By Emily Abedon

What a pleasure it was to be a fly on the oak, as it were, last Tuesday in the Cistern Yard, when a film team led by TEDxCharleston’s Video Producer and Historian, Anne Emerson, went to work at the first official gathering of this year’s speakers. College of Charleston’s storied edifices served as a divinely apropos backdrop for a revealing interview session, in which the diverse group shared their thoughts on the things that inspire their perspectives and impassion their actions.

The depth, the heart, and the humanity of the bunch were, fortunately, underscored by humor, because you just had to laugh at the constant cacophony of city sounds threatening to drown out their words.  Thanks to jackhammers, jet planes and street sweepers, camera-guy extraordinaire, Shawn Whittington, had his headphones working overtime – when the din got too loud, he paused the shoot.

Ultimately, patience and unflappability won the day, garnering the raw materials for a behind-the-scenes video that will introduce our speakers to their audience. Which brainy researcher was on the cusp of a tap-dance career when she discovered the joys of science? Which star athlete rewards himself, after every winning game, with a chocolate chip cookie? Which philanthropic trailblazer counts “living mannequin,” as his first volunteer job? Stay tuned to meet the impressive cast of characters lined up for TEDxCharleston 2014. The list of speakers will be announced on Wednesday, February 5, the day that tickets go on sale. The event takes place in Memminger Auditorium, on Tuesday, April 8.