Our latest recruit to the dream team is freelance editor, Steve Pryce. We’re looking forward to his contributions, and his refinements of others’.
Steve Pryce has an extensive history in writing on, and for, business and economics. It isn’t his fault. It was the only way to get a post-grad education in the humanities and social sciences. And the only way to pay for it.
In short order, Steve found himself working as a systems analyst and computer programer. The reasons for this tragic turn of events are probably best lost in the mists of time, hidden behind memories of life for a young man in late-eighties London. Binary computers, analog world, base ten understanding of math - it’s basically a lost cause, right from the start.
The highlight of his career in computing was proving mathematically (and by illustration) that the only way to pack all of a particular organisation’s desks into the the available office space was turning 50% of them diagonally to the walls, and having the plan shot down by the board of directors as “too radical” for a floor full of computer programmers; all of whom had been recruited on the promise of a ‘challenging role in a dynamic environment’, but who were in fact having trouble finding someplace to sit down every day. That company no longer exists, but the laws of geometry and math do.
Steve soon learnt that the best way to achieve the objective of a document was to make it funny - he maintains it’s the only way to get anyone to read anything, even if you have followed the communication axioms of “tell em what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell ‘em what you’ve told them”. To quote Steve: “There are some intractable problems with corporate communications. The first one is that people worry about millions, and I’ve never met anyone who could visualise what a million of anything looks like.”. His ability to recognise and explain such conundrums, an indicator of an ability to think laterally, inevitably led to the next step in his career - training.
The first task assigned to Steve in this field was to communicate the problems IT was experiencing in completing overnight processing on a daily basis, seeking cooperation from employees in task scheduling. Given a reluctant audience who either thought they knew everything or wanted to know nothing, or both, he solved the problem of commandeering the attention of a reluctant audience by adding an interactive team role-play element to the presentation. Carrying twenty boxes, chained to each other, through an obstacle course during a business presentation might seem an unlikely means of communication, but it worked. Having mastered the preparation of interactive material, Steve quickly found himself writing scripts for training videos and classes.
The corporate training videos that John Cleese made in the seventies became an increasingly profound influence on Steve’s attempts to impart training and understanding in a corporate environment, and he happily admits to emulating the style therein. Somewhere early in this evolution, Steve realised that the classes he had taken in theatre and creative writing were at least as relevant to his work as those in accounting, economics, maths, or computing.
It became increasingly clear that the next step in the development of a career in communication was theatrical training, and so it was.
Steve took to entertainment as a merciful release from the pressures of corporate inanity. Writing fiction and working as a stand-up comedian and an actor made much better use of of a creative imagination than the demands of corporate readers to write gibberish that they could delude themselves would help build their imaginary fiefdoms of cabbages and kings. He only misses the steady pay check.
When he isn’t polishing other people’s scripts and articles, novels, websites, and advertising copy, Steve has been known to appear in the production of other people’s scripts as an actor. To this day, he maintains that it’s the only way to learn how to write them. As of this date, he can be seen on five shows on Netflix, and will appear in Burt Reynolds’ last feature, Defining Moments, in 2021, unless the director has the good sense to delete him from the finished film..