It might not seem like a natural move for a Peabody Award-winning journalist to be performing a one-man show. After all, isn’t the world of theater, make-believe and storytelling supposed to be kept separate and safe from corrupting the world of journalism, objectivity and truth?
Well, as it turns out, it is a natural move for Jack Hitt, who performed his show this weekend at the Spoleto Festival
. This New York Times and This American Life contributor is not only the kind of guy who seems to continually find himself in situations where truth is stranger than fiction, he’s also a master storyteller.
In Making up the Truth
, Hitt interweaves his incredible life stories with the latest scientific discoveries about brain science that seem to indicate that our brains are hard-wired to see the world in terms of stories. We are all, Hitt says, constantly narrating our own lives.
native, Hitt begins the show with his story of growing up in a neighborhood of eccentrics in the Holy City – a group of eccentrics that included a British sex-change recipient. He goes on to tell about his experience in the audience of an ill-fated production of Peter Pan, his time spent in a N.Y. apartment with a murdering landlord, and an ill-timed case of the church giggles at a friend’s funeral.
Hitt’s storytelling is effortless and endearing. What’s more, he makes the brain science just as fascinating as his tale of witnessing a doggie debutante or reconnecting with his neighbor 20 years after the rumors of her sex change operation. The show gives you insight not only into his very interesting life but also into the way you see your own life and your own collection of memories, thoughts and stories.
Although there is just one more chance to see the show at Spoleto (Monday, May 28,) Hitt continues to tour. He also has a book out called "Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character" and his book "Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim's Route into Spain," has been made into a motion picture, The Way, directed by Emilio Estévez and starring Martin Sheen.