Spectacular Secrets from Story Crossroads Spectacular – Part 5 of 5

This is the fifth of five parts on tech skills needed to transform the live 5th Annual Story Crossroads Festival into a virtual one called Story Crossroads Spectacular.

Secrets Revealed:

  • Part 1 – OBS…Software Worth the Struggle – REVEALED
  • Part 2 – Sound and Lighting – REVEALED
  • Part 3 – Trial & Error – Test Runs – REVEALED
  • Part 4 – Involving More Than One Language – REVEALED
  • Part 5 – Multi-Streaming and “Scenes” – TODAY

Cords, cords, cords! And fun boxes and such to stick those cords into…thus the reason that multi-streaming with two or more cameras (in our case, three) that you hire amazing people to work this out.

Multi-streaming by itself is easy for me to do alone—only using my laptop with the built-in camera. “Easy” is relative but I purposely stream every Monday night from 9:00pm-9:45pm MDT on Twitch to practice AND share behind-the-scenes of running Story Crossroads. Even if no one tunes in, this keeps a nice record of takeaways or learning moments. If people do tune in, then there can be more of a conversation.

Anyway, I would go bonkers if I was multi-streaming AND running multiple cameras. Yet, I have seen it possible with the amazing in-home studio of Baba the Storyteller. Can I say–WOW! Check out his specific virtual storytelling page for an idea.

Though, the longer I see the streaming equipment, the more comfortable I become. Not to be head honcho over it…but more comfortable. Think of what it took for you to get used to a microphone as a performing artist. You were not a natural right away unless you constantly held toilet paper tubes to your mouth to practice.

You must have the right equipment. In part one, you learned that we had an intensity shuttle and splitter but did not accomplish all that we needed it to do with the number of camera feeds. In the collage picture above, you see an ATEM Pro that was lent to us by Joshua Halverston of Experience Event Center, Provo, UT. Joshua knew we wanted to get one for our inventory at some point (costs $1,000+ so looking for grant), and he recommended an ATEM Pro Mini instead of ATEM Pro. It’s more portable. Plus, even as technology changes, this would still be a great investment that would last 10 years+ if not longer.

To multi-stream for live-stream, you will want to open OBS or any other broadcasting software. OBS is free to download and runs beautifully. You will note above that the black screen with “Coming Saturday…” is the regular OBS part while the far left is my “Multistreaming” Dock. You must know that word: dock. I think of it as a fancy way to say “little box thingys” much like how you can have a chat box, control box, etc. But in the streaming world, think “dock.”

You have other “docks” if you go on the far top left of the OBS screen and click “View” then “Docks” then “Restream Channels.”

When new, start clicking around and find out what happens. Not every button. But I feel “safe” clicking things under “Docks.” If they are checkmarked, then they are already showing on your screen. You can click them off and on. I don’t like having all the docks on the screen. It gets crowded. Though, DON’T click “reset UI” or “lock UI” or “Custom Browser Docks…”. Be comfortable before you even delve there, if you would need it.

You will need a multi-stream service, and that will range in price depending on how many places you want to multi-stream. We chose to stream to: Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube. You could stream to 30+ platforms, but many are video game related and won’t make sense for storytelling. I LOVE how all the comments from these three places feeds into one chat box. There are even icons of those platforms so you can address that viewer in-the-moment or study further.

We narrowed down our multi-stream services to two companies: Restream and Streamyard. Either way, you are looking at about $40/month. If you search, you can usually find 20-30% off discount codes through Facebook or other ways for Restream. I consulted with our head videographer, Sterling Elliott, and both of us agreed that Restream was more “friendly” in our needs. Though, I know that Streamyard has been used by storyteller Simon Brooks. Go with your gut. Restream has a happy squid and Streamyard has a crazy duck…no, that was not what it came down to though–seriously, the squid is cuter. We loved that Restream had a specific listing of Zoom. Not that Streamyard cannot do Zoom multi-streaming, but Restream had a relationship with Zoom first.

When multi-streaming in Zoom, you need to be sure your settings are what they need to be. Jim Brule’ has a wonderful video on checking on your settings for Zoom. Of course, things are always changing, but this will give a wonderful visual checklist. Enabling to stream/multi-stream from Zoom is there. We commissioned him to do a 1-hour training with our Story Crossroads Board on Zoom as well as a 5-minute Zoom Basics video with our branding. So…highly recommend his expertise. Our attendees need as much training as the producers/hosts.

Now returning to OBS and live-streaming–let’s talk “scenes.” You will notice that the lower left side has possible places to upload scenes, which can be a picture or video that you click on either before, during, or at the end of a stream. There is also “sources,” which are possible images, text, your logos, music–many options–that feed into and/paint each scene. The “Coming Saturday…” is a text source in connection with my “Behind-the-Scenes Monday Night Streaming.” I can change and update that text and be as simple or as decadent as I wish.

We did not use any scenes in the middle because that was reserved for the main event–the performance! We did use a scene at the beginning to say the name of the session and who was performing. We used several scenes at the end to thank funders, thank American Sign Language interpreters, thank our videographers, etc. It is also smart to have a scene saying when you will stream next.

This was a SUPER IMPORTANT scene at the end of each stream–thanking our funders:

Note that this is a picture that fits the size of the streaming screen. You don’t have to keep to that size. You may want to have a small box to the side while streaming. For ideas on playing with scenes, check out this video by Tech Guides.

We “shut off” after a stream to give an actual break rather than leaving the cameras on with a sign saying “Break.” Certain platforms–like YouTube, Facebook, etc.–only allow a certain length of streaming. They vary from two hours to eight hours, but why not give everyone a break including the videographers? Be smart and courteous!

So, this is the “end scene” of this 5-part Blog Series, though more posts will be made in the future of tips as well as celebrating people who use storytelling. Until we tell again!

Want to discover more secrets beyond this 5-part Blog Series? Rachel Hedman will represent Story Crossroads at the National Storytelling Network’s CONNECTED Virtual Storytelling Conference & Festival on Saturday, June 6, 2020 from 3:00pm-4:30pm CDT (2:00pm-3:30pm MDT). You can register for this session only or a conference package. There will be pay-per-view options of the recording afterwards.

Check out the the next adventure on Saturday, June 20, 2020 from 9:00am-10:30am MDT from your computer- The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities.

See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here.

Spectacular Secrets from Story Crossroads Spectacular – Part 3 of 5

This is the third of five parts on tech skills needed to transform the live 5th Annual Story Crossroads Festival into a virtual one called Story Crossroads Spectacular.

Secrets to be Revealed:

  • Part 1 – OBS…Software Worth the Struggle – REVEALED
  • Part 2 – Sound and Lighting – REVEALED
  • Part 3 – Trial & Error – Test Runs – TODAY
  • Part 4 – Involving More Than One Language
  • Part 5 – Multi-Streaming and “Scenes”

May Day! May Day! Yes, we felt it was appropriate that our first round of test runs happened on May 1, 2020. In Utah, May 1 was also the first day that we were allowed to gather outside our household. Considering that we had four videographers and two performers (husband and wife – so counts as one entity/household), then I was relieved to still be following that state health mandate. I did require everyone to wear masks.

That actually caused our first test run–at least the live-streaming portion–to be “late.” Although communicated, it was forgotten to be emphasized with the videographers. Two of the four needed masks. Thankfully, Sterling Elliott, our head videographer, had a Mom that knew how to sew and did this regularly. He picked those masks up. Meanwhile, we had the videographers wait in their cars until all was “safe.”

We had announced on social media that somewhere in the zone of 7:00pm-7:30pm, there would be a live signal multi-streamed to our YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch. We did have three Story Crossroads Board Members assigned to each of those platforms.

Thank you to Joanne Cuka on YouTube, Laurie Allen on Facebook, and Jim Luter on Twitch.

As Sterling was at the computer screens with laptop AND desktop (notice plural – more on that in part five), I only had my phone to coordinate the Test Run. Yet, texting is an amazing gift, and I had a group text with Joanne, Laurie, and Jim. In the picture below, you can see me in the picture with my phone. This was me texting, reading, and then calling out to Sterling and the other videographers of the “interesting” issues to fix.

We are grateful to our videographers: Sterling Elliott, Alex Aguila, Luis Puente, Tyler Andrew – and special equipment/training from Josh Halverston from Experience Event Center, Provo, UT.

For the first Test Day on May 1, we had issues with equipment. Sterling, who has filmed since our inaugural year in 2016, had never live-streamed before. Though, I had–and still–have confidence in him. I was willing for us to learn together with him being the ultimate expert with videography.

We had a splitter as well as an intensity shuttle to put cords galore between video cameras, desktop, and laptop. I am not a “Techie.” I do not understand the science of all these tools. I only know these tools are needed. These items worked a little. BUT, we were more complicated with three cameras and not just one PLUS a split screen for American Sign Language. We learned and had equipment GIVEN TO US/BORROWED including an ATEM Pro. This was worth over $1,000. Josh Halverston, who was the kind one to do this for us, entrusted it to stay at my home so we had it for the Story Crossroads Spectacular itself.

My first thought was, “You know I have three kids. Three active kids!”

You can bet that I locked that away safely so no curious hands could do anything.

Sterling was apologetic that our Test Run was a little rough and made it necessary to do a second Test Run. I was grateful to his extra study and commitment afterwards and receiving training from Josh Halverston, who did many live-streams. I told Sterling that we still had time to do a second Test Run. One week later, on May 8, 2020, we were able to be smooth and feel ready.

Keep in mind you need to budget for Test Runs. We paid for videography. I took the place of the American Sign Language interpreter spot. We wanted to pay the interpreters the day of the event, but I could “stand in” for test runs. Thus, it cost a little less than the official event on May 13. We had budgeted for one Test Run as well as for the Story Crossroads Spectacular. We knew a second Test Run had to happen. We shifted and made it work.

Here are those video links of what was the difference between Test Day 1 as well as Test Day 2 – first one and second one.

We had two test runs for Zoom the same as we had two test runs for the Live-streaming. Some people are fine with one test run. I am boggled by anyone who do NO test runs. Even if you have presenters arrive extra early the day of, there would be no time to run and get whatever was necessary. For example, do you have a long enough Ethernet cord to avoid wi-fi?

Plus, having a second Test Run before the actual “big day” makes it possible to see if all that was discussed was solved. There could then be time to fix remaining issues. Our Story Crossroads Spectacular would not have gone as smoothly had we had a follow-up test run.

Although I had the option, I did not record the test runs with Zoom. It was the standard checking on backgrounds, lighting, and sound. Csenge Zalka from Hungary had issues with Internet connection while Bruce Walker from Alabama had issues with sound. Everyone will be different in what is more pressing to fix. They each had plans to work this out.

We also discussed about sharing screens. Csenge Zalka and Bruce Walker wanted slides shown. You can have the presenter/storyteller do that though we opted for me to do it. This frees their hands and, as my computer was linked to the Ethernet and NOT the wi-fi, a better chance that all would go well. It also made it easier to take down the slides at the right time and less stress for the presenters. Note to presenters/tellers–please do not say a page number in connection to your slides. Have your slides in order of how you mean to present. When in full-screen mode, your host will not see page numbers. Saying “next” or “back one” works. No numbers.

While coordinating slides and moderating simultaneously seem hard, this is why you always have co-hosts. For Csenge’s workshop, I had two other co-hosts. One person was in charge of admitting people into Zoom – usually the late ones. Another person was in charge of following the chat and recognizing questions to then be brought up later during appropriate question and answer times.

Now, there will always be late ones. We encouraged attendees to arrive 15 minutes before start time. We showed/screen-shared the 5-minute Zoom Basics video that we had commissioned by Jim Brule’–which is a link anyone can share if this helps teach attendees of your own events if you happen to use Zoom. Prior to this, we gave clear instructions with that Zoom Basics video link in case attendees truly could not make it 15 minutes early.

After the Zoom Basics video, we allowed people to mingle the remaining 8 minutes or so. Due to the number of Zoom attendees, we only allowed mingling by chat though we had gallery view so people could wave. You may think this mean, but we had 60+ people and things can get out-of-hand. The moderator and host need to be in control so things can be smooth. People were courteous to the rules and all turned out wonderful.

We let people know that we would end without mingling due to being ready for the next virtual event. Once again, people were kind and understanding.

Test Runs and discussions with clear instructions make it all work out in the end.

Plenty of adventures await me–and you–on these spectacular secrets.

Want to discover more secrets beyond this 5-part Blog Series? Rachel Hedman will represent Story Crossroads at the National Storytelling Network’s CONNECTED Virtual Storytelling Conference & Festival on Saturday, June 6, 2020 from 3:00pm-4:30pm CDT (2:00pm-3:30pm MDT). You can register for this session only or a conference package.

Check out the the next adventure on Saturday, June 20, 2020 from 9:00am-10:30am MDT from your computer- The Big Why Panel: Historical Storytelling meets Humanities.

See our 5-video playlist from the Story Crossroads Spectacular by clicking here.

Embracing Education (Day 5–A-Z Blog Challenge)

Art--younger and todayEnjoy all of these A-Z Blog Challenge posts. Versión en Español se puede encontrar a continuación o haga clic aquí para ir allí. Haga clic en mí para saltar a la parte española. Also look forward to the Story Crossroads crowdsourcing campaign May 1, 2015.

“E” is for “Embracing Education.”

Two facts stand out today:  Grandpa Hedman turned 100 today all fearless and strong and the National Storytelling Festival did live streaming of its Friday time of the Festival for 5,000+ high school students across the 50 United States.

What do these two things have to do with “Embracing Education?”  Plenty.

We are even more excited about the live streaming we plan to do for Story Crossroads, especially after the success of the high school streaming reveal from Kiran Flip Singh Sirah, International Storytelling Center President.

But back to Grandpa.

Living on this earth for 100 years is a feat.  My father-in-law said that one in 25,000 men can say they reached age 100.  Though at that age, you would expect more frailty and the use of a wheelchair or other walk-helping advice.  Grandpa Hedman looks no older than age 85.

A couple days before this momentous occasion of turning 100, I watched as Grandpa Hedman was asked to witness a marriage.  He bolted up like he was age six and chose to walk the long way around the aisles to where the lady needed him to go.  Then, as everyone watched in amazement, he swished his arms really fast to make it seem like he was walking too slow and needed to catch up.

Whenever anyone visits with Grandpa Hedman, he gives them an index card labeled “To your Good Health” and this is exactly as the card looks to reveal one of his secrets:

Tablespoons Clover Honey

1 Teaspoon McCormick Cinnamon

Mix in one glass of Hot Water

Drink Morning & Night


Art [Arthur Hedman]

I know his longevity is more than this wonder drink.  He has an aura that embraces you.  One cannot help but feel more strong, more loved, and more alive when near him.  Sitting near him is enough of an education for anyone on how to live right.

There are more people like Grandpa Hedman out there.  You sit by them and want to absorb all that knowledge and how that it transforms into wisdom when you most need it.  Most of the time these are individual moments and not something broadcasted to the whole world.

But what if it could?  We live in a world where technology can explode our minds with transforming what we thought at one time was impossible to what can easily be reality.

That is why we love the idea of live streaming and broadcasting.  Instead of a moment being made and then undone, we need to hang onto those moments and allow others the chance to see for themselves.

Story Crossroads takes place at the Viridian Event Center, a conference center merged with a library.  Being linked physically to a library already proves that this place houses knowledge.  Yet, what we are thrilled to announce is that this place has the ability to broadcast in and out.

We had not thought about streaming to the high schools until we learned about what the National Storytelling Festival did.  Yet, we had always planned on streaming and preserving the performances, workshops, and other presentations to the world of Higher Education.  Universities seem required to have broadcasting ability.  By creating a network of universities, we could easily share the knowledge and wisdom that come from stories to people around the world.

We will have youth, adults, and seniors—from the community—sharing insights with other youth, adults, and seniors around the world.  We know stories are powerful, and these stories become even more powerful as we open ways for people to listen to them.

Listening to stories like from Grandpa Hedman.

Happy birthday, Grandpa Hedman!

Aquí lo tiene.
Educación Integral

Art--younger and todayRogamos disculpen esta traducción al español que hemos utilizado un software de traducción. Estamos en proceso de hacer que las personas ayudar a traducir estos A-Z Blog Desafío puestos, así como todas las demás entradas del blog.

Sobresalen dos hechos hoy en día:  El Abuelo Hedman 100 hoy todos valientes y fuertes y el Festival del cuento Nacional hizo streaming en directo de su hora del viernes del Festival para más de 5.000 estudiantes de secundaria en los 50 estados de los Estados Unidos.

¿Qué estas dos cosas tienen que ver con “Abrazar Educación?”  mucho.

Estamos aún más entusiasmados acerca de la transmisión en vivo que nos va a hacer historia de encrucijada, especialmente tras el éxito de la escuela secundaria streaming revelan Kiran Flip Singh Sira, Presidente Internacional de narración.

Pero volviendo al Abuelo.

Viviendo en esta tierra desde hace 100 años es una proeza.  Mi suegro dice que uno de cada 25.000 hombres pueden decir que alcanzó la edad de 100 años.  Aunque a esa edad, que se puede esperar más fragilidad y el uso de una silla de ruedas o de ayudar a otros a pie.  El Abuelo Hedman parece no mayores de 85 años.

Un par de días antes de que esta ocasión trascendental de 100, he visto como el Abuelo Hedman se pidió a presenciar un matrimonio.  El atornillado como fue seis años y decidieron caminar el largo camino de los pasillos a donde la señora lo necesitaba para ir.  Entonces, como todo el mundo vio con asombro, moviéndola dentro sus brazos muy rápido para que parezca que caminaba demasiado lento y necesitaba para ponerse al día.

Siempre que alguien las visitas con el Abuelo Hedman, les da una tarjeta de índice denominado “para su buena salud” y esto es exactamente como la tarjeta tiene para revelar uno de sus secretos:

Cucharadas miel de trébol

McCormick 1 cucharadita Canela

Mezclar en un vaso de agua caliente

Beber mañana y noche


Art [Arthur Hedman]

Yo conozco su longevidad es más de esta maravilla copa.  Él tiene un aura que lo abraza.  Uno no puede sino sentir más fuerte, más amado y más vivo cuando cerca de él.  Sentarse cerca de él es suficiente de la educación para todos sobre la manera de vivir.

Hay más gente como El Abuelo Hedman.  Que se siente por ellos y quiere absorber todo ese conocimiento y la forma en que se transforma en sabiduría cuando usted lo necesite.  La mayoría de las veces estos son los distintos momentos y no algo difundido a todo el mundo.

Pero lo que si se puede?  Vivimos en un mundo donde la tecnología puede explotar nuestras mentes con transformación de lo que hemos pensado en un tiempo fue imposible a lo que puede ser realidad.

Es por eso que nos encanta la idea de streaming en directo y la radiodifusión.  En lugar de un momento y, a continuación, deshacer, tenemos que colgar en aquellos momentos y permitir a otros la oportunidad de ver por sí mismos.

Historia Encrucijada se lleva a cabo en el Viridian Centro de Eventos, un centro de conferencias se fusionó con una biblioteca.  Físicamente está vinculada a una biblioteca ya demuestra que este lugar alberga conocimiento.  Sin embargo, lo que estamos encantados de anunciar es que este lugar tiene la capacidad de transmitir y se va.

No habíamos pensado en streaming a las escuelas secundarias hasta que nos enteramos de lo que el Festival del cuento.  Sin embargo, tuvimos siempre planificado de streaming y la preservación del espectáculos, talleres, y otras presentaciones en el mundo de la Educación Superior.  Parece necesario que las universidades tienen capacidad radiodifusión.  Mediante la creación de una red de universidades, fácilmente podríamos compartir el conocimiento y la sabiduría que vienen de historias a la gente en todo el mundo.

Vamos a tener a los jóvenes, adultos y ancianos de la comunidad de intercambiar ideas con otros jóvenes, adultos y ancianos en todo el mundo.  Sabemos que las historias son poderosos, y estas historias son aún más poderosos que abrir caminos para que las personas se escuchen.

Escuchar las historias de mi Abuelo como Hedman.

Feliz cumpleaños, Abuelo Hedman!