I was asked by a journalist I know here in Atlanta to participate in his new monthly series Truth Talks, sponsored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Southeast Chapter. The goal of the series is to share a personal story on a societal issue with journalists and other storytellers.
Knowing the expected composition of the audience, I debated myself on the best way to deliver my story. The morning of the event, I woke up with the answer: I’d present my story in a ‘show and tell’ format. I felt that approach would be different, less formal and that it would provide journalists with the kind of human elements and details that they strive to unearth when telling others’ stories.
I immediately went digging through my file cases and pulled out old photos, diaries, and even the plastic evidence bags containing the items of mine that the Italian police found at Marco’s apartment/the crime scene. Reading diary entries I wrote when I was 8 years old, and ones I wrote several days before and on the day I was attacked, moved me in a way I was not expecting.
And what it highlighted for me was that the life we imagine for ourselves when we are little rarely winds up the life we actually live. But even though the innocence we begin life with dissipates by time and circumstance, the spirit of who we are remains constant. So, I took those realizations and shared them with the assembled audience, and hoped for the best.
When my talk was over, many of those in attendance told me how much they learned or enjoyed the presentation. I always appreciate the feedback. And I especially like meeting new people, like Shannon (below), a local journalist/writer.
I am told several clips from my Truth Talk will be posted on YouTube in the near future. I will be sure to update this post when that happens.