The final STORY, takeaways that is . . .

By Tim Smith

Where A r [ts] Thou?

The @ home edition

Volume One

The weeks have slipped by quickly, and you would not think that was possible given how slow this year has evolved in other respects. Anyway, I had mentioned a few weeks ago that I would share the last three take-aways from my attendance at the 2020 (virtual) STORY Conference held from their ‘studio’ in Nashville, TN.

Without further delay, here they are, with the first two ‘in reruns’ for continuity.

First, the power of a story is to connect, and I felt that I was attached to folks literally around the world.

Secondly, the producers of the conference mentioned on more than one occasion that the presenters were not micro-managed for content, and when given that latitude, combined with the socially and politically charged world we are living in, I was most pleasantly surprised, that for the most part, personal views were held in check, and storytelling techniques were kept at the forefront.

Coming in @ #3:

The realization that creativity was not only being celebrated, but it was on display.

The producers had to shift from a major live event to a virtual one in a matter of five months, keeping the fact that a majority of the tickets had already been sold for a live event. Value added was a tough commodity for this team to secure, and I felt as though I received more than my fair value.

In the fourth spot:

I believe, that whatever the 2021 edition looks like, there will most certainly have to be a combination package (possibly) composed of a live event/on location ticket with a focus on the performing arts, and a virtual, or “@home” experience with speakers and performance artists not bound by location, such as painters and writers, and made available later, possibly as a method of embracing the past conference and setting up for 2022.

@ #5:

I will labor mightily to find ways to integrate what was presented @ STORY 2020 over the course of the next year. Look for a “STORY2020: In The Rearview Mirror” segment, or two, as a way to keep you up to date.

This past Friday, October 15th was the 15th anniversary of the Toy and Action Figure Museum, located in historic downtown Pauls Valley, OK. From its website: “The museum got its start in 2000 during a citywide process called VISION 2010.

In a series of meetings, local citizens came together and identified goals they would like the community to reach in the next 10 years. Many of the things were discussed. Among them, the town wanted unique attractions that would help to make Pauls Valley a destination city.

With the help of local artist and toy designer (and collector) Kevin Stark, a board was formed to start working on the world’s first museum devoted to the art and sculpting of action figures! . . .

Since that time the museum has had visitors from every state in the union and over 40 countries and has helped serve as an economic catalyst for the downtown area. . .The Toy and Action Figure Museum has won several awards, including the Redbud Award for “Best New Tourist Attraction” in the state for 2006 at the Oklahoma Governor’s Conference on Tourism.”

On the far-distant, (it now appears), horizon: From the Playbill.com (10/9/20) website offering:

“Though there is no word yet on when Broadway performances will resume, the Broadway League has confirmed it won’t be until at least June 2021 – over a full year since the curtain came down on the Theatre District.”

I’m smiling as I type this to you: I saw on Facebook a tongue in cheek posting (I am guessing it was, but then again, British humor is challenging to navigate), encouraging out of work actors to find new avenues of employment.

Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen were highlighted. I wonder what their lines of work would be, one can only imagine.

Sadly, there is a bit of truth, (but then again, all comedy has more than its share of the truth within its fabric) in the impact the virus is having on our foundational and cultural histories.

Note: I am encouraged, (yes, you read that correctly), by the social media ‘campaign’ being “orchestrated” by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber over the last few months.

He was shown, hard-hat and safety vest in place, at the site of the famed Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London, and a property that he currently owns, that was celebrating its 208th birthday while undergoing a major renovation.

Imagine, a building that was erected in 1812, a mere 36 years after the founding of America.

“The song, and a special toy, remember when”

t A s

(This is the @ home edition of Where A r [ts] Thou? by Tim Smith – Volume One)

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