On the radio

Back in February I wrote about winning a story slam. A couple of days later, a fellow storyteller Will (who is also a hilarious stand-up comedian and who runs the department at the library that helps my students with all things tech) asked me to work on a storytelling project he was doing for our local public radio station. Of course I said yes.

The project for the radio station was for a class in radio production he's taking at the station. When we met to talk about it, he told me he would also like to enter the story in the Third Coast International Audio Festival Short Docs Challenge.

And a challenge it was, because instead of the five-minute story we could have made for the class, the contest required us to produce a 2-3 minute story, use 2 neighbors in the story, a color in the title, and incorporate 3 consecutive minutes of narrative silence. It's not as easy as it sounds.

I decided to write and tell a story about my alcoholic neighbor, Melvyn, who is madly in love with me. (I wrote about the police coming to his house this past Friday.) I'd been meaning to write some of my Melvyn stories, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. So I wrote the story.

It was 5 1/2 pages long. Way too long.

I made ruthless cuts. Still too long. We both slashed at it, sending it back and forth until finally it was butchered edited to about a page and a half. Still too long unless I read it really fast, but we went ahead and recorded it in a quiet room at the library a couple of weeks ago.

After I read the story, Will took over. He added sound effects, moved some sentences around, and deleted others. I couldn't wait to hear what he'd done with it. The whole radio production thing is something I know nothing about, so just like he trusted me to come up with a story we could use, I trusted him to make it sound like something you'd want to listen to on the radio.

So he did his thing, got feedback from his class, and then submitted it to the contest to be judged along with a bunch of other radio shorts.

Now we wait.

But you can listen to it and even compare it to the other entries now that it's online. Ours is titled "Gray Day Gin and Juice," and you can listen to it by clicking on the title. You can even leave comments there.

I'd love to hear what you think of it, so leave comments here too please! Tomorrow I'll post the original story -- all 5 1/2 pages of it -- so you can see what we started with.

 

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