Day 256: Drawn to Life

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September 12, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

10:15 PM.  It’s getting to be about that time of night when I start looking for something to fall asleep thinking about.  Over the last year or so, I’ve developed a profound appreciation for fiction as dream fodder (which does often transform into daydream fodder).  What I find so compelling about fiction isn’t so much the fantasy and the drama as much as it is the depth – the sort of deep pursuit of a complex set of ideas and events and characters that doesn’t often come from fact-based books.  Every rule, however, has its exception, and I’ve found that some of the most compelling stories had their roots planted in reality.  The real world is not short on great stories – Earth is fertile ground for interesting events and extraordinary situations, even amongst what we might regard as “ordinary” people (I’m not convinced that this “ordinary person” exists…and if he/she does, I can’t say I’d like very much to meet him/her).

StoryCorps has been gathering these stories for years – listening to the accounts of people like you and I; going deeper than casual conversation to reveal what makes you different from I, and I different from her, and him and them; also to reveal what makes us all the same.  Recently, the StoryCorps production team has turned to animation to bring these stories to life – or at least to a simulation, perhaps a superior alternative with greater imagination than life itself.  Now they’re turning to Kickstarter to help bring more stories out of the air and into form as caricatures of real people in real places living real lives.

About two years ago, StoryCorps, the national oral history project, began animating some of the favorite stories collected from our interview participants over the years. Airing on the PBS series POV, these animations bring a whole new dimension to the audio stories that air weekly on NPR’s Morning Edition and can be heard on

I admire StoryCorps’ ability to excavate the minds of the real-life characters; to reveal the depth and meaning behind events that might seem superficially to be mundane, especially to anyone not directly involved.  Here’s your chance to become directly involved in dozens of stories with remarkable depth.  Back this project before September 15.


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