A note on stories


I get so many wonderful messages telling me what The Lizzie Bennet Diaries has meant to people. They often include telling me that they’ve been going through a hard thing – a big change in their lives, a loved one’s illness, depression – and that The LBD has been a source of comfort and happiness; that these characters have become their friends. These notes often include something like “I know that sounds silly…”

I just want to say that does not sound sillyThat is why storytelling and art have been a part of human tradition for as long as we have records of humans. I absolutely have shows, movies, plays, and books in my life that are my friends, that got me through terrible times, that taught me about myself and my relationships to the people and world around me.

We need stories. Stories are important. There is nothing silly or dumb about relating to them and feeling attached to them. They help us see ourselves and others in new ways. They help us feel our feelings. They make us laugh when we feel low. They help us realize dreams and conquer fears. They give us a fuller understanding of the world.

We should never diminish the power of fictional stories. Do not apologize for being moved by movies, TV shows, theater, art, books, or even a webseries that puts out 5 minute episodes twice a week. Jump into them whole-heartedly and let them transform you. Let them be your friends. Why not? They want to be yours.

I am honored, more than I can ever express, to have been a part of something that has affected people’s lives, because I understand what that means. I am deeply, deeply touched that our show has become what it is, and that it’s made people feel things that have impacted them. It hasn’t been perfect, but nothing is, and the journey we’ve all taken together has been one I’ll never forget. 

I’ve written about it before (like here, last October) so I won’t repeat what I wrote then. But Ashley was the reason LBD succeeded. Obviously there were many other elements that contributed. It was a team effort, and the team was more than the sum of its parts. But Ashley’s ability to carry the show was the single most important factor.

Watching the seahorse Q&A with her and Daniel, it was remarkable to me how she rattled of references to episodes by number. She wasn’t showing off; she was just giving a window into how she thinks. And the slightly scary fact is that she has a complete catalog of all 100 episodes of the main show (and probably a working knowledge of the spinoffs) in her head at all times.

Think about that. Think about her ability to memorize 50 pages of script in a couple of days, such that she arrived on set each month ready to shoot eight or ten episodes flawlessly. Think about how, when she does interviews, she speaks off the cuff in well-formed thoughts and complete sentences.

Or read this post I’m reblogging here.

What Ashley has is special. Actors aren’t known for their intelligence, though the stereotype of “dumb actors” is unfair. But Ashley’s obviously a genius. And I don’t mean that in the gushing Tumblr sense; I mean it literally. (Gah! Literally literally, not Tumblr literally.) And she isn’t just intelligent. She has drive and perseverance. She sets high goals, then puts in the work required to reach them. It’s a rare combination.

Ashley could have succeeded at anything she chose to do. That she chose to create stories and share them with an audience is an awesome gift, one that every LBD fan should be grateful for. I know I am.


Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/46339305383.

Tags: lizzie bennet diaries, ashley clements.

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