Movies, Music, Memoirs: Telling Your Story

From Helen Pike’s History & Heritage Journal:

I’ve recently embraced a saying: Home is where your story begins.  How you define home is up to you. After all, it’s your experience. But if, like so many of us, your sense of belonging is tied to Asbury Park, then chances are good you’ve got stories to spare.

Most of mine are associated with a variety of coming-of-age experiences, from my first merry-go-round ride on the Casino’s carousel (meant I was tall enough to s-t-r-e-t-c-h for the brass ring) to my first drive on The Circuit with my newly printed license  (the only advantage to being born in the summer) to my first job out of college (at the Asbury Park Press when it was still in the Downtown).

Most of my stories are told in print. Some are told as podcasts, which is a great way to share an experience with folks who can’t attend a public reading.  A  few are found on what I like to call digital celluloid, but that I know is video. And, as last year’s musical heritage festival rolled out, many were told with and about music.

Next week I’m excited to be involved in all three forms, beginning with the annual Garden State Film Festival. I’m returning for a second year to teach during the educational component of this long-running Asbury Park tradition thanks to Linda Krebs who directs the Shore Gifted & Talented Program.  I’ll be asking middle-school students to tell a story using the city’s history, some of its more colorful characters, and, of course, its iconic architecture. This year we’ve got  a new vantage point because the venue we’re using is McLoone’s Supper Club on the top of the 5th Avenue Pavilion!

But I’m not stopping there. I’m also bringing along musician and Nashville songwriter Kevin John Allen who will talk about how he made a music video of his thought-provoking song 99 Weeks. We’ll also show the students the pop-up video (a/k/a: behind the scenes) of the song Feels Like Today by Rascal Flatts which was shot entirely in Asbury Park. I’m hoping for a third from Raritan Riviera raconteur Jon Caspi. We’ll see.

Next up is a Saturday morning rendez-vous with filmmakers and art house cinema czar and czarina  Mike Sodano and Nancy Sabino of The ShowRoom. They’re working on a project and I’m reviewing my film lectures and all things Walter Reade for this one! I’ve promised to keep mum about the rest of this work-in-progress except to say it’s scheduled for a summer release.

Then there’s the appointment with budding media mogul Dan Peragrine of the Daniel A. Peragrine Entertainment Company. I’ve literally watched Daniel come of age along with the Internet. We’re meeting up at the Stephen Crane House Museum on Fourth Avenue for a radio interview using Garage Band on Apple’s Mac.  Pretty cool. As soon as I learn the url for when this audio turns into a podcast I’ll let you know.

The rest of that afternoon I’m spending with those who are using memoir to tell their stories. I’m pretty excited about the submissions I’ve received so far, including the request to blurb an anthology of recollections from those who have strolled the boards longer than any of us.

Lots of storytelling going on in March.

What’s yours?

Nashville musician and author/blogger Helen Pike pause in an afternoon of storytelling.






Leave a Reply