Recap of STORY Speakers — Part 1
Last week I was at STORY. Over the next few days I will do a few posts with short recaps of what I retained from the various speakers. I heard more than I could absorb, so what I remember from a speaker might be different than what someone else remembers.
STORY is A Conference for the Creative Class. The lineup of speakers was diverse and each shared their own unique story and/or style of creativity.THURSDAY
- Dan Allender – best-selling author, professor of counseling at Mars Hill Graduate School
- Charlie Todd – creator of Improv Everywhere and teaches at the Upright Citizens Bridgade Theater in New York City.
- Richard Walter -chaired the legendary graduate program in screenwriting at the UCLA Film School for more than 30 years.
- Jason Fried - founder of 37Signals, creator of Basecamp, author of Rework
- Andrew Klavan – author of True Crime, filmed starring Clint Eastwood and Don’t Say A Word, filmed starring Michael Douglas
- Gary Dorsey - founder of Pixel Peach Studio in Austin, TX. Clients include Warner Bros., sixstepsrecords, Integrity, and STORY
- David McFadzean – creator of Home Improvement, producer of Roseanne
- David Wenzel – co-founder of Dot&Cross, which produced films for Francis Chan, Donald Miller, Tim Keller, and Rob Bell (NOOMA films) among others.
- Wesley Hill – is a PhD student at Durham University in the UK and recently published his first book, Washed and Waiting.
- John Sowers – president of Donald Miller’s The Mentoring Project.
- Sean Gladding – member of Communality, a new monastic community
- Princess Zulu – lost both of her parents to AIDS as a child in Zambia. Now an advocate for human rights and the oppressed.
- Shauna Niequist – former creative director at Mars Hill, author of Tangerine and Bittersweet
- Leonard Sweet – futurist, author of 40 books, professor at Drew University
When I was younger, I listened to speakers with an ‘on and off’ switch. If I liked them, I believed everything they said. If I didn’t like them, I tuned them out and didn’t learn anything from them. Now I listen to speakers (and read books) with a more balanced view — no one is perfect and I can learn something from everyone. So I will be sharing things I liked, things I didn’t liked and things I have questions about.
1. Dan Allender – I never heard of Dan before. I enjoyed his talk. He encouraged us to be willing to live our own unique story, not to conform to others. And he talked about the need to be real about both the good and bad in our stories and not try to cover up the negative.
On the flip side, as he talked about the unique role God has given us, he said we should actively act out that role. His use of the word “role” seemed somewhat contrary to what he said about being real about our stories — because to me, role implies acting and acting implies not-real. What does the word “role” mean to you?
2. Charlie Todd – What a fun speaker to listen to. I’d seen some videos from ImprovEverywhere on youtube, so it was interesting to hear the story of how it all began. Charlie took a negative situation in life — he was an out-of-work actor in NYC, so he created situations where he (and now hundreds of others) acted out a story to bring joy and fun to mundane places/situations. One morning they cheerfully gave out thousands of high-fives to subway commuters on an escalator — giving a normally boring commute a few moments of fun and laughter.
I was inspired to think about ways to provide bursts of fun and joy to boring situations in my life.
To be continued tomorrow …I’ve collected some of my info from Tim Schraeder’s detailed recap, which includes the musicians and other people involved with STORY — STORY10 Appendix. .