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Transom Podcast

52 EpisodesProduced by TransomWebsite

Transom.org is an experiment in channeling new work and voices to public radio through the internet, and for discussing that work, and encouraging more. Our podcast offers some tasty little audio morsels to go.

13:20

Blind Parenting

“Blind Parenting” on PRX

About Blind Parenting

In my previous, and now current podcast, I spend a lot of time satirizing this and that aspect of other people’s lives. So I found the task of doing an actual story about my own life daunting. But only once I tried to do it.

When we started, I figured Maura and I would just crap out something in a few days, and then I’d get back to my other less interesting projects. I was so excited at the chance to do something for Transom, and felt lucky to have the topic I was producing a story about be personal, as opposed to factual or journalistic. Talking about ourselves will be a piece of cake! Nope. It turns out to be a lot harder to tell a compelling story than to just make fun of everything. I’m not sure we accomplished that, but we at least got to turn our sarcastic ray gun on ourselves for a change. By the time we finished, the breezy feeling I had about the process was gone. The whole thing was humbling, and a total departure from my normal projects. I do think we came up with something worth listening to though, which certainly makes sense in this medium.

“My normal projects”, include talkies for various “helpful white people” centers here in Buffalo. Those folks while very helpful, typically have no idea what they want in their videos. So, my partner and I just interview all the directors of whosits and assistant liaisons to the whatever, and then hunker down with lots of coffee to put together the jigsaw. When we present the final cut, the client is usually so amazed to see themselves on a screen that context and consistency don’t really matter. Even worse is the fact that the praise we receive leaves us feeling all arrogant. “Man, we totally floored those non-profit outreach consultants. We must be awesome!” So this story, as one of the first things I’ve ever done with any professional scrutiny attached, forced me to think very closely about what I was trying to say. That’s great for the end result of course, but also a bit like hanging out with a drunk version of yourself who keeps telling you exactly why you totally suck.

The other thing that I kept having to tell myself was to stop rambling and get to the point! We had so many ideas of how to go about it that we both found it hard to keep the narrative at times. It’s hard to remember that your listeners may not know anything about your topic, so you need to stay clear and concise. This of course constantly led me to editing down our crazy stream of consciousness to something more closely resembling sentences. It really could’ve been an hour-long without much effort. It has made me rethink the way I record. Better outlines are in my future. It also really made me want to try my hand at producing other people’s stories, because I had things pointed out to me that I think would’ve been obvious were I not both writing and recording the story myself. And this was just a silly little story about ourselves. I now have a much deeper respect for those radio producers who interview people as they’re strapped into the electric chair, or file reports live from directly under a mushroom cloud. It makes what I do seem easy.

What we came up with is basically a snapshot of some of our thoughts and fears about raising children as blind people. Part audio diary, and part self reassurance session. I’m proud of the fact that our story is just the type of radio I enjoy most. I could care less about ultra-serious radio like political shouting matches and other miseries, so I’m glad our piece stayed light and conversational.

About the Gear

Technically speaking, I used an Audio Technica 2021 with a Zoom R16 for the recordings at our Mom’s house, and talked to my Dad on the phone while he rec...

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