This past week was an exercise in re-orienting my relationship with storytelling. Coming from a visual background, I am used to visual cues to convey a story– facial expressions to express a state of mind, lighting to translate mood, to framing highlighting scope.
Audio, on the other hand, completely removes these elements. I’ve learned that the most important factors of audio storytelling lie in (1) the emotion evoked by the subject (which relies on good questions and accessing a level of vulnerability) and (2) editing, re-editing, and re-editing some more. In the editing process, one must be cognizant of the major themes conveyed by the subject, and often heavily editing one’s speech to succinctly lead listeners to understand.
Moreover, the three-minute limit was among the most challenging elements of this past week.
I come from a long-form journalism program at UCI, where I am often not constrained in the length of my piece; if anything, long-term engagement and extensive essays are encouraged.
As a storyteller, I was forced to question: How can I convey major ideas, without losing depth and nuance within my subject’s story?
Organizationally, I really enjoyed the support granted by the mentor-mentee relationship. Quincy and I bonded through the fact that we both pursue our own independent online brands– for Quincy, that’s Asian Americana. For me, that is my sustainable fashion blog.
One factor I often find lacking within my academic space (UCI’s Literary Journalism Program) is understanding the editor/journalist relationship. Working with Traci gave insight on the ways in which a third person perspective is beneficial, and the importance of an editor that finds importance in the journalist’s opinions and editorial perspective.
If I were to change/add anything to this program, I would want more insights on how I can approach pitching (audio) editors in the future. Although this program gave essential tools on how to develop stories, I often struggle with the acumen on how to get those stories into publications.
All in all, this last week has been extremely productive– I produced a story I’m proud of, honed in on audio editing skills, and expanded my network with a great group of individuals.