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September 26, 2013 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-26

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Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 3B

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 3B

From Page 1B
Life-changing conversations
The University's TEDx
Conference, after all, invites
speakers - professionals,
educators, musicians and more -
from the campus and the broader
community that have contributed
. immense and inspiring change.
That's where the Spotlight Project
"What I like is how we're
involving stories that may be
common and everyday or typical,
but they're all amazing," Young
said. "I really believe that one
conversation - whether you're in
line for coffee or a bagel, can really
change your life," Young added. "I
love how it's archiving more and
more stories on this campus. And
it's so much more of a personal feel,
so what you get out of a Spotlight
interview is so different from a
TED Talk."
A TED Talk occurs on the
stage, in front of a large audience
of people. Yet the Spotlight
Project was much more intimate,
developed as a one-on-one
interview with the Spotlight
Project team. The Spotlight
Project videos are currently
uploaded on a video platform
website, where they offer
audiences a broader portrait of
the stories of passion and drive
cultivated on campus.
LSA senior Morgan Princing,
a TEDxUofM member and
interviewer for the Spotlight
Project, described the initiative
as a way to "continue the
conversation" that arises after
the TEDxUofM conference each
"You go to any kind of event -
this isn't just for TED in general
- you go, and at the moment,
it's magical. You have all these
ideas, and you're so pumped up
about everything. But it's kind
of a bummer that everyone has
all these secret thoughts - your
motivations and your aspirations
- and after that, everything
kind of sizzles," Princing said.
"We don't need an event to
inspire. (The speakers) don't
have to be distinguished alumni,
or a professional who's doing
incredible work. While those are
very inspirational, there's also a
ton of potential in everyone who's
around you. They all have great
stories to tell."
The Spotlight Project
features interviews with a
wide range of community
members: an archivist, a food-
cart founder, a drum major,
soccer team co-captains, a social
entrepreneur, a conductor, a
Wikipedian, a speechwriter, a
Holocaust survivor ... friends,
mentors, audience members. All
the interviewees were chosen
or referred by the Spotlight
Project team, and all caught a
glimmer of an untold story - the
story of directing the Michigan
Marching Band, for example,
or a story of how a pianist grew
to love the piano. All of these
stories, according to Samuels, are
a key part of openingup curiosity
and expression in the campus
community, and additionally
showcasing the remarkable
potential of those around you.
"After I started (this project),
I wondered why I didn't start

it earlier, because, like so many
parts of college life, you don't
really realize how amazing
Watching the first three
minutes ofthe "Shark Tank" is
like being punched in the eye
by Kevin
O'Leary - in '
the greatest Shark Tank
way possible.
Amongthe Seasonfour
countless premiere
brilliant bits
of unscripted ABC
found at every turn, we get to
experience, firsthand, moments
of organic beautylike "This is
the Shark Tank. There's nothing
else like it on earth. BOOOM,"
and "That dog has a bow-tie on.
That's insane!" To be completely
honest, I've always known this
show was one of The Greats,
but the latest season opener
is perhaps the most brainless
fun I've had watching TV since
Simon Cowell was still verbally
abusing damaged people in
"American Idol" auditions.

and Sinatra

are, unt
it left,"
also cre
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most pa
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As the

is, and how even more formats - like lectures and talks
g the people around you - can't.
il there's not that much of "I think when they're told
Samuels said. in story form, people aren't as
not only has the Spotlight intimidated," Princing said.
opened up the doors for Park, meanwhile, believes
nity conversation, but it's in the power of the videos as
ated a larger medium for an effective way of spreading a
to share and learn about story's message. "The cool thing
"Spotlight Project kind about the Spotlight Project is that
es my thoughts on how it's not in a pamphlet," she said.
ciplinary learning can "If I had wrote down what I said
ncing said. "I think for the (in the video) word-for-word in a
art, the University is good pamphlet, it wouldn't have been
ng channels and opening as effective as the video itself."
ls for interdisciplinary Storytelling, then, becomes
g. This project, for me, an art form: one that engages
pen discussion to ideas the listener, the storyteller
adn't been aware of, and and the broader audience. And
it people with different as curators of the stories, the
tunds and different areas Spotlight Project team had
y." to learn how to seek the right
questions, how to compile the
An outside angle tales in a very specific, strategic
described one of the "As people, we spend so much
it interviews that she time looking around us: What
conduct, in which Ken should I major in? What fashion
the president of the should I wear? What car should I
ity Musical Society, talked drive?
is experiences in building "We look around us and ask
al arts community. "In a all these questions so often, but
art, you get narrowed into everyone is remarkable on the
e sphere of influence. And inside. Not in a cheesy way. It's
what (this project) does for just giving people the time and
'mphasize how much you the space and the reminder of
1 from something that you that, and lettingthem share their
is unrelated. There are so stories," Samuels said.
eces of things that overlap He described his:role as a
hat you're trying to learn, compiler of the stories as heavily
ietimes that's just what you dependent upon his active
n outside angle," Fischer listening skills. "It was really
learning how to shut up and
"outside angle"isgranted listen and then be strategic in
form of storytelling. howI ask questions that keep the
curators of the stories, storytelling going," he said.

Princing described the process
of compilation as one of intrigue.
"What we were looking for were
stories that were somewhat
relatable. Stories that took you
from A to B, and helped you really
understand some sentiment of
change - something that brings
in a sense of community."
During the interviews, Young
noted the occasional difficulty
in getting people to reveal their
stories in front of a camera.
"People hated that camera,"
Young said. "They were stones
in the beginning, so the first
challenge was to get them to
look like human beings. But
I think that once you see the
interviewee's eyes - that 'Oh!'
moment - you know you've done
it in an interview."
And, the story format has
proven to be necessary, in that it's
able to spread ideas throughout
the community in a way other

Following your curiosity
And notonlydid the teamhave
to hone in their listening skills.
Prior to beginning the project,
nobody on the team held any
film, book design or interviewing
experience. Yet the Spotlight
Project itself allowed Princing,
Samuels and Young to all develop
and experiment with skills that,
prior to the Project, were not in
"That's something TED has
really given me - is to take the
role of 'journalist,' " Samuels
said, smiling. "I've always loved
stories, and I've always loved the
power for giving people a voice. I
never had an outlet for that as an
engineering student."
Samuels talked about his
new passion for film, as a direct
result of being involved in the
Spotlight Project. "I learned

from the folks that were (in the
Duderstadt Center), and I was
teaching myself. It was this
amazing world that opened up
to me with photography and film
that I had literally never dabbled
in," he explained. "There were
so many mistakes we made at
first. Like, we only had two lights
instead of four; or we should've
had a second camera angle. I
messed things up, and then I got
comfortable," Samuels said. "You
have to have pain to mess up."
Regardless of its challenges,
the Spotlight Project has now
culminated after nearly two
years of interviews and story
compilation. The Project has
taken its final form in a book,
designed and published this year.
The Spotlight Project book was a
way for the team to "think about
another entry point - another
medium," according to Samuels.
The book itself is rich with quotes
and full interviews from various
Spotlight Project interviewees,
including Ari Weinzweig,
co-founder of Zingermans; Buzz
Alexander, the Prison Creative
Arts Project founder; Alex Green,
founder of the first on-campus
student food co-op; Rich
Sheridan, the Chief Storyteller at
a software development factory;
and various others.
The Spotlight Project book is
currently sold on Amazon and
available for check-out at the Art
History Library. Furthermore,
Lab Cafe, ZingTrain and Nicola's
Books carry the book as well.
An exhibition of the Spotlight
Project is set to occur in Room
2435, North Quad from Nov. 8 to
Dec. 2.
Young reinforces that the
Spotlight Project itself arose
from one small spark, and
managed to fuse into a movement
with an impact. "When you have
an idea, no matter what it is, it's
so valuable, because it comes
from you," Young said. "We need
all these ideas to drive us and
make the day go on, and make the
world spin. You don't always have
to be doing things like getting As
and picking up garbage."
Samuels agreed. "Everybody
loves a good story. My hope is
that this project is just one small
piece of evidence for (people) to
follow their own curiosity. I was
following my own curiosity to try
and get to know people, to try and
find some hints of answers about
a subject I care about deeply -
which is human potential," he
said. "I hope peoples' curiosities
The video for rapper Mike
WiLL Made It's Michael
Jordan-lauding banger "23"
looks like
someone took
every piece of L
Chicago Bulls 23
in the world, Mike WILL
dumped it in Made It ft.
a high school
and pressed JuicyJ, Wiz
blend. It's a Khalifaand
pile of red MileyCyrus
and black Interscope
vomit and a
poorly edited

mishmash of uninspired
shots: Mike WILL takes over
the school PA system, Juicy
J bobs in a classroom, Wiz
Khalifa mixes potions in the
chemistry lab and Miley Cyrus
sits atop a basketball hoop
throne holding a bedazzled
basketball. Everyone's
wearing J's (and the song
will remind you so every 10


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father must have felt
listening to the album,
and doing whatever it
at depressive teenagers

rank Sinatra Jr., did in the 1950s.
My first and, thus One year later, each song
far, only encounter with from In The Wee Small Hours
nice unexpectedly took had claimed a spot at the top
on a regular Sunday night of my iTunes "Most Played,"
mily and I had stopped giving a
but I shit about high school. During
'tain that winter, I found a vinyl
our copy from a record store and
's voice the cashier told me to "keep
unted the razor blades away while
ce listening to this one." My
-th wrists are still unscarred, but
sibly JOHN my mind - the only type of
it. LYNCH mind that could call In The Wee
haps, Small Hours its favorite album
same - is not.
at your talents were I have found solace, though,
to you by the lottery as I imagine you have as well,
ception, my love for in crooning my sorrows away,
Wee Small Hours was attempting to imitate your
1 down genetically father's perfect voice and
ing a generation to singing about women that I'll
my father's inability to always love and perhaps never
iate any music before actually meet. Much to the
ease of Bob Dylan) from chagrin and bewilderment of
ndfather - the former my parents and friends, I've
h teacher and jazz effectively become Frank Sr. on
tado whose vinyl library the cover of In The Wee Small
ned your father's dark, Hours: a troubled artist that
asterpiece. wanders under the street lights
at night, smoking an occasional
cigarette and pondering words
and sounds and life - except I
assic Sinatrac
can't actually rock a fedora.
1ibum cuts tAs you can see, I really
think it's a shame that most
eeper than people haven't heard your
father's work outside of the
a blade. Greatest Hits. His collection
of music is so brilliant and
unbelievably vast, and though
my appreciation for all of his
nd In The Wee Small work continues to grow, I can't
as a sophomore in imagine how any one piece
chool and - caught up of music could affect me the
emotional turbulence way In The Wee Small Hours
equited love - has. When I came home from
iuently began a routine college for the first time last
ective late-night year and found that my vinyl
. Accompanied by no copy of the album had been
d nothing but those 16 misplaced and wrecked, I
roken songs, I purged momentarily lost the same part
feasible channel of my of me that you lost forever on
- crying, wasting my May 14,1998.
's gas and feeling like Best,
petually brooding A Damaged Soul

Lynch is channeling
Frank. To witness it, e-mail

E-mail arts@michigandaily.com to
request an application.



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