Slime Style

Todd_FEATURED

Intro from Jay Allison: This piece was produced as part of the Transom Story Workshop Fall 2015 session. Listen to more pieces from this Story Workshop class here.

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About Slime Style

I knew I wanted my Creative Life piece to challenge the definition of creativity. When I was in 6th grade I was a really poor skateboarder who couldn’t hit anything more complex than an ollie. I would hang with more talented skaters and listen to the way they talked about the built environment. They see it differently than the rest of us. Where pedestrians see limitations, skaters create possibilities. To me, this is the highest form of creativity and I set out to document that.

I had no luck finding skaters who could give me the rich tape I desired. In a last effort I hit up a benefit for the Falmouth Skatepark. That’s where I met Mike and Josh. I told them that I was looking to do a piece on skaters and Josh told me that he makes skate films he posts on Instagram. I checked out his stuff and it was solid. Not only was he skating, but he was filming: hella creative!

The next day I joined Josh and Mike for a skate session. I did my duty by picking up ambi and pulling them into a car, separately, for an interview. They both opened up about skating and heroin addiction, but there was something missing. I realized what that something was when Mike drove Josh home later that day. I sat in the back seat with my mic still running and witnessed their candor hit new levels. It was obvious that their relationship went beyond the skating; there was something even deeper and more dynamic than the skating at play. So I went home to think about that dynamic and bring it into a Creative Life story.

One of the unique things about their skate sessions was that Josh filmed while Mike skated. An artist-muse relationship came to mind so I brought the idea to the workshop where people liked it and Rob said nobody had done anything like that before. I met up with Mike and Josh again, this time making sure that they were together for a joint interview. The magic in my tape came from letting them jive with one another. All I did was ask activating questions and let their friendship carry the rest.

Talking about skating is one thing, but talking about your recent drug addiction is much different, especially when you’re telling it to someone you’ve known for less than a day who can potentially put it on the radio. I believe one of the things that warmed them up to me was an appreciation for my Instagram handle: a reference to the rapper Raekwon. Something ostensibly insignificant helped create trust that turned into radio goodness. That, and keeping my mic on at all moments. Do that.

Todd’s Sonic ID

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Listen to “Todd’s Sonic ID”

So, there’s a chair situated in front of the circulation desk at the Woods Hole Public Library. My grandmother’s a librarian and I’ve spent my life in and out of different bibliotecas, but after spending a few hours at the Woods Hole library I noticed something I had never seen anywhere else: people would sit in the chair and talk with the librarians for a long time. It was obvious that the chair was more than a space holder.

I asked Jennifer (librarian) about the chair and the story behind it. She said there wasn’t much to say about the chair. She did say there was a story behind the clock and started giving me its history and talking about how it goes off every day at 5pm when…

Listen to more pieces from this Story Workshop class here.

Todd Whitney

About
Todd Whitney

Todd Whitney is an independent producer from Chicagoland. His works have appeared on NPR, KALW, and Latino USA. Right now, he’s articulating a new radio aesthetic. Todd is a member of AIR. You can find more of his work on PRX.

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