My wife, Nancy, often observes that I am an impatient man, before I finish one project I am already starting on the next one. So as I prepare for a performance of stories from my newly published memoir, Grandpa Jung’s Lessons for a Slow Reader, on February 19, I am thinking about ideas for a documentary film.
This past week I finished a short promotional video for my friend, Robin Moore. Robin has developed a new program about Ice Age people who lived in Pennsylvania. He developed the program for the Mercer Museum here in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and now he wants to promote it to other institutions around the country.
Shooting and editing video to tell a story in a different form has reawakened the documentary filmmaker in me. I am thinking about a documentary that explores the “art of oral storytelling”. Last week we had several exchanges with the wonderful Philadelphia storyteller, Charlotte Blake Alston. Besides her work as an oral storyteller, she is the narrator for The Philadelphia Orchestra. She shared the efforts to have her storytelling recognized as a “legitimate art form” that merits a place on the stage with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Reading her message, I thought that I would love to record an interview with her and film a performance with the orchestra. There are other regional storytellers that have created equally interesting careers as spoken word artists.
I look forward to my performance next month—a look through the rear-view mirror—and at the same time, I lean forward over the steering wheel to spot something interesting on the road ahead!