Friday, March 12

The Day NPR Called III: The Conclusion, or Yes I'm finally getting to the end of this story

When last we left Erin, she was getting on people's nerves by dragging out this story over a week in a disproportionately dramatic saga compared to what really happened. Read part 1 here, and part 2 here.

Texting with my brother, Kyle

Me: At WFDD waiting...mainlining sugar to keep from passing out.
Kyle: What is WFDD?
Me: Our local NPR station.
Kyle: Oh I thought it was like a WWJD thing. Except new and improved. Like What Frank Didn't Do or something.
Me: Ha. Did you hear? I'm going to be on the radio.
Kyle: Was that pun intended? And why?
Me: What pun? They are recording me reading an essay I wrote.
Kyle: The 'did you hear I'm going on the radio.' Because you listen to the radio. Do people actually listen to the radio to listen to an essay?
Me: Thanks. Yes they do.
Kyle: Well that's cool. What is the essay about?
Me: Noah becoming a cop.
Kyle: Are you getting paid?
Me: No. But I'm getting publicity.
Kyle: Is this an AM or FM station?
Me: FM.
Kyle: Okay. Because if it was AM then I would have said you aren't getting any publicity. Maybe to 75 year olds.

*     *     *

The slight delay was good, I told myself as I sat nervously waiting in WFDD's tiny lobby. It gave me time to read over my essay a few more times and practice my Radio Voice (which I hoped would work better than my Supermodel Walk and my Seductive Smile).

I waited almost an hour, recognizing people walking through by their voices: I'd heard these people before, giving me my morning traffic reports, local arts segments, and whatnot. Kathryn was running behind working on a story. As I sat waiting, my nerves died down and I listened to the broadcast playing in the tiny kitchen area off the lobby. Denise Franklin was interviewing Brian Link, the co-founder of SimpliFi, the financial planning website I'd just been hired to blog for. Nervousness transformed into excitement. I considered telling the receptionist I blogged for the guy on the radio, but then I remembered she worked with people who were on the radio every day, so I held my peace.

Finally Kathryn came to get me. She was profusely apologetic—for the months-long wait, the rescheduled appointment, the late start. I couldn't have cared less: Something I wrote was going to be broadcast to thousands of listeners, and this woman was the reason.

She took me to a small recording studio with only a couple of chairs, a computer, and two microphones attached to some recording equipment. She brought me a mug of water. We went over a few questions and changes I had made, then she laid out two of the four pages in front of me and told me to begin.

When I practiced the night before, I kept smiling whenever I read the word "Matthew"—we chose to use a version of Noah's middle name for a layer of privacy, transparent though it was. We also decided using my maiden name would be a good idea for this essay, since our last name is so distinctive. Noah didn't want civilians he worked with recognizing him (although I found his idea of the scope of my forthcoming fame to be sweetly optimistic).

But when I began reading into the microphone, Kathryn monitoring the recording on the computer screen, I paused only when Kathryn asked me to record a pickup when I stumbled over a word or needed better annunciation. I was grateful for the speech therapy I received as a kid, wondered if I might still have a slight lisp that would give my recording some extra character. Or maybe it would be annoying, like that British guy doing the voice over on a video we watched about the Romantic Poets my senior year of college: His accent was so crisp, he literally made little Xhosa-like clicking sounds in the back of his throat when speaking words that didn't even have a hard consonant as an excuse. What if I sound terrible and get on people's nerves, like Throat Click Man?

As I read, though, I was immersed in the essay. I just read it without thinking, like the time I translated for Noah an essay I had written in French, then began speaking in French without realizing it.

Afterward I watched as Kathryn edited out a puff of air from the word "police." I told her I was fascinated by this experience; I had no idea how much work was done by so few people to broadcast important and interesting segments. She, in turn, admitted to being fascinating by blogging and asked me loads of questions about The Fierce Beagle. We talked longer than it had taken to record the essay.

She walked me to the front door and encouraged me to write and submit more essays. "This could be a little platform for your writing," she told me. I could have hugged her.

When I got into the truck I called Noah immediately. "How'd it go?" he asked. "OhmygahthatwasamazingIcan'tevenbelieveaaaaaaaaaaaghhhhhh!" I replied.

That morning Noah had instructed me to "be cool," and I reassured him that I had been cool, I had just stored up all my uncoolness and was finally free to let it out. When my pulse calmed down to a reasonable pace, I explained everything that happened.

I was going to be on the radio.

*     *     *

It took me an entire weekend of lying on the couch watching a lot of TV on dvd to come down from the hyped up state I was in after leaving WFDD. Now, a week later, I once again realize that I'm small potatoes. Still, I'm excited about my broadcast, which will be aired in the next couple of weeks. I'll let you all know when I find out the date and time so you can listen (online, or on the radio if you're local), and I'll provide a link to the MP3 once it's up.

Thanks for sticking with me. You guys make me feel like I matter.


Anonymous said...

What are you talking about, you silly woman? You DO matter - in a lot of ways, to a lot of people. So keep it up, and keep sharing the excitement (so that some of us may live vicariously).

Awaiting your next essay & step on the walk to fame & fortune.

Catherine said...

Well done you!

Even doing a presentation makes my palms sweaty :D

RA said...

That is a ridiculously cool thing you did! I love Story Corps, and it's fun to hear the backstage parts of it.

Dawn said...

I agree with Anonymous -- you matter!

I hope the broadcast introduces the Fierce Beagle to a new slew of readers because a *lot* of people would enjoy the humorous honesty and wit of your blog!

Go Erin!

Christopher said...

Small potatoes? Yeah, on their way to becoming McDonald's french fries.(That sounded more complimentary in my head. But you get the point, right?)

You rock. Thanks for sharing the experience.

stephanie said...

YAY YOU ARE GONNA BE ON THE RADIO!!!!! now i know a celebrity. when people ask, i'll be like "oh, ERIN of the fierce beagle? yeah we've emailed. and she EVEN WROTE BACK." mhmm.

have a wonderful weekend & congrats! :)

May @ Anne and May said...

Your next essay has to be about your brother. You guys are like the Sedarises...only less obsessed with death.

I love that you were a natural at this! I can't wait to hear the podcast.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anne and May people need to hear the story about me. The essay would definitely rock your career up. They could make a movie about me and I could star in it. Oh the endless possibilities erin. Also why can't my picture be the bat symbol?

Your brother

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...