Bonus: Sneak Peek of Season 2 (with Katie and KaRyn)
We might be on a break, but we're still working hard to gather your stories! In this bonus episode, KaRyn and Katie give you a sneak peek at some of the themes for season 2 so you can submit your stories to the pitchline AND share a pitch that made it into one of our upcoming season 2 episodes.
Hi friends KaRyn here, happy summer. I'm here with Katie Lambert.
Katie is one of our crack story producers. And we're really excited to have her here today. I don't know if you're surviving the summer heat, we're barely surviving.
Oh my gosh.
It's really crazy here this summer. But actually, I guess if you're in New Zealand or Australia, then you're in winter, and it's chilly and cold outside. And I would love that right about now– especially because that would mean that we are one step closer to the launch of season two.
Which is going to happen when the weather cools down a little here in the US. We're hoping for the end of September. So, in the meantime, though, we didn't want to leave you hanging because we know summers long and you're probably thinking of all the many stories that you could share with us. And we're still checking out the pitch line every day. So we decided to take a break from all of our producing and recording and planning and dreaming. To tell you a few things. We are going to give you a sneak peek at some of our upcoming themes, so you can see if you have a story that fits them. And then...
We're going to share a pitch right from our pitch line. So a real true genuine pitch, to show you exactly what we're looking for.
Yeah, and of course, you'll be able to do it in your own style and your own voice. But this has all the elements that really just blew our minds. So stay tuned. After you hear the themes. Don't go anywhere, because we're going to give you an example of what a pitch should and could be. Okay, so first, Katie, why don't you start us off and tell us a little bit about some of the themes that we've been working on that we're looking for stories for?
Yeah, of course. So, a lot of us have experienced culture shock before. And that's actually one of our themes. So if you've ever gone to a new country, a new experience, a new culture, made a huge life shift and had this weird, oh my gosh, what's happening to me, this is such a different thing. It's a culture shock. That's one of our themes that we're looking for this time, and we want to hear how it's affected you and how it's brought you closer to the gospel, unto Christ.
That's awesome, I'm actually really excited about that one. As you can imagine, I have quite a few stories of culture shock in my life. So I'm excited to hear other people's culture shock stories. I think one of the other themes that I'm super excited about is called "There's no place like home." I said that really weirdly. Let me try that again. There's no place like home. We want your stories of home, whatever that means to you. Maybe it's leaving, maybe it's coming back. Maybe it's finding a new home with new people, anything that you can think of around the theme of home.
If you don't have any of those, then we'd love to hear of a time where a stranger has really helped you out and done you a really good solid. It could be something as simple as like, maybe you were having a really hard time in your life and somebody just said the right thing or did the right thing for you. I would love to hear your story.
And that that theme is called the kindness of strangers. I'm sure everybody has one of those, even if it's a little guy. Oh, even if your story's a little teeny tiny guy.
Yeah, we love the teeny tiny guys.
Just today, I did something so dumb. I was standing in line at this place called Pretty Bird. They have amazing chicken sandwiches here in Salt Lake City. So I was standing in line. And there was this family at the head of me that was just trying to figure out what to do with their day. I of course, because I'm turning into my father, apparently, I started talking to them! They did not want my advice, but I was like, hey, there are some really good things you can do with little kids here in Salt Lake. And the girl looked at me like I was an alien. And I just immediately was like, "Oh no, I still have 15 minutes in line with these people." Now that I've embarrassed myself. So I was trying to be a kind stranger and they would have none of it, but that's okay. Anyway, we're looking for your kindness of stranger stories. Especially if they have a gospel turn if there's some way that you can relate that to a gospel principle, we want to hear that story.
I think another really great theme that we're looking for stories on is family reunions. And let me tell you what that means, actually, because I think we can get pretty narrow in our thinking about family reunion. But I am hoping for stories that are, like, broad. It's not necessarily a physical family reunion. Although if there's a cool one about that, we'd like to hear it– especially funny stories. You have to have some funny stories about family reunions. Katie, do you have any funny stories about family reunions?
Um, no. Mostly they're just like, oh, you're my third cousin. That's great.
Are you from here? Like, does your family do a big huge family reunion?
Not anymore. We used to when we were little, but you know, it kind of fizzled out as we got older and realized that nobody really knew each other. The family got too big.
Yeah, my family is all over the U.S. so it's really hard to get us all in one place. Okay, so family reunion is a theme that we're looking for stories on the pitch line. Hopefully, you have something to share with us.
So our next theme is about fitting in if you've ever, you know, felt out of place at a family reunion with all your third cousins or something like that, and you found a really good gospel tie or you fit in really well in a certain group and you were surprised by that. We'd love to hear anything relating to fitting in. Fitting in doesn't have to be physical yeah to jeans or anything like that. It can be like metaphorical or something.
Yeah, I think we also are looking for stories of just finding your place. Anyway, fitting in. That's one of our themes. Believe it or not, we're already planning for our Christmas episode. I know.
We're ahead of JoAnne's. We're always ahead of Joanne.
Oh, yeah, they always have their Christmas stuff out in September.
I know. Look at us go. It's not even Halloween, and we're already thinking about Christmas. Well, anyway, we thought it would be really fun this year to do our Christmas episode on the theme of surprises. So, I'm hoping that somebody out there has a really great story about a Christmas surprise. Ideally, it will have a gospel connection to it. So, think about that. And if you have something, please, please call the pitch line and share with us. We want to hear that. And then Katie, I think you have our very last theme that we're looking for right now.
Oh, yeah. So our last thing that we're looking for is mission stories.
Oh, I don't have any of those.
Oh, you better not. Because here they come. We're looking for really, really good mission stories. Like the kind of mission stories that make you go, "Oh, my gosh, I love the gospel," all over again.
Yeah. And I think the trick about mission stories is going to be that it has to be about your own experience as a missionary as opposed to trying to tell us someone else's conversion story. Because, a lot of times when we're telling our mission stories on the mission, we talk about, "Oh, there was this lady and this is what happened to her and she was so amazing, and I was there when she got baptized," but I guess what we're really looking for are the stories of your own experience as a missionary and what changed you and how it was different for you. Here's the other thing about mission stories: Everyone's got them. When I was in a Singles Ward, I one time auctioned off two hours of listening to your mission stories as a service project.
Oh, how did that do?
It was amazing. I got a lot of bids! Because who doesn't want to tell people about this transformative time in your life? So I think that we want to share mission stories, but we want them to have a very clear gospel message and they need to be about yourself. So if you have something like that, send it over to us. We don't have a more focused theme for that one quite yet. So right now we're, we'd love to hear all the different mission stories and then we can kind of decide what the theme will be for that. So feel free to share just anything you have about yourself and your mission.
Okay, so now that everybody's had– oh, I almost forgot. Before we end this, we need to tell you guys to follow the Instagram account, right?
It's @thisisthegospel_podcast. And the reason you need to follow that on Instagram is because in the Instagram stories, we're going to tell you what other themes we're looking for there. So these are just the start of some of the themes we're working on for season two. If you want to know other things that we're working on, go there, follow that and you'll know other themes that we're hoping for the pitch line. And then, now, we need to tell you what the pitch line phone number is, which I forgot to bring into this room.
Oh I know, starts with 515.
We know it starts with 515. Hold please caller, we'll get you that number.
So the pitch line number is 515-519-6179. That is 515-519-6179.
Every time I read that number, I feel like I'm on an infomercial. I want to tell people if you call in the next 20 minutes, and you'll get to tell five stories on the pitch line! I don't know. Okay, so Katie and I are really lucky because we get to listen to all of the pitches that you call in, to give us and thank you. I just want to say thank you to everyone who has called in and shared your story, whether we're able to use it on the podcast or not. It's a privilege for us to be able to listen to your voices, to hear your names. And to know that you're out there, I'm going to start crying. I'm such a nerd. But to know that you're out there and that you want to share your story. That's really powerful. And we're grateful for the opportunity to listen to those. So thank you.
But today, we're here to tell you a little bit about what makes a pitch really work for us. We think this will be helpful to you. So Katie, tell us about your experience of listening to the pitch line. Well, first of all, I love that people call the pitch line. That's my favorite thing. We love finding people who found us. The second thing that I love about the pitch line is that it makes me realize how God cares so much about us. Like every time we hear your stories, no matter how big or small or crazy or simple they are, it's clear that God loves all of his children. And he cares about those small things in their lives. And so we love that. I love that. I mean, and the third thing I love about the pitch line is that this is a very brave thing to share your story. And so I love seeing that kind of bravery where people are willing to put themselves out there. You know, as an introvert, I understand that's really uncomfortable.
You are a classic introvert, aren't you?
Like in the best way, we love it about you.
Yeah, it's okay.
It makes her a very good editor and a very good developer of your stories. So we know that Sarah and Davi gave you top tips in that bonus episode in season one. And so we're just going to add to that a little there are a few things that we've noticed that will help make pitches stronger. So, the first one is that your pitch has to be three minutes long. It cuts off after three minutes. So we keep getting calls where people are telling their story and then it just cuts out. And maybe the storyteller didn't realize it cut out. Because they don't call back and tell us the rest of the story. So when you call the pitch line, make sure that you kind of take a deep breath. Breathe a little before you call, have a plan before you call, maybe practice it with a family member or into your phone or something before you call us. Just so that you have some focus. It makes it easier for us to listen to, and it helps us to see the potential in both you as a storyteller and in the story itself.
Yeah, and we're also looking for if it's unique or intriguing. So those two kind of speak for themselves.
Unique and intriguing doesn't necessarily mean that your story is off the charts wacky
That's not what we're looking for. What we mean by unique or intriguing is that you present it in a way that intrigues us. That there's something about it that makes, like some of the details, or there's a part of the story that you're like, "Oh, wow." Because most of our stories aren't really that unique. But there is something in your story. That is truly only yours. And if you can find that thing, when you pitch it to us that will help to make it stand out.
The other thing that you need to have is a beginning, a middle and an end. We just need to know that you know where the story ends and where it starts. So make sure you think about that as you're doing it.
Yeah. And also make sure it's mostly about yourself. Because, while we know, that so and so has such a cool story, and you'd love to share, so and so's story, we want to make sure that this is about you and not so and so.
Yeah, and we always say too, other people's lives, interact with ours in our story. But really what we're looking for is how that applies to you. Yeah, I think the last thing that your pitch has to have, this is pretty easy. You can do this in one sentence, but tell us what the clear gospel takeaway was for you. What was the lesson learned in that story? What was the thing that you came away, understanding or knowing deeply or differently than you did when you first started?
We actually thought it might be helpful for you to hear a pitch from our pitch line that has all the elements that we're looking for. And this story is going to be in season two. So you're going to get the very, very tiny little thumbnail of it in this pitch, but you'll start to see some of those things that we're talking about. It's intriguing, it's unique. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. And there's a very clear gospel takeaway. And while there is another person in the story, it's about the guy who said the pitch. So we're gonna hear from Brian.
My name is Brian. My phone number is 896. It's kind of ironic that in a room that included a couple of dwarves an elf and I think an ogre or two, that it was the bald human, that was new, that would change my life. A group of friends and I have played Dungeons and Dragons for 26 years now together. About 10 years ago, a friend that was playing with us brought a new friend to play with us and enjoy and join the group. He was very much not what I would have guessed as a friend at the time. He looked a lot different than the rest of us, acted a lot differently in some ways. And sadly, I found myself judging him on that alone. I made a regular request of my friends at the time. And this new friend was the only one that ever took me up on it. It was because of that decision, and that request, that my life has changed. And I have found a friend that I regard as a brother in many ways. I'd love to tell you more.
So when I first heard that pitch, I was just like, "Oh my gosh, what is this even about? Like a bald human with elves and dwarves and all that jazz." I was like, "What is he talking about?" I was really super intrigued by that because I had no idea where that was going.
Well the minute he said Dungeons and Dragons, I was in. I was like, we have to have a story about Dungeons and Dragons, that's too perfect. There were a couple of things in his pitch that really worked. And one was that he kind of drew us into the potential of the story with his description of the other people. I mean, clearly they aren't dwarves and elves, but it made us intrigued by that. And then I think he also helped us to see that the story was about friendship.
And about the way that he was changed because of it. So I don't know. I think that to me, was one of those pitches where I heard it and I said, "Oh yeah, we're calling this guy."
So as you're developing your pitch, just think about some of the ways that you can help us to see the interest and the intrigue in the story that you're sharing. And I would say this one other thing about your pitch, it doesn't have to have all the details. Some people call and I think that's why they end up going over the three minutes, because they think they have to tell me all the details of the story. Some detail helps, but doesn't need to be every tiny detail. We'll get to that when we develop your story.
Yeah, it's like my mama used to tell me, "just the Reader's Digest Katie! We just want the Reader's Digest, not the full story. So three minutes!" Reader's Digest.
That's perfect. And don't forget to leave your name and your phone number. If you forget that we can't call you! Don't do that.
So we're going to go back over those themes just while you're thinking about them and you're wondering, um, what can I pull from my life so we've got Culture Shock, We've got Kindness of Strangers, There's No place like Home, just like Wizard of Oz. Fitting in, family reunion.
Awkward or not awkward, your choice.
Surprises and mission stories. This is your one chance mission stories! We want to hear them and hear them all.
All right, we are so excited for season two to come back. We can't wait. We're just having a great time getting all of these stories ready and we're looking forward to it. And we're like I said, it's going to be the end of September. So set a reminder on your calendar and again, follow that Instagram account because it's going to be the thing that lets you know about everything that's coming up. And we'll see you in a few weeks.
Yeah, see you guys.