Recently a FB friend new to my history poked me, only half-kiddingly, “I know you’re an author and a memoirist these days, but really, is there any event or occasion you CAN’T find an excuse to talk about yourself?”
The short answer is no. Not anymore. Since writing SCRATCHING THE SURFACE: ADVENTURES IN STORYTELLING, for better or worse, my genie is out of the bottle, and I can’t seem to be able to put her back.
I know, and I used to teach my screenwriting and filmmaking students that a selfie is NOT a story. It’s not enough to feel good about our work. If we’re going to spill our beans, the trick, the CHALLENGE, is finding a way in our storytelling to press other peoples’ buttons as well as our own, somehow to make at least SOME part of our stories also feel like theirs.
Years ago, when I spoke at a high school career day about WABX and my work as Detroit’s progressive rock station’s news director, a student asked me if I was ever tempted to change my on-air name to something less ethnic-sounding, considering that before ABX the trend in radio was jocks choosing Top 40, Irish-sounding surnames like O’Neill, Kelly, Regan, and Ryan.
“Never,” I responded, although I did confess on St. Patrick’s Day I was once tempted to deliver the news as Harvey O’Shinsky.
A Reminder, If you have not read Harvey Kurek Ovshinsky’s.”Scratching the Surface,” it is available from Wayne State University Press.