Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How to Hear a War Story

War Stories and Free Beer is my absolute favorite thing in the entire world that I work on. It's exactly what it sounds like. For an hour, 4-6 veterans each share a war story that is accompanied by their own photos. Then we do a Q+A with the audience. I produce and direct it.

It is my hope that for the audience it is a two hour version of what the past two years have been for me - a process of graying a lot of things I held as black and white. 

...and they may fall in love with all the speakers, which is OK too.

For the speakers, I hope it is fun and all that, but mostly I just hope they come away not hating me. I consider it such a privilege when a friend tells me a war story - often it comes from hours and hours of sitting in the car not talking, and then you go over a bridge and he just starts talking about a bridge in Iraq they were guarding. Or you're telling a story about high school and he says Oh I had a friend with the same name but he died.

So when someone gets in touch and wants to speak at War Stories, Work Sophie needs to hear the story right away. But Personal Life Sophie is really sorry to pry and feels like a terrible person. Work Sophie has to think of the stories solely as pieces of writing. We've only got ten minutes per person, so not every detail can make it into the final product. And often details that seem vital to you, because it happened to you, from the outside are not crucial to The Bigger Story. But then Personal Life Sophie feels like a terrible person.

Anyway,  this is a picture that shows part of the whole process. Figuring out the overall structure can be challenging, and sometimes I find it best to explain what I mean visually. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post Sophie, I really like the new blog, and truly appreciate everything you do at GRHQ.
    Hope to see you the weekend after War Stories :)