I’m going to spend a lot of time talking about creative content, and I wanted to take an opportunity to tell you what I love about each creative medium. They each have a unique way of storytelling. I’m sure there are mediums I am missing or haven’t been exposed to yet, but for now I am going to stick to those I am exposed to on a frequent basis.
Books were my first love, and still my favorite. I can read a book from start to finish in a day, real world be damned. The experience of an author’s unique voice, and the fact that no matter how descriptive he or she gets, the images of the world and characters they create come from my head, making me feel like I am part of the experience.
A good narrator can bring a book to life (a shitty narrator can also kill one) while still allowing the listener to get absorbed in the world the writer creates. Audiobooks fill the nooks and crannies of life that don’t require your full attention, allowing for the enjoyment of even more content.
I’m relatively new to the podcast world compared to other forms of creative content. Like half the country, I was drawn in by the first season of Serial (which was amazing in case you missed it) and wanted more. One of the taglines from the podcasting community is “It’s television for your ears.” And that’s the best way to describe it. There’s something for everyone, from journalism to docudramas. From the darker corners of life to reliving your favorite television series.
If books were my first love, television was my second. My first TV memories are re-runs of Lost in Space and the original Star Trek on summer mornings. I came of age at the start of the Golden Age of television, with Friends, X-Files, 90210 (the original, not that shitty remake) and my love has continued to grow as TV evolves. Like books, binging gives the opportunity to spend a day getting immersed in a different world. And a TV season allows for story and character arcs to develop over time, allowing writers to play a long game (ratings permitting).
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t get out to the movies as much. I don’t really feel like paying $10+ for just the ticket to the cinematic experience. That puts me in a lot of danger when it comes to spoilers and buzz. That being said, who doesn’t love a great movie? Everyone loves Star Wars and has an opinion on Ewoks. Quentin Tarentino changed the rules on how movies were made with Pulp Fiction. And you can get a full story, complete with a sweeping character arc in about 2 hours. And the dramatic effects bring their stories to life, I mean who doesn’t like special effects?
Much like podcasts, I am a relative newcomer. The cinematic and television universes have done a tremendous job of opening up the world of comics. I also started listening to Jay & Miles Xplain the X-Men and that got me going. Once that door was open, I quickly learned that comics aren’t just for kids (Walking Dead, Sandman, Watchmen) and that their stories have all the complexity and depth of any other medium. They blend the narrative benefits of books with the dramatic effects of art and play a long game that can span years if not decades. And they can retcon (retroactive continuity) whatever they want to suit the present narrative, which is part of the fun.
Although there are significant differences between the three main types of performances I frequent (Play, Musical and Opera), for the purposes of this post I am grouping them together. The performing arts provide a uniquely intimate experience. Being part of a live audience is to share the same space as the performers. You are surrounded by the experience. A shared experience between you and the performer, and no other medium can replicate that.
This list is incomplete, and so are the descriptions. For the moment they are meant to be. I wanted to get the overview out of my system and out of the way. I will definitely be expanding on each of these, and exploring more over time. Exploring content is a constant and never ending journey.