This Week’s Episode:
I’m backstage at a TEDx event when our Stage Manager Phil asks me, “Where’s Sam?”
I’m thinking, “Oh no. Where is Sam? I haven’t seen him lately… and he’s our next speaker!”
I open the stage door to the outside and I see him standing there with a concerned look on his face.
Seeing nervous speakers comes with the territory, yet the look on Sam’s face is different.
Sam tells me he’s just received notification that a group of people in Syria has gathered together to watch his TEDx Talk live streamed. And they want him to highlight exactly what is happening in their country at this very moment: they are under threat of being bombed at any time. Plus the fact that they have gathered in a group makes them a higher probability target and even more vulnerable.
I ask Sam if he wants to give this Talk at all now, given the added pressure and responsibility. We’ve been working on it for months, and at this point he knows every word, every line, every pause in it. Everything is ready to go, and at the same time the stakes cannot be higher...
What happens next?
Join us this week on the Storytelling School Podcast and we’ll share exactly that and so much more. Sam Kadi is my special guest this week. In addition to reflecting on this harrowing and unexpected story, he and I cover a lot of ground in our exciting interview. We talk about taking risks through storytelling, telling stories in service to your audience instead of yourself, making stories and characters more interesting, and the art of short-form storytelling.
What you will learn in this episode:
- Why interesting characterization is the most important storytelling element
- How to make yourself (or someone else) more interesting in non-fictional stories
- How to approach the art and perspective of short-form storytelling
Who is Sam Kadi?
Based in Santa Barbara, Sam Kadi is a writer, director, producer, TEDx speaker, founder of Sam K Production, and a member of the Directors Guild of America where he serves on the Guild Asian American committee. His award-winning, critically acclaimed feature drama The Citizen starring Cary Elwes received numerous awards on the international festival circuit before its theatrical release. His recent documentary Little Gandhi was an official selection for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2017 Academy Awards. He was even invited to screen it and speak before members of the Canadian Parliament, U.S. Congress, United Nations, and Amnesty International.
Sam has received recognition for raising awareness of human rights issues through his work as well, from the Cinema for Peace organization and the Life for Relief and Development Organization which presented him with a Humanitarian Service Award in 2014. In addition, Steven Spielberg’s SHOAH Foundation chose him as a Spotlight Juror, and he’s a jury member for multiple film festivals such as the European Independent Film Festival in Paris.
Links & Resources
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JULIAN REEVESPEAKER, AUTHOR, FORMER MUSIC DIRECTOR OF HAMILTON
JUNA KOLLMEIERASTROPHYSICIST, TED SPEAKER
LTC (RET.) SCOTT MANNGREEN BERET, ENTREPRENEUR, STORYTELLER, TRAINER, COACH, AUTHOR