Once Upon an Interview

For this week, we watched four YouTube videos featuring Ira Glass talking about the art of storytelling especially as it relates to interviewing people. I didn’t know what to expect before watching them, but I found myself engaged from the first video. Being interested in fiction writing myself, I thought if was cool how Glass made a story as boring as a guy getting out of bed in a quiet house not boring. I can see how to apply this to an interview. An interview can easily be boring in the wrong hands as it’s just people talking.

I like the part in the second video where Glass says, ‘It’s time to enjoy the killing because by killing, you will make something even better live.” Glass at this point is talking about ‘killing’ a story that doesn’t have any potential. This is one of the hardest things to do as an author/interviewer. However, there’s a difference between killing because it’s bad and giving up.

Speaking of giving up, when Glass talked about failure, I was reminded of that Edison quote, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Failure is a part of life whether your an interviewer, an inventor, or something else. The key is perseverance. This ties in with the third video where he talks about plowing through the phase when you ‘have good taste’ and know that what you’re making is not the best.

Something that stood out was the end of the third video when Glass is critiquing himself. That seems like another great quality for interviewing/story writing. To be able to see how far you’ve come is important.

In the fourth video, Glass gives advice about 1) not trying to be someone else and 2) not focusing too much on one person, especially yourself. I agree with this. I like how these two complement each other. You don’t want to try to be someone you’re not, but at the same time, you don’t want to focus on yourself too much. To apply the Golden Rule, no one wants to talk to someone who only talks about themselves. So be the person who is interested in others.

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One response to “Once Upon an Interview

  1. I think that you did a very good job with summarizing our clips we had to listen to and I have to agree with you that there were some very interesting parts in them. There were things that Glass talked about that I already had a sense of, but with quite a few things he mentioned I didn’t know to the fullest extent. You did a good job with telling what specific parts of the clips that you liked. Awesome!

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