Can anyone guess what makes me different than all these lovely people that I’m speaking with tonight? That’s right. I’m unemployed. I am no longer at the Pack b/c that gig is over. Very proud of it, but it’s done. I’m a 20+ year content creator which is a fancy way of saying I’m of the gig economy; whether those gigs are mine or someone else’s.
I’ve literally done Shakespeare in a pizza parlor basement… while the pizza was being served and been in a room for an entertainment deal where the ‘b’ word was thrown around… billion. (Not for me I still get giddy when I whiff a five-figure deal.) I’ve lucky to also have a 20+ year parallel career as a teaching artist, with former students working at all levels in multiple media formats in multiple countries.
I’m an advocate for story and a voice for the fiercely indie humans in the room—people who originated the gig economy. You’re welcome, everyone else, welcome to the game we’ve been playing for 20+ years.
So what am I doing here today speaking at a high tech gathering?
–Tabitha Jackson (England’s own) Festival Director of Sundance Films said Friday at Sundance London, “Narrative informs culture and policy”:
Every story either supports or challenges the status quo: independent voices tend to challenge. And we don’t just need voices that challenge the staus quo, we desperately need spaces that challenge the status quo and give room for those voices to thrive… no better place, and no more indie space than the Metaverse.
As corporate interests are quicker and faster at co-opting indie spaces and voices to commoditize them, web3 offers a space where indie voices can thrive… alongside corporate ones. (Just as web2.0 did… but now we are aware of how and why voices get co-opted in all the good and bad ways… can’t complain wife is the head of the metaverse and VR for P&G.) I’m not here to say one is better than the other, it’s just one can stomp out and appropriate the other unless informed people at the top understand the playing field and what’s at stake.
And what’s at stake is the vision of creators, storytellers, and others we can’t even imagine yet having that a safe, fair marketplace to execute their visions, stories, and ideas.
We mustn’t forget the indie voices. Not that you could ignore them if you tried in the web3 space… and when I say “we” I mean… ya’ll… ya’ll with your hands on the levers of power. This can’t become a space where ya’ll only listen to the folkx with the money and the unicorns falling out of their pockets. Please make space and room at the table for the indie voices whether they come wearing a suit, a hijab, or a mismatched shoes.
Because the voices that challenge are the voices that bring us all forward.
Now talking to the storytellers in the room:
Here’s my personal axe to grind:
Decentralized story telling requires different structures… and smart cities can be a hub for the collection and restructuring our ideas of story away from individualistic conflict-based story.
Stories that highlight collaboration and cooperation.
Can we do away with the lens of rising tension 3-act structure and focus on more diverse storytelling forms and structures that celebrates the wisdom of crowds and people?
Please, please investigate these different structures.
Jane Alison: Meander, Spiral, Explode
Stories being told in VR and metaverse platforms
Documentary film makers
Ensemble based directors
Immersive theater companies
Stories from cultures that don’t worship conflict as the only engine that drives story
Cultures that embrace genre-agnostic storytelling.
Why? Because the opportunities for stories in the upcoming spaces in the Metaverse will call out for these newer forms. And for us NOT to shoe-horn in structures that were not made for its uniqueness.
To sum up for both parties. The opportunities for us to inform culture and policy has never been greater; politician and storyteller alike. I’d like to see us all rise to the challenge.
Thank you for having me, thank you for listening.