Just Google it?

This video is one of several exploratory forays into the Google Search vignette I included in my Redacting Rosslyn v1.0 performance last August at The Depot Theatre in Westport, New York. Blending readings from my Rosslyn Redux manuscript with oral and digital storytelling, the event was a collaborative attempt to animate type, words and documents into interactive narrative.

I’ve discovered that building a book is a bit like rebuilding an old house. No matter how great the bones, how stunning the view, how well preserved the architecture and design, and no matter how clear and enticing the goal, you can’t do it by yourself.

In the case of our home it took the world’s most intelligent, beautiful and stubborn wife plus a vast community of contractors, carpenters, advisers, family and friends to rebuild Rosslyn. In the case of my book it will take your laughter, your sighs, your heckling (and even your prodding and booing and advising) to build Rosslyn Redux. (Redacting Rosslyn Redux » Rosslyn Redux)

I yearned for that creative tension that exists between live storyteller and audience. Oral narrative is by definition more dynamic, more elastic, more interactive than it’s written counterpart. Each live retelling differs as the storyteller responds to the audience, distilling the essentials and abandoning the rest. It’s the original crowd sourcing!

Suffice to say, this is an experiment, inviting readers and audience into the creative process, into the revision and redaction process. It could get very messy… (See you at Depot Theatre Tommorrow » Rosslyn Redux)

Of course, there’s another notable difference between typing stories and telling stories.

It’s funny. When I rehearse — aloud or in my head — my voice is Bourbon and caramel. Resonant. Enveloping… And then I hear a recording of myself or watch a video, and I’m certain the sound isn’t working properly. Bad mic? Is the equalizer busted? Probably the speakers are blown. I don’t have that pre-pubescent, one-dimensional voice that scurries for the rafters every few minutes. Really, I don’t.

Only, I do. It’s me. That voice is my own. (The Voice of Redacting Rosslyn)

I long for a deep, velvety radio disc jockey voice, but gargling Bourbon and caramel sauce so far hasn’t achieved the desired affect. And so it was a nice reprieve during my performance to clam up for a few minutes and let the video run sans voice.

Here’s another short video experimenting with the “Just Google it!” answer that I through at so many home renovation challenges between 2006 and 2009.

The lighthearted idea winding through this Google Search sequence is the impact that the renovation had had on us. As we wound down we discovered it was trickier to unwind ourselves… After four years of adrenaline charged, anxiety fueled DIY home renovation, my bride and I struggled to unlearn the survival skills we’d adapted.

I’ll post the final version of the video soon: Just Google it!

About virtualDavis

A writer, storyteller and unabashed flâneur, George Davis (aka virtualDavis or G.G. Davis, Jr.) is the author of Rosslyn Redux: Reawakening a home, a dream and ourselves, a transmedia chronicle about rehabilitating an historic property in the Adirondacks with his bride. He blogs about storytelling, poetry, doodling, marginalia, flânerie, publishing, and other creativity-inspired esoterica at virtualDavis.com; posts sometimes exhilarating, often unnerving, occasionally euphoric, and always pollyanna "midlife mashups" at 40x41.com; chronicles his sailing adventures (and misadventures) at Sailing Errant; and delves into matters of parenting, babylandia, and childfreedom at Why No Kids? George formerly taught and coached at Santa Fe Preparatory School and The American School of Paris, and he co-founded and launched Maison Margaux: "Paris à la parisienne" in Faubourg Saint-Germain. He currently owns and operates Adobe Oasis in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his bride. George meanders on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Flickr.
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