Examining The “Multi” In “Multi-Media”

January 31, 2023

Multi-Media is an interesting term. I’ve always thought of it as a mixture of vastly different artistic media, e.g., music and painting.  But it now occurs to me that the term might also work for describing different methods of telling the same story. For a while now, I’ve been jotting down memories of my earlier years, turning each jotting into an oral story to share at our local ‘Open Mic’ event, then tweaking it to fit into a written short story, as part of a collection of short stories I hope to publish once I get enough of them written.


Last Saturday evening I took one of those stories and tweaked it into yet a different form as I shared it onstage at the annual ‘Lies and Pies’ celebration at Hayesville’s Peacock Performing Arts Center. Of course, I embellished the words of the story, but I also came up with a costume and some props.

So, I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me when a friend on the Peacock’s board asked me if I could come up with a one-act play for an upcoming evening of entertainment.

“Why not?” I said, even though I have zero experience writing play scripts.

But I’m a lifelong learner, and I wondered if I could tweak another one of my stories into a play.

I snagged a few words of advice from my friend. Not only do I need to write the play, I’ll need to do the casting and directing, and perhaps even some of the acting.

“Okay,” I said. “It’ll be a stretch, but I’m game.”

So, first there’s a casual oral story, followed by a slightly more formal written expansion. Then comes embellishment, or even fictionalization, with props and costumes. Finally, a script emerges.

The hardest part, for me, is changing narrative into dialog. In a play, the actors tell the story, both with their words and their interpretive movements and vocal inflections. If that succeeds, is the next step in multi-media adding music and physical art?

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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