Details From The Big Picture

I’ve been running with the ball in my (ad)venture as a Personal Historian for just about a year now. With my business, You The Storyteller, I offer a personal service involving the video recording of a one on one interview with you as we discuss the story that is your life.

Now, I felt as if that was an adequate, all encompassing, description of what I saw myself doing as a personal historian and videographer. And, indeed, that is what I have done in the interviews completed—leading clients into an environment which is both safe and comfortable—respectful, professional—but genuinely curious. Always questioning, but never “pushy”. It’s not necessarily a thin line, but it is certainly the only way to walk the path I’m on.

Beyond the pleasure though, of meeting some very interesting people with some wonderful stories (JK recalled delivering newspapers in the San Fernando Valley in the early 1950s—on horseback! “It was all dirt roads” he said). I’ve realized that making a straight forward biographical interview video—still, a priority in my work—brought me to the idea of creating what I’ve come to call “biographical sketches.”

I developed the idea working with a friend of mine. A dedicated writer and musician, I asked Miguel to sit down, play some of his songs—music and lyrics—as I filmed him. After each song, we’d talk about it—the inspiration, the reasons for being. The tunes certainly revealed much about my friend, but the accompanying stories added a subtlety and depth which made the songs live. It turned out to be a wonderful way for Miguel to convey important parts of his heart and soul.

Rather than focusing on your entire life to the present, I thought it’d be interesting to video you, as with Miguel, involving yourself in some activity that is part of who you see yourself to be—I would say “hobby”, but that seems too innocuous—I want something that brings you not only pleasure, but passion. A pursuit that you believe defines you. Within the context of that setting, you would talk about what it means to you, why you continue, where it’s taken you. In doing so, you would at least tell part of your story—perhaps the part that rests closest to your heart?

There’s much we can do together. Consultation is always FREE, so get in touch! I bet everyone reading this has a GOOD story to tell. Tell it with
TNM/July 2016

My First Oral History Interview

ethicalwillsOver the course of the past three weeks, I have sat down with my neighbor, Lorraine, to interview her for You,The Storyteller. Lorraine proved herself to be an excellent first subject for an oral history interview— enthusiastic, well spoken and eyes bright as she spoke of her life, beginning in Kentucky in 1921 to the present here in our hometown of Cambria, CA.

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