The Secret Art of Hair Replacement

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Intro from Jay Allison: We have a series here at Transom we call “Short Lists” where you hear a list of things and then find out how they’re connected. Hairpieces, Coyotes, Village Portraits, Grind Core Punk, Personal Tragedy, Songwriting, Fibromyalgia, Singing at Funerals, Roller Derby… okay, that’s a list of the stories produced by the Transom Story Workshop this fall. The students came here from all over the country (and two from Canada this time), somehow discovered these stories hidden away on Cape Cod, and then, using the skills they just learned, turned them into radio. It’s quite a trick—to go from never having done it, to doing it well. I’m amazed every time.

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Listen to “The Secret Art of Hair Replacement”

About “The Secret Art of Hair Replacement”

Hair loss is a taboo. The measures people take to replace hair are rarely mentioned out loud. Richard Theodore is a hair replacement specialist, and the focus of my first story at the Transom Story Workshop, to be aired as part of WCAI’s “Creative Life” series.

There were some big “firsts” for me in making this story. It was the first time I’d written and voiced a radio script.

In the beginning, I felt the need to be very instructional, to describe each and every technique and invention I’d seen at Richard’s office. Unsurprisingly, the first draft of my script turned out clunky. I wanted to include every anecdote. I learned to let go of some of the details, in order to find the overall structure.

In my first script, instead of taking the time to introduce a new separate idea with written narration, I often chose actualities that were lengthy, in which I let Richard change the discussion. When reviewing my script edits from our class, I learned pretty quickly: this isn’t typically done. I held onto one of these moments. One such spontaneous turn in conversation where Richard took control of the narrative, did make the final cut. In the end, it was this moment that defined Richard’s story.

Ellie’s Sonic ID

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Listen to “Ellie’s Sonic ID”

Richard Theodore has a big personality, and his Sonic ID speaks to this. This is one of many golden audio nuggets that didn’t make it into my final Creative Life story. Richard Theodore by trade is a wig maker; by schooling he’s a trichologist, but as you can hear, by nature Richard is a storyteller.


Listen to more pieces from this Story Workshop class.

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