Stories don't just live inside of us. They connect us. They connect us to our families. They connect us to our friends, to our neighborhoods. They connect us to our past, and give us hope for our future.
For some people sharing stories is easy. Stories flow in and out of them like inhaling and exhaling. For many of us, telling a story is difficult. We don't know where to begin. We don't know where to end. Our middle is muddled. All we know is we have a feeling inside that we want to share. We want to make other people feel what we feel, but we don't quite know how to do that.
Enter Story Xperiential. Story Xperiential shares a variety of paths to help its students tell their story.
I choose the word path, specifically, because when you're trying to tell a story, even a story that you think you know well, that is important to you, it's still surprisingly easy to get lost, especially when you're trying to tell that story visually. That's why the paths that Story X shares with its students are so important.
The first path Story Xperiential shares are the same techniques that Pixar Studios uses to help craft some of the best stories on the planet. These techniques and exercises help draw the stories out of us that we're trying to tell.
The second path that Story Xperiential offers are the weekly livestreams from Pixar employees, like storytelling genius Alessandra Sorrentino, that help illustrate how to best use those techniques with our own stories.
And the third path, and perhaps the most important path, is the student community that helps support each other on our way to crafting our story reel. When you upload your exercise for that week, the feedback you recieve from your fellow students are vital to helping you craft your story reel. (A story reel is a rough, sometimes very rough, version of the story we are trying to tell.)
The other reason that this third path, the Story Xperiential Community, is so important, is because every student faces their own challenges when trying to craft their story reel. Some of us can't draw very well. That's ok. You can find another student in the community who loves to draw and team up with them to help tell your story.
Some of us (all of us?) at some point can't figure out the best way to tell our story. We've been working on the story so long, and we know it so well, that we no longer have the gift of unfamiliarity, so can't tell when our story is confusing. That's when the feedback from our fellow storytellers becomes so important.
My particular challenge is confidence. Without those weekly Story Xperiential deadlines, forcing me to keep working, imposter syndrome quickly sets in. But when I keep moving, keep going, imposter syndrome doesn't get a chance to take hold.
That's why I'm back for my third session with Story Xperiential. The more you do it, the more confident you get. You stop thinking about feeling foolish while making your little story reel, your little movie, and you're just...making your little movie. And you want to make it as best you can.
And I haven't done that yet. I haven't made the best story I can. No, that's not quite right. With Story Xperiential's help, I've made the best stories I can so far, the best story I can at this point. And with Story Xperiential, and the community that surrounds it, I'll keep getting better at telling the stories I want to tell. And you can, too.
Tony Richt Repeat Story Xperiential Participant Omaha, Nebraska