Ira Glass’s Manifesto
I’ve been listening, and enjoying This American Life for a while now, but I first came across Ira in his well travelled commencement speech, where he spoke what would become a well known quote;
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
I am interested in adding audio documentaries, ones that can stand completely on their own, and combining it with some good documentary photography. So when I came across www.transom.org, a site dedicated to public radio, and found something called ‘Ira Glass’s Manifesto' I was hooked.
I read part one when I found it, and have only just finished part two, saving the third part for another time.
It provides a great look in how he creates radio stories, so much so, that in an example, the ‘Liars Story’, I was so taken in by what was unfolding in front of me, I forgot what I was doing there.
If you’re interesting in This American Life, the process of radio, or storytelling, its worth a read and listen.
Thanks Ira and Transom.