06 January 2017

We Are All Storytellers

Last month, my ex-favourite person (it became so after this video) sent me a video on why I shouldn't call myself a storyteller. The bottomline is this: Don't call yourself a storyteller if what you make is bullshit; and that "real storytellers" (i.e. limited to those who write novels and make feature films) never call themselves as such. The message that struck me most is that identifying yourself as a storyteller is so common nowadays that it has lost its "prestige".

My opinion: A perspective of a bourgeois traditionalist.

And coming from someone I admire and liked at some point, I was aghast. Was I offended? Of course I was. When I watched it, I got angry. I still do. One, an artist seldom identifies him/herself as a storyteller in these parts. Its not common. Two, what is bullshit? Should I measure my works based on a few people who revel in binaries? Who can only say my art is bullshit because of comparison? Three, it plays the "exclusive" card that mutes and discourages passionate people from continuing what they're doing--that the world can only have one artist, one designer, one painter, one scriptwriter, one storyteller, who can hit the high marks in one go. And that to be granted the right to  label yourself as such, you need to adhere to standards that the powers-that-be imposed. That's crap.

Aren't we all storytellers? So what if we're all storytellers? The world is changing and it will continue to evolve. If you cannot ride the waves, you become a Luddite.

On a non-rhetorical and more personal perspective, I'll go with this... I've written essays (and won a lot of competition back in the days), news and feature articles, online branded content, hundreds of narrative scripts for television, and now, I'm producing narratives for the local cable. I paint, I do pottery, I take photographs (and has even published some). What should I identify myself with given the range of formats that I've written and can write in, in both fiction and nonfiction? Given the various media that I can produce? Isn't it appropriate that I cluster them altogether into one word? As a storyteller?

Because in its simplest form, that is what I do: I tell stories.

So, immature me blocked my ex-favourite person in social media, for good. He had it coming. My point is: If you can't respect people as individuals, then respect them as artists. If you can't respect them as artists because "artist" is too high-brow and exclusive for you, then at least respect them as creators. - 1/16/2017