Saturday, May 2, 2009


I was listening to This American Life this week, Episode 181 The Friendly Man: Stories by Scott Carrier.

Scott Carrier got his start in radio like this: He heard a radio story and thought, "I could do that." He dropped everything, hitched a ride across the country and interviewed everyone who gave him a lift.

When he arrived in New York he called the NPR office and said something like, "I've got all these tapes. Will someone teach me how to turn them into a story?"

And someone did.

I had resolved last year to craft a TAL-style audio story. I researched what I'd need on, got a digital recorder
and some free software. I read Radio: An Illustrated Guide

the fantastic step by step guide to creating a radio story. And I listened to Making the Hippo Dance


Radiolab's podcast on how they take heavy scientific ideas and make them dance.

So far my only finished product is the Latin dialog I posted a week or so ago.

But for this trip I am packing my recorder and my AA batteries. I am going to gather some material during our trip. I'll have to steel myself. I don't feel comfortable sticking a microphone in someone's face.

Maybe the potter at Williamsburg will say that all his words are the property of Williamsburg Incorporated and that I can't record them.

You know what, I think I'll start today. I'll ask the kids what they think the trip will be like and what they are most looking forward to.

Why not start off with the most difficult interviewees. After that, it will all be easy. After all, the Williamsburg potter will most likely tell me politely that I can't interview him.


AM said...

Wow ... this is going to be so awesome! I think you'll find that away from the largest tourist attractions, people want to have their voices heard, and will be flattered to be asked. (Having a small child in tow can only help soften them up.)

Kat said...

Excellent idea! I am eager to hear how it goes and what you find. And what an awesome place to do it. You will find some amazing stories I'm sure. :)

Stefaneener said...

Cannot wait to hear it. Soon you'll be the podcast queen.

gina said...

Ahhh. what a cool idea! Can't wait to hear the finished product!!

Kristin said...

I know you'll have the guts to audio record strangers too. I admire your enthusiasm to learn a new process like that. It seems you will be learning alongside your kids...hmmm, it sounds like the essence of homeschooling.