As may know, lately I’ve been exploring digital storytelling through audio. I’ve been curious about how nonprofits and foundations can learn from the expertise of public radio producers in creating compelling stories.
With that in mind, I created this recent experimental piece about Antoine Jenkins who I met recently on a canvassing trip to Las Vegas. As soon as I met Antoine, I knew I’d found a great “character” for a story.
While recording Antoine, I kept thinking about an excellent presentation by Planet Money’s reporter Robert Smith at the Third Coast Audio Festival. Smith carries a diagram of a story structurein his wallet: a story “embryo” by Dan Harmon, the creator of the TV Show “Community.” See the stages in the diagram on the left.
I realized that for a better story, I needed to record Antoine going somewhere and doing something. So I made a point of following him as he canvassed for the Obama campaign. Antoine had already entered an unfamiliar situation and had to adapt to it. I included all the door knocking to show the drudgery of the task and how unfulfilling it could it. In the end, Antoine meets an actual voter. But how did Antoine change in the end? I think he felt more confident and like he contributed something important to Obama’s campaign. For me, this was an exercise in constructing an effective story. Let me know what you think.
If your organization wants to do the same, how would you put together a compelling story about a supporter or the community you serve?
Read more on these blogs that shared my audio story.
For the past ten weeks, I’ve been working on a project supported by a 2012 SoundCloud Fellowship. “Working Now” is all about the working lives of people in the US and around the world. It’s also an homage to the great Studs Terkel and his book “Working” which will be 40 years old soon.
Here’s my audio recap of the project:
The audio-sharing website, SoundCloud, recently selected a project that my Transom Story Workshop classmates and I proposed as a SoundCloud Fellowship. Our idea “Working Now” is to create and share stories about the working lives of people today in the US and around the world. We also want to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the book “Working” by oral historian/radio producer Studs Terkel. Read more…
As part of my work with SoundCloud’s Heroes program, I interviewed two people I know who are using SoundCloud as part of their art.
- Sara Harris of Hear in the City: Radio Realities from the Urban Landscape . Sara’s show focuses on local environment, arts, education, and culture in and around Los Angeles.
- Jen DM and Rick Gradone, make up the electro-pop duo “Hi Fashion”.
Stay tuned for more interviews with other “Soundclouders” in the near future.
I just got back from two and half weeks in Georgia and North Carolina where I was part of two great gatherings: the first-ever SPIN Academy in the South and the Southeast Immigrant Rights Conference in Raleigh, NC.
You can check out my Prezis from the conferences here:
- Digital Dinner Party: Using Social Media to Talk about Immigrant Rights in the South
- Audio Storytelling