Category Archives: storytelling

Buy the Fun Pass

Happy Caine

Happy Caine (Photo credit: Leslie Kalohi / nevercoolinschool.com)

I’m so enamored with the story of Caine and his arcade.  I love the imagination of it, I love how it has appealed to the innate generosity in so many people world-wide.  I love that it has inspired a renaissance of creative, hands-on play in kids of all ages.

Nirvan Mullick

Nirvan Mullick (Photo credit: the1secondfilm)

But today, I want to focus on a different part of the story.  Today I want to talk about Nirvan Mullick.

Just over a year ago Nirvan needed a new door handle for his ’96 Corolla and went to a used auto parts store in East LA to find it.  When he got there, he met Caine, saw his cardboard arcade and bought a fun pass. Continue reading

5 People, 52 Weeks, 1 Converted School Bus

Summer is here which means it’s time for our summer showcase to begin!

Our first 2012 post comes from a group of recent college graduates touring the United States in a blue school bus*.  I met the author of this post, Gelb, on Twitter and am so honored he agreed to share his story with us.

Like many excited college graduates, around this time late last year I was being bombarded with questions about what was next. While some could point to new jobs, continuation of studies, or sometimes uncertainty, I was different. I was going to live on a converted school bus for a year and make films. Definitely a response that turns heads.

Five of us, all recent college grads, set off in January on a big blue school bus named Stanley. Continue reading

Discovering Your Cognitive Surplus

This summer, I’m turning the Low Hanging Fruit blog over to you.

The only potential downside of this plan is between now and May 30th I need to help you (yes, you personally) see that

  1. you have a valuable  story to contribute, and
  2. you are brave enough to share it.

We should talk!

The easiest way to do that is if you would be so kind as to get in touch with me.  Then, we can talk about you and the amazing impact you are making in your corner of the world and develop a plan for how you can best share that on the internet.  If you are ready to talk, click the link below to schedule a 30 minute chat with me.

I’m ready to chat!

Too Soon?

If the idea of  talking to me one-on-one about the amazing things you are doing kinda makes you want to throw up,  that’s ok.

While I promise I will be absolutely, completely gentle with you– I get how scary it is to put yourself out there–especially the first time.

Would it be easier to talk to me about what your kids are doing? Or what your neighbor is doing?  Or to write a post, take a photo, or make a movie about people who inspire you?

If that’s the case,  I want to hear about it.  Click here to schedule some time to tell me about the amazing people you know.

More Inspiration

I love everything about the story of Caine’s Arcade.  I love how devoted Caine is.  I love how much support he gets from his Dad.  I love the filmmaker who maintained his relationship with his own inner child well enough to recognize genius when he saw it.

Is there a Caine in your world who has something important to teach us?

Tell me about it

A Tale of Two Mentors

Many life lessons were learned inside this nondescript building.

I had two professors in undergrad whose shared guidance let me to exceptional growth in the four years I spent with them.  Either of them on their own would have been a benefit to my education, but the power of their mentorship styles combined was amazing.

The first professor was the theatre department chair and taught many of my classes.  Because I worked in the Speech/Theatre Office as well as served as the House and Box Office Manager for department productions, I spent a lot of time with Jeff.  Every time I saw him (it seemed) he had a new project, and that project’s success usually required my attention.  Often, it also required skills I didn’t have (yet).

As far as I could tell it never occurred to Jeff that I might not know how to do the work he asked me to do.  He assigned it and crossed it off his list as done–in full confidence that I’d figure it out.

He was almost always right.  There were certainly a couple of embarrassing mistakes, (beautiful audition posters with the wrong date on them come immediately to mind) as well as a project or two I just didn’t do in hopes he’d forget about them.  In those cases he never yelled.  He just insisted I personally fix each resulting problem.  It was exhausting–and exhilarating.

I could not have asked for more opportunities to do “real” work as an undergraduate.  Because of his unreasonable levels of confidence in what I could do I finished my baccalaureate degree with work experience that rivaled some graduate students.

And yet, all that pushing to continually do more might have been too much on its own.  Luckily I had another mentor with a completely different approach. Continue reading

Beth’s Legacy

This week’s small voices story comes from Shannon M. Turner.  Shannon works for Alternate ROOTS as Manager of Programs and Services. When she’s not being an arts administrator, she also blogs, writes poetry, performs, and tells a pretty good story. Shannon enjoys her residence in the Little 5 Points community of Atlanta, GA, and along with her active membership in Alternate ROOTS since 2005, she serves on the Advisory Board for the Community Arts Network and recently joined the board of WonderRoot. She received an M.F.A. in Arts Administration and Public Dialogue from Virginia Tech in 2007.

Thanks Shannon, for sharing such a personal story with us!

Often times in life, we meet people along the way who leave a lasting impact on us. Sometimes it’s for things they do. Or don’t do. Or for the things they do to you. Sometimes it’s for the example they set.

When I was in high school, my father’s job led us to move back to a town we’d lived in before, Kingsport, TN. It was halfway through my junior year. As hard as it is to move that late in high school, you would think it would have been easier to move back to a place I’d already lived. In some ways it was. In others, it was every bit as hard.

One joyful part about it is that I got to know new people that I had not known before, somewhat in partial thanks to the large church we were serving in Kingsport 2.0.

The person I put at the top of this category was Beth Griffin. Beth was one of those ethereal creatures who was seemingly always happy. She could find the good side of anything. Continue reading