Skip the beginning. I mean, who really wants to hear all that boring stuff anyway? The real question then becomes, how far back do you go? You go too far back and you’re telling a completely different story. I think you should just start right now. Let people catch up—like they have to do when they meet you. You don’t meet people and start out by trying to catch them up on your whole life’s story. Well, maybe some people do, but trust me, those aren’t the folks you want to spend time with.
How do you make a long story short? As my screenwriting teacher, Anne Jordan, would say, treat it like the best part of a party. Arrive late and leave early.