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Boring Stories or Boring Storytellers?


At the recommendation of my friend Amy, I started and then quickly devoured the podcast, "Missing Richard Simmons". That is not a statement I ever expected I would say. The flamboyant fitness icon's rise to fame started before I was born and many of his biggest years were when I was still young. I was not a fan of his nor a dissenter. Just indifferent.

But as seems to happen often in today's podcast and binge-worthy TV era, I once again found myself sucked into something I did not expect. What made the possible disappearance of someone I'd never really paid attention to worth three hours of my time to hear the whole series?

It bought me to ask what constitutes something that is interesting, or has the ability to be? A portion of an interview with Jamie Foxx I've listened to multiple times, in which he talks about his early days on "In Living Color" came to mind. At one point he said to the show's producer, Keenen Ivory Wayans, "Keenen, these jokes aren't funny." Wayans, who had worked with comedic legends like Eddie Murphy said to the cast, "There's no such thing as a joke that isn't funny. You have to find what's funny in there and dig it out."

Could Wayans' comment about finding "the funny" in jokes apply in a similar manner to making stories compelling? Without question, some stories likely write themselves but is it possible when one is persistent and creative to figure out how to tell just about anything in a way that makes people want to know more?

The final point as I think about the possibility of any story being potentially interesting is that it will never be everybody's favorite. There are people out there who don't like or aren't interested in "Stranger Things" or "Breaking Bad". But maybe, just maybe, its about searching for a small audience who will resonate with the story you want to tell.


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