Growing up in my Nana's tiny 2-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn's Sheepshead Bay, a mixed neighborhood rich with Russian and Jewish heritage, I found solace in a bright yellow chair. That Big Bird chair, positioned perfectly in front of PBS channel 13, was my throne, my classroom, and my window into a world unlike any other. It was there, in that chair, that Sesame Street taught me to count (ha, ha, ha!) and, more importantly, shaped my perspective of people, human interaction, and the importance of treating others kindly.
Who would've thought that the lessons I learned from fuzzy puppets would lay the foundation for my brand, Much Different, long before I even had the language to describe it? Sesame Street wasn't just a children's show; it was a remix on reality. It took the ordinary and mundane, like washing hair or sharing cookies, and transformed them into extraordinary lessons about culture, diversity, and humanity.
As I watched the first African American puppeteer on Sesame Street washing Gabrielle's hair, tears welled in my eyes. The simple act resonated with me, reminding me of my childhood and the sacred ritual of hair washing. It was a cultural echo that transcended television and reached deep into my soul.
But why stop there? Why not take Sesame Street's genius of story tailoring and apply it to the adult world? Because, let's be honest, adults could use a little Sesame Street wisdom too. And maybe, just maybe, the principles that guided this beloved show can guide us in our lives, our businesses, and our relationships.
So, sit back, grab a cup of coffee (or a cookie à la Cookie Monster), and join me as we explore 8 Ways to Do Story Tailoring Right: The Sesame Street Way (But for Adults). Let's uncover the magic that made Sesame Street so special and discover how we can remix our reality, the Sesame Street way.
1. Make Learning Fun (and a Bit Furry)
You think you're too old for puppets? Think again. Sesame Street has been using furry friends to teach kids everything from ABCs to life's big lessons for more than five decades. It's about time adults got in on the action. Who says a puppet can't teach you a thing or two about human interaction, compassion, and even self-control? Just ask Cookie Monster.
2. Celebrate Diversity, Celebrate Life
In the real world, we're all different shapes, sizes, and colors, just like on Sesame Street. The show's creators knew that, and they never shied away from celebrating our differences. Just like kids, adults need to embrace diversity and learn that life comes in all shapes and forms. And yeah, sometimes we've gotta learn to live harmoniously with our own Bert or Ernie.
3. Talk to Me Like I'm Listening
Directly addressing your audience, engaging them, and making them feel part of something bigger – that's what Sesame Street nailed. Ever felt like Big Bird was talking directly to you? That's because they know how to reach out and grab your attention. Businesses, brands, and even Aunt Sally could learn a lesson or two here.
4. The Power of Relatability
Remember the first African American puppeteer on Sesame Street and the episode with Gabrielle's hair washing? That wasn't just a puppet show; that was an all-day affair, a sacred ritual, a piece of culture. Adults need story tailoring like that too. Relatable content isn't just for kids, folks.
5. Teach Lessons Through Friendship
There's no denying it – Sesame Street’s creatures were friends. And through their friendships, they taught us about respect, kindness, and empathy. Imagine if we all approached our relationships with a Sesame Street mindset. We'd probably all be a lot nicer to the people in our neighborhood.
6. Get Real with Your Emotions (Yes, Even with Puppets)
Ever seen a puppet cry? Or laugh with genuine joy? Sesame Street never held back on the emotional stuff. The connection between real emotions and storytelling can be magical. It's about time adults embraced their inner Elmo and got real with their feelings.
7. Embrace the Unexpected (Like Puppets Teaching Math)
Sesame Street taught us to count with Count von Count and to spell with fuzzy monsters. Who saw that coming? Sometimes, the unexpected can be the most powerful way to tell a story. Whether it's in business, relationships, or just everyday life, embracing the unexpected can lead to some unforgettable experiences.
8. Create Timeless Content (Yes, Even After 53 Years)
Sesame Street is still relevant today because it knows how to create content that stands the test of time. It's not about trends; it's about truth, lessons, and connection. That's something we all need to remember, whether we're crafting our life story or just a simple email.
Ah, the winding roads of Sesame Street, where counting cookies can lead to life lessons, and furry friends become our wisest teachers. Who knew that a show designed for children could lay down the blueprint for Much Different, a brand inspired by compassion, diversity, creativity, and yes, a little bit of that outrageous Sesame Street flair?
But hey, that's the magic of Story Tailoring. It takes the mundane and remixes it into something much different (see what I did there?). It turns the ordinary into extraordinary and lets us see the world through a lens that's both nostalgic and refreshingly new. And let's be honest, don't we all need a bit of that Sesame Street wisdom now and then?
So here's your outrageous call to action, dear reader: Grab your favorite childhood puppet (or make a new one if you're feeling crafty), find a cozy spot in your home that reminds you of your Nana's Brooklyn apartment, and start remixing your reality. Whether it's reimagining your business approach, adding a sprinkle of compassion to your daily interactions, or simply laughing at a cookie joke like you're five again, let's embrace the Sesame Street way.
After all, if a furry red monster can teach us about love and a Count can teach us math, then surely we can figure out how to be a little more human, a bit more connected, and perhaps even... Much Different.
Now, go wash your hair. It's a sacred ritual, remember?
Can I get a amen?!