Episode 149

How Pairing Stories with Music Can Open Up New Possibilities

“You should reach out to Joni.”

I’m reading a text from my step-mom and she is suggesting I contact a dear friend of hers because her focus on Musical Improv can take performances to the next level.

I’ve met Joni and she’s fantastic. The challenge is: I’m directing a big Improv show this Friday… and it’s already Tuesday. So there’s not much time to bring her in. 

I’m thinking, “What if introducing music now ends up throwing off the performers or intimidating those who aren’t so musically inclined?”

I decide to go for it anyway. I invite Joni to our Tuesday evening class so she can be part of our rehearsal and get to know the players before Friday’s show.

And I create a game set list that involves everyone–from those highly inclined in Musical Improv to those who have zero experience. I want them all to feel like musical superheroes.

After the class is over, my phone starts blowing up with text messages from different students. Everyone loved the addition of Joni and her music. And she had a great time too!

Experiences like this are just a reminder that it’s good to mix things up sometimes. When you try new things and put yourself even a little out of your comfort zone, you open yourself up to a new story of possibility.

And when it comes to music, my special guest Dan Kalisher knows a lot about mixing it up. In this episode of the Storytelling School Podcast, you’ll learn how music can impact the story you’re telling (whether in a performance or a Talk), as well as get answers to questions such as:

Why does music transcend spoken language? And what’s one reason why people can feel creatively stuck or like they’ve hit a roadblock?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How the emotional side of storytelling in front of a live audience differs from in a studio
  • How location can influence you as a storytelling artist
  • What key aspect can help you keep your creativity well flowing

Who is Dan Kalisher?

Dan Kalisher is a session guitar and pedal steel player, producer, and songwriter based in Los Angeles. He has played all over the world performing and recording with artists such as Noah Cyrus, Grace Potter, Louis Tomlinson, Fitz and the Tantrums, Bea Miller, AJ McClean, Don Felder, Matthew Morrison, JC Chasez, and Jesse McCartney. He has also performed at countless music festivals, with regional orchestras nation-wide, and has appeared on several major network morning and late night television shows. 

As an award-winning songwriter and producer, Dan has over 25 placements of original music in network TV and worldwide ad campaigns. Most recently, he contributed over 100 original songs for the Meta Sound Collection. 

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