The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, October 24, 2011

I was talking to Bill Cosby yesterday...

Yesterday I watched an absolute master. Bill Cosby performed at Georgia Tech university, and I was in the front row, not eight feet away from him, as he held an audience of thousands spellbound, just sitting in a chair telling stories. He had us howling, crying, nodding, laughing, cheering, and applauding...

Just sitting in a chair.

How did he do it?

He told the truth. Oh, yes, like all storytellers, he exaggerates. But "Truth" and "factual" are different things. By diving deep into his own life, he found the truth about...childhood. Love. Marriage. Aging. Puberty. Men and women...and so much more.

He dives DEEP into the truth of his own reality, and the deeper you go into the specific memories of your own life, the more you emerge in the universal. Young and old, black and white, rich and poor (well, there probably weren't a whole lot of poor people in that room. Those tickets were pricey!) we all felt it. He unearthed emotions many of us hadn't experienced in decades, and the DING! of recognition triggered cascades of empathetic emotional release. Magnificent.

Learn from the master. If you are a writer, go DEEP into your characters. Find the specifc responses, memories, observations and motivations from your own life, or that you have noted in the course of a conscious life. Your readers will love you.

If you are in sales...and EVERYONE is in sales, remember that your clients, all of your clients, have but one question: what's in it for me? Understand yourself, and human nature in general, and you understand the hopes, dreams, and fears of all humanity. Touch THAT nerve, and you develop trust and rapport. Offer goods and services that satisfy those needs, and you create a dynamic career.

Do yourself a favor. Buy a CD or DVD of The Master performing. You may not have the wonder of having him talk directly to you, as I did. But in another way...he's talking to all of us, all the time.

1 comment:

built to suit lease said... it???? what was ahead story