[Guest Post] “Finding Real Magic” by Daniel Foytik

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Daniel Foytik, a Pittsburgh, PA native is a writer, voice actor, and the host/producer of several popular podcasts, including two PARSEC Award Nominated shows: THE WICKED LIBRARY (a weekly show featuring great horror fiction from independent and mainstream authors) and THE 9TH STORY PODCAST (an ongoing exploration of story and storytelling in all its forms).

Dan’s new show, THE LIFT (a Twilight-Zone-style show) debuts this October. A pilot episode of THE LIFT entitled “The Lost Place” was a 2015 PARSEC Award nominee.

I met Dan for the first time in March. I’d gone up to Pittsburgh to spend a day at Horror Realm with my publisher and Dan was there, hanging with the cooler kids. We chatted for a bit and he was just as courteous and cool in person as not, and just between us and the rest of the world, he’s a pretty smart guy, too.

Sit back and relax as Daniel talks to you about his personal journey of discovery on the myriad ways one can achieve story. I think you’re going to dig it and I thank him for opening his chest and showing us his heart.


“Finding Real Magic”

Hello fellow Brownies. I’m delighted at the opportunity to talk to you all about something near and dear to my heart – story.

But first, a little perspective.

About two years ago I started a personal journey to explore my own passion for story. I wanted to see what I had inside of me – what my own understanding of the process of telling a tale was, how others created their own other realities, and what I might learn from the good ones, the bad ones and those in between. My only rules were that I didn’t limit myself to what felt comfortable and that I considered all forms of storytelling.

As a writer, my natural impulse was to come at story from a written word perspective, but I knew story went further and deeper than this, so I began to experiment and dig, and I soon began to realize that story was everywhere. We humans seem to be story machines, we consume it, create it and still we hunger for more.

Music, poetry, painting, sculpture, oral telling, song, dance, architecture – even that lie we tell to get out of trouble, or the tale you tell around the water cooler – everything we do is a form of story. With all of our darker exploits and the tremendous evil our species is capable of, our ability to create story is probably the one thing that redeems us. I sometimes picture a fleet from The Great Galactic Extermination Force surrounding our planet – examining our bloody history – a finger poised over the “CLEANSE” button and deciding not to push it because they hear a little Jimi Hendrix or read a great short story.

So, why do we tell stories? Why do we hunger for them? We’re the only species on this little rock that tells stories (as far as we know), so why do we do it?

I think we do it because it’s how we learn and how we come to know ourselves. It’s how we understand each other, our shared culture, our history, and our goals. It’s how we pass on our knowledge to those yet to come, and how we become more than we are ourselves. Even if the author’s name is eventually forgotten, we always remember the story and the way it changed us. Stories allow us to connect to others in profound ways. It’s the closest thing to real magic I know and it’s as important to us as breathing.

What do you think? Why do you love stories, and why do you hunger to hear and tell them?


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