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Stories ripe for the telling October 28, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in philosophy, storytelling, work/life.
Tags: , , , , ,

About 6 months ago a wave of posts flooded the blogosphere with the phrase “context is king”. I was convinced I’d started it, only I couldn’t find the post (turns out I’d written “candour is king”, which is different, but still fairly royal, particularly in social media). Regardless, I was thinking about this last night, particularly in light of the story-telling frame of mind I’m in at the moment.

Jeremy, one of the other Account Directors at IE needed to traipse out into Central Victoria in order to get earrings for his wife from a fantastic jeweler, Lisa Kennedy who lives in a small town called Maldon. It struck 5pm, and with the kind of look I his eye that only those who know Jeremy will recognise, he said “Do you want to go on a road trip tonight?”

Off we set along a highway I hadn’t travelled down in the three years I’ve been living in Melbourne passing town after town that were clearly now the by-products of progress; closed shops could be spotted from the highway, better days clearly visible from a distance of 10 or 15 years.

Anyway, I digress. We got the earrings from Lisa (who is fantastic) and then headed up to a lookout the locals know as the Rock of Ages (I’m promised it has nothing to do with the Def Leppard song, I’m sceptical none the less).

The view from the Rock of Ages in Maldon, Victoria

(It was incredible to be standing there just a couple hours after leaving work, to think most nights are spent a home with a glass of wine and old episodes of The West Wing, which in itself isn’t all that bad, but you get the point.)

Anyway, we stopped off in a pizzeria in Castlemain for dinner on the way back. It was called Capone’s Pizza and had such delicacies on the menu as the Bonnie and Clybe (we had this, I may never feel right about pizza again) and Mugsy’s Meatballs (we didn’t have this, I am OK with that). While Jeremy and I remarked on various things about the place that stood out as being vastly different from our inner-city Melbourne haunts, the thing that struck me most was the front counter which was covered with certificates of hospitality training the staff had undertaken.

Capone's was the kinda joint tryin'a do goodin a no good woild...

5 or 6 of the certificates were from the one family, two or three were from another. Jeremy and I talked about how you would never see that in Melbourne, these kinds of certificates displayed proudly. In addition, to have so much of one family’s story tied up in the place, there was something really nice about that. It got me thinking about the conversations I’m having about story-telling right now, and telling a story your audience wants to hear versus the one you feel like telling. That is rarely what we feel like doing, but there’s a story here about the Cutlers of Maldon I’d like to know.

Maybe remarkable isn’t as far from the every day as we think it is, maybe it’s just not the story we want to tell all the time.

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1. Lisa Evett - October 28, 2008

Maybe there’s something special about country folk from Castlemaine… actually I’m sure of it as I was born there!

2. Matt - October 29, 2008

Dave, have you read All Marketers Are Liars yet?

3. David Gillespie - October 29, 2008

Matt, I haven’t – care to summarise in 25 words or less for the viewers at home? I have a stack of Seth Godin books to go through (all of which are sadly collecting dust at the moment, this must be rectified…)

Lisa – I’d tell you there isn’t much to do in Castlemaine on a Monday night, but then again you probably know that 🙂

4. Daniel - October 30, 2008

Dave, maybe it isn’t a ‘versus’ situation? I’d argue the trick is in telling a story you feel like telling in a way that your audience wants to hear. Surely that is part of good story telling and conversations – relating to the audience.

5. David Gillespie - October 30, 2008

Dan, I do think you’re right, though I also think we might be saying the same thing – perhaps I should have worded that last sentence as you suggest above; perhaps the story is the same, and we can highlight the secret princess or we can highlight the lightsabre battles, it just depends who is listening 🙂

6. Matt - October 30, 2008

Summary: If something isn’t remarkable, make up a story about it.

7. compassion international - September 2, 2014

Hi, for all time i used to check weblog posts here early
in the break of day, for the reason that i love to gain knowledge of more and more.

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