Storyteller Sit-downs: Andria May-Corsini

Welcome to the eighth edition of Storyteller Sit-downs…

Get to know Andria:

Andria May-Corsini is a Native New Yorker, born and raised amongst the bright lights, big city! She is a Sneaker Head, boosting a collection of over a hundred, and is always on the prowl for a fresh new pair. When she’s not working she can either be found hanging out with her niece, or sipping on her signature drink — the one and only Old Fashioned!
Andria braved severe pet allergies to get footage of this lovely canine get-together in the “Land of Strays.”

Favorite story produced and why

AMC: This is a loaded question. I definitely do not have a favorite. That being said, there is a very special place in my heart for the video I produced called “The Unlikely Heroes” — a story about two prankster best friends that essentially started a fart spray company, called Liquid Ass. This story goes a step further as, the U.S Government now uses this spray for military training, so our troops get used to the smell associated with disembowelment and field combat.

Story aside, the reason this has a special place in my heart is because it was the first time I went out in the field (like got on an airplane out in the field). I was nervous and anxious, but luckily I had Connor [Boals] (one of our senior producers) with me. He calmed my nerves and taught me a lot about tricks of the trade. I will never forget those jokesters and all the little-big things Connor shared with me on that trip.

Strangest on location experience

AMC: I don’t think there is just one… I think every on location experience is strange and THE best. We have this awesome job in which we get to go and spend a day or two immersed in people’s lives, and that’s a special, strange, and weird-mazing thing. I’ve told a lot of stories, been to a lot of places and done a lot of things I would never have the privilege to do otherwise; I’ve watched the Feds shred millions of dollars, I’ve met the man who wrote the Seinfeld theme song, I’ve searched for buried treasure in the mountains of Santa Fe, and I’ve watched a previously homeless family move into a beautiful new home. That said, the reverse is also true: there are a great many things that I would never want to see again; I’ll leave out the details.

Thank you for sparing us from the not-so-pretty sights on set ;-)

Biggest self-criticism of a piece you worked on

AMC: I am never not critical of my work. From the moment we wrap the shoot I am constantly second guessing myself. Did we get the story? Did we shoot enough B-roll? Did I think creatively? Is there enough sequencing? The list goes on and on. Even when everything is all said and done, and the video is complete, there is usually something I would have liked to do differently. I think the moment I stop critiquing myself and striving to be better is the moment I should probably find another job!

The tireless pursuit of storytelling greatness! Well said, Andria.

A nightmarish tale from the road

AMC: I have so many weird-mazing tales from the road, it’s hard to pick just one, but I don’t think we have time for all my ramblings! One of the more recent weird-mazing tales is when a fellow Producer [Beryl] and I were in Costa Rica doing a story about Sea Turtle conservation, we stayed on a remote island called Tortuguero where the original Sea Turtle Conservatory is located. One night during dinner, some hatchlings got confused and wandered into the restaurant instead of the ocean. There must have been at least a dozen little baby turtles. Together with the conservation team we wrangled up all the wayward hatchlings and released them into the ocean. I literally got to save a hatchling and with my bare hands and brought it to sea. Not many people can say that! If that wasn’t good enough, the very next day as Beryl and I were filming on the beach, we saw a big Mama Sea Turtle laying eggs! I mean, if that’s not the definition of weird-mazing I don’t know what is!

All I can say is, “wow.” (Applauds)

Favorite social media supporter

AMC: I have two great big shout outs, to my two biggest fans, which are my godmother and my wife. My godmother loves waking up to our newsletter, and has watched every single video we have produced since launch, she even emails me some colorful commentary from time to time!

As for my wife, she has literally shared every single one of my videos, and plugs Great Big Story every chance she gets! She also watches some of her favorites over and over, and over again (not sure I should admit that, but its true).

So that’s where all our views come from! JK. We’re lucky to have such tremendous support for our work.

Most difficult part of being a storyteller

AMC: For me this answer is two fold. One of the most difficult parts of being a storyteller is always trying to tell the story differently. This could be from a writing or filming standpoint. The last thing I want is to develop a storytelling routine. Sometimes my ideas work and others times they don’t, but what’s great about Great Big Story is our Executive Producer and Senior Producers encourage you to get weird and creative and that makes a huge difference. The second difficulty I have is that I always want to make sure I have done our character or subject justice. After spending an intense amount of time with these people you build a relationship and above all else, I always want to make sure their authenticity shines through and that our audience feels a connection with them.

Boy, we’re a tough, gritty bunch, but that’s what puts the GREAT in Great Big Story. Am I right?