Christmas is a time to share with family and friends. Also people will be talking about Christmas memories from the past. Let’s take a look at Tom Cruise’s favorite Christmas as a child...
Interviewer: When I was a kid the time of year that I loved was Christmas because it was the only magic time. Didn’t you one year, I read that there was a gift of poems.
Tom Cruise: Yeah
Interviewer: Tell me.
Tom Cruise: As I said, a beautiful mother, and it was actually the first Christmas when my parents were divorced and we didn’t have any money. And really not enough to buy each other a present. And all of the money kind of went to…well didn’t kind of, it went into paying for food on the table. And so my mother said listen: “What we are going to do is we are not going to buy each other gifts. We are going to pick names out of hat. And for a month you are going to do something for that person and on Christmas day we are going to reveal who you are and we are going to write poems for each other.
Tom Cruise: It was actually the best Christmas I had as a kid! It was a great Christmas!
Interviewer: It sounds like a great Christmas.
The story is direct. Tom starts by setting the ‘scene’ for the listener. His parents had just divorced. There was no money to spend on Christmas gifts. Food was the most important item. Tom uses past verb tenses to create the scene for the listener.
Next, Tom tells the story from his mother’s words. She is using ‘going to’ to express a future within the story time period. This gives the story a change of pace. It feels like we are there with Tom, listening to his mother’s Christmas plan. It is a nice style and more interesting than telling a whole story with past tense verbs only. Also, changing the pace of a story helps keeps the listener interested. In the final two sentences Tom reverts back to the use of past tense verbs and finishes telling the story. Tom reveals the importance of this memory to the listener with great enthusiasm and excitement in his voice: this was the best Christmas he had as a kid with excitement in his voice. The excitement in his voice also creates interest from the listener.
If you want to try out Tom’s Christmas Memory/Story Style, here it is:
Tom’s Story Telling Template:
1.Set the scene in the past in your own ‘voice’ or perspective.
2.Have one of the main characters in the scene/memory tell the story.
3.Return to your own ‘voice’ and why it was important to you (enthusiastically).
Full and original interview with Tom Cruise 'Christmas Memory"
(Counter: 6:05 - 7:01 – ‘Christmas Memory’ portion of interview)
Tom’s latest movie Trailer
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