Piper Kerman and Larry Smith of ‘Orange Is the New Black’ discuss social media and more

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Larry (Jason Biggs) and Piper (Taylor Schilling) argue in a scene from Orange is the New Black.
Image: K.C. Bailey/Netflix

We talked digital with couple Piper Kerman and Larry Smith, who are both appearing at the upcoming Mashable Media Summit on December 5, from 2:10 – 2:40 p.m. Kerman has been lauded for the success of her memoir Orange is the New Black, which is now a hit series on Netflix. Smith has found success as the founder and editor of SMITH Magazine, and he’s also known for his Six-Word Memoir project, which is now in its eighth year.

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Q: How has digital impacted storytelling for you?
A: Larry: I loved to work in print in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. I had an internal mission to help people tell stories and an external love for the personal story. I was always the guy deeply involved in tech culture. I edited Tom Wolfe’s personal stories. Sometimes I edited essays for unknown writers. Sometimes I wrote my own – it’s just what moved me the most. It wouldn’t have been possible to do this without digital. Digital means everyone has simple tools to tell stories. Video images on our phones is magic. We’d like to do more with video and audio – it’s simplicity.

Q: How was your piece on Medium received?
A: Larry: I wrote a long piece on the show for Medium and it got such a good reception. It will become an audio book. Since it was a personal piece it was in my boomy voice. It was exhausting to read 100,000 words. The book will be available for download in December

I feel like the Medium piece really dug deep into the questions that I ask of my whole experience. Many people seemed to enjoy it. Every story has a perspective.

Q: Anything you want to tell us about your alter ego?
A: Larry: Larry gets a tough rap but he’s a fun character. In real life people will say stuff on Twitter or approach Piper at a party, when I’m there, and take her aside to say things, like, “I can’t believe you stayed with him.” She’d say, “It’s an adaptation.”

I am looking forward to seeing Jason Biggs in The Heidi Chronicles in February. His wife, Jenny Mollen, wrote a memoir about her crazy life that was optioned for TV. Jenny and I joke that I would be on the short list to play Jason Biggs.

Q: How do you feel about social media?
A: Piper: I’ve been on Twitter for eight years. I think both Twitter and Facebook are about how users use them…. It’s a way for fans of the book to get access to people…. It’s a huge interaction.

Q: Anything you can tell us about season 3?
A: Piper: Season 3 is a lot of big departures from storylines. I’m excited about it. It’s great stuff. We just finished wrapping principal photography.

Q: Who on the show is the best at storytelling?
A: Piper: Lea DeLaria [plays Big Boo] a seasoned entertainer. Matt McGorry [John Bennett] very quick and funny. There are a lot of them, however, but those are the two.

The Media Summit will be held on Dec. 5 at the Hudson Theater in New York City, analyzing the impact of technology on storytelling in the media industry. Get your tickets now before the price goes up!

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/11/26/piper-kerman-and-larry-smith-discuss-social-media-and-more/

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