One of the most important lessons I learned at Transom (among many) was to always aim to be yourself in your work. This piece helped me explore a completely new side of myself, and use skills I usually don’t think twice about, like speaking Spanish. Working on this piece also really reinforced my belief that audio storytelling is really the only way that stories should be told. Even if you don’t understand a language, you get a better sense of people, because of all the feeling in their voice.
Another very important thing I learned during this piece was how to approach people, and how to build rapport with subjects. As someone with a journalism background, I felt a little uneasy about getting too friendly with people, but at the same time, it felt great to be able to really feel like I was getting to know someone and their struggles in a way that I hadn’t done before. From interviewing Betty, the store owner, in Spanish, to translating those interviews, to picking music for the piece, the whole experience for me was an exercise in being Latina as well as being a radio producer. I’ve never had to try to understand someone’s motivations in such a short period of time, but I’m thankful Betty was so helpful throughout the process.
I’m extremely proud of this piece. My first attempt at translation, and my first interview in Spanish. The whole story ended up being nothing like my original story idea, but I’m definitely happy with the end product, and am happy to have helped Betty tell her story. My proudest moment was playing this piece for my mom in Hammond, Indiana, and having her relate to Betty’s story, nearly a thousand miles away, in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Barb’s Sonic ID
For this sonic, I thought it might be easy to get people talking about their moms on Mother’s Day. But it was rainy, and there were few people out. Then I met Dawn Williams, who didn’t really want to talk about her mom, but had some advice for her granddaughter.