Gaining Insight From Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad

Ira Glass’s talk was actually very interesting to me. I watched part 1 and 2 and it made me realize certain things about audio storytelling that I did not really give much thought about. He talks about in part 1 about anecdotes and gave a great example of a random story about a man waking up to un-earthly quietness and he goes on with that fact as he describes him walking down stairs and it quietness continues. He is essentially just repeating the same fact over and over again but you still are interested for some reason. Building off of that, I felt as if when he just tells a story like that there is much less information since he doesn’t describe anything else other than the action taking place. There are no visual cues like in a film. For me at least, I would put myself in the story and create a scenery in my head trying to relate it to my own life and perceptions which makes me more engaged in the story.

Glass continues in part 2 talking about the work ethic that goes behind finding stories and radio. His advice was mostly about being persistent in your search for that one piece, that one story that will make everything worth it. He also puts a lot of emphasis on that fact that most of the work is mostly looking for stories and trying stuff out. Glass claims that if your are not constantly failing, then you are doing something wrong because you are not putting yourself into situations where you can fail. He is basically urging people to always try to get out of your comfort zone and try to go above and beyond, regardless of whether you succeed or not. This advice by him I believe is very true and applies to pretty much any kind of discipline that requires you to create something.

I also watched Jad Abumrad’s video on Big Think where he talks about how radio can create empathy between the speaker and listener. He said something that intrigued me and I had not thought about before. He talked about how describing a story or an image through radio forces the listener to paint the picture that the speaker is describing to essentially complete the story. To me this is what makes storytelling through audio very interesting since everyone will have a slighly different variation of this image or story and it all depends on their life perceptions. As I was stating before with the interview of Ira Glass, when you listen to a story you paint the picture of the story in your head which are images that you relate to. If someone were to say “imagine a extremely scary creature appearing into your bedroom”, you will most likely conjure up an image of some very scary thing that would especially scare you. Someone else might think of a different creature that would especially scare them. We create these images in our head to fit our perceptions which is what engages people into storytelling through audio.

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