If you clicked through to read this, you probably already know who Ira Glass is and why so many people love him and his work. If you ventured over anyway and have no clue, please allow me a brief introduction.
Ira is the host and executive producer of This American Life, a fabulous radio show that has serious problems describing itself. Basically they search all over the country (and sometimes beyond) looking for real, good stories told by engaging, real people and usually each episode has a theme. It rocks. Also, Ira is cousin to composer Philip Glass, for whom people either swoon or harbor deep resentment, due to his unique approach to classical music. But back to Ira.
Recently I came across this video, a text-animated version of Ira talking about telling good stories. The content here is edited from a recording via Current TV and Public Radio International. This clip spoke to me because for one, I’m very interested in process and so often, creative people fail to discuss it publicly. I think mostly because talking about process requires avid discussion of failure, and few of us find pleasure in talking about our failures unless we have a huge success on the horizon that makes it all worthwhile. Second, more and more the art and craft of storytelling has become for me, one of our most meaningful abilities as human beings. Like, it’s what gets me going in the morning. So it’s encouraging to hear from such a bonafide pro on perhaps, the lesser-known, but still ubiquitous aspects of the form.
For your listening pleasure:
You can watch the full videos on YouTube. Although, if you’re like me, you might have to close your eyes. After so many years of hearing Ira’s voice on the radio (or podcast), completely isolated to auditory sensations, it’s just weird to watch him talk. I mean, even when they had the This American Life TV show, Ira was only on screen for a few minutes. Enjoy!