In honor of improv

I love telling stories in new ways. It’s my jam.

I wrote 100 stories last semester in different digital ways, including Prezi, a website called Cowbird, Flickr, doodles, everything, anything.  I love stretching my imagination as far as it can go and trying not to rein it back in.

In honor of ONA’s “Jazz and Journalism” panel, encouraging journalists to improve and scat their way to new storytelling, it’s only appropriate that my reporting this took a long, winding road. I tried an animated presentation and a personal essay until I landed on a doodled Prezi.

I don’t consider the unpublished projects failures. Those pieces led to the final creation of my work, which ended up being a doodle of my main takeaways from Laura Amico’s Thursday jazz panel.

My initial story started out as a Prezi – a confusing Prezi, with quotes everywhere and weird audio pieces and no context. Prezi is an Internet-based slideshow software featuring a zooming aspect that focuses into specific points. The site makes beautiful, aesthetically pleasing presentations that work well in a storytelling setting, especially in storytelling that tells dramatic narratives.

But after a few hours of working on my story on Prezi, I couldn’t recognize it. There were colors and words everywhere. I was so lost.

So I decided to move into a narrative. Maybe I’d just express my feelings about the session in an essay and describe my major takeaways. That didn’t work. Expressing it via essay was a good outlet, but really what I wanted to say was an explosion of thoughts.

I wanted to draw. Really scribble, and doodle, and go all out.

So I did it.

I wanted my drawing to be so large that it would take scrolling through pages of it to really get the gist and understand my points. My final scrawl is a mashup of Amico’s thoughts and my own.

I knew I wanted to express it in a way that paid tribute to the explosion of ideas and warmth and spirit of innovation I felt in the room. Doodles on a Prezi page was the best way I could fathom.

You can do it, too.

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