#16: Chats with Ira Glass

If you feel like I talk about Ira Glass a lot in this blog, I’m not sorry. Glass has revolutionized the art of storytelling through radio/podcast formats.

This article sits down with Glass as he talks about and expands on this idea of storytelling through a format like radio/podcasts.

“‘If you think of those old Broadway musicals like Fiddler on the Roof, it’s like — they’re funny, and then they’re really sad, and they’re about an idea. So somehow I wanted to do what I was doing in radio journalism but add that kind of feeling. I should say I didn’t set out with that goal, like I wasn’t aware of what I was trying to do, but in retrospect when I look back like ‘why did I create this’, I basically think it’s because I was raised going to those kinds of shows.'”

I can relate to Glass on this point, there are so many movies, TV shows, and musicals that I grew up on that contributed to my love of storytelling and seeking out stories to add to my own collection. We thrive on storytelling whether we realize it or not.

“It’s such an interesting lesson about how to build a story … on our show, like on any show, the big thing you’re thinking about is ‘what are the order of the actions that are going to happen in this story?’ and you’re constantly aware ‘this is the first beat, this is the second beat, this is the third beat’, that’s the spine of the whole thing. But then that’s not enough, like there has to be somebody inside that you can relate to and there have to be moments built in where you’re going to be feeling.”

In this quote Glass is referring to the show “Three Acts, Two Dancers, and One Radio Host”, which I had the pleasure of seeing for myself a couple of weekends ago.

“Usually, at least. One of the joys of touring with his live show Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host is that ‘it’s much nicer to get feedback from an audience on the spot. If it goes well, it also feels way better than if a thing goes well on the radio.'”

Without a doubt being able to react to a show like that live was one of the highlights of watching it all unfold before my eyes. If it’s coming to a stage near you I highly recommend that you go see it!



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