Raising My Voice in Thailand: So What?

BANGKOK, Thailand, 13 December 2014 — Translator Ying Panyapon, changes my words into the Thai language during Video Workshop #2, while I ask the “So What?” question.

So what? So what if you’re doing a video about a man who makes his living selling trinkets on the street? So what if you’re doing a story about a tree – the last of its kind in Bangkok – that is being protected and cultivated by a team of concerned citizens? So what? What does it mean? Why is this important? Why should anybody watch your video?

I learned the importance of asking these questions (and answering them) when I did a couple of pieces for ABC’s Nightline With Ted Koppel. If you can’t answer these questions you probably are not going to get an assignment.

Tell me about the significance of your story. What does it mean to real people? Does your story embody a larger, broader issue that should concern other members of your community? If not, perhaps you are just wasting your time producing meaningless entertainment.

There is something at work here deeper than simply putting on a video workshop. It’s more than just teaching a skill. Or a craft.

These events have become part of my mission and my purpose. In addition to the skill or the craft, I’m teaching people how to find and to cultivate community, how to have greater voice, how to RAISE their voices to have an impact. To make a difference.

I don’t know that I could put in the long, hard hours if there were no altruistic motive in play. And that’s the answer to my “So What?” question.

And this is what I teach in my ONLINE Video Workshop. Click HERE to learn more.