide art-form. we laughed, we learned, we laughed some more and then we learned a lot more and then he left the stage and we went home.
apart from the fact that this was supposed to be entertainment, it could very well have also been a deep dive into life, some down-to-earth lesson on the fact that try as we might, we can't have everything and while we may think quantities and the maximisation (if that's even a word) of all of a given set of qualities can actually clutter and degrade the overall work as a whole. in a very grand sense, this work would be our lives. our life stories, if you will.
our lives, too, will need editing. when things don't work, when things don't make us happy, we need to edit. we need to either try again or remove the element altogether--and this applies to everything about our lives. if you're unhappy about where you're living, move. if you're unhappy in your relationship, end it and try again. if you find that your friends only know to contact you to serve as headcount, find *real* friends.
this blog doesn't tell you the list of things i did on the day i decide to write. life, in general, is far too boring to do that each day. this blog strives to be more than pure sequence--this blog is my story. my life story.
and so, throughout the evening he spilled on about the art of storytelling, and while some might wonder why the hell would we even pay almost forty dollars to go back to some sterile english class all over again, we need to consider this: our lives are loaded with banalities and mundane patterns. depending on how we edit our story (which should not be confused with outright lying), we can turn our lives into beautiful art.
after that, it's all in the way we tell it.
dear stranger-friends, to you i ask my favourite question: what's your story?