Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m missing my true calling in life: sharing other peoples’ stories with the rest of the world. (Either that or running a business that does house calls for peoples’ home PC problems. I love helping friends tame their computers.)
I like the formula This American Life has for putting shows together. The mix of voiceovers, mood music and honest, spontaneous-sounding interviews is top notch. Everything except the cadence of Ira Glass’s way of speaking. I can’t put my finger on it, but that’s the only aspect of the best public radio show in existence today that I don’t want to emulate. It’s not as if I have to resist the urge to claw at my ears when I hear him talk, but he has such an idiosyncratic, kind of uppity (but not snarky) tone of voice that I know I have to avoid sounding like I’m imitating him. At the same time, I can’t sound like the barbiturate-addled hosts of NPR programs either.
The topic I want to cover is “Living and Working in Japan as a foreigner.” I want to conduct interviews with people on why they decided to come to Japan, how they found work, their work history, whether or not they feel as if they’re succeeding, and what the experts think are the best ways for people to find the job that’s right for them. And I want to keep my own story out if it, because if I don’t it’ll probably end up sounding like I’m using the microphone as my psychoanalyst.
For those of you who have thought about taking a stab at living in Japan for a while or moving here permanently, what do you want to know from those who are already here? What would you like to hear headhunters and recruiters talk about? I’ve got my list of questions, but I’d like to know if ya’ll can think of a few that might not have crossed my mind.
This is going to be my attempt at getting better at audio production. There’s an entire team of producers, assistant producers, writers, sound engineers, editors and researchers who work together to put out every episode of This American Life, and for a long time I’ve been wondering what I can accomplish on my own, even if it ends up being nowhere near as high quality. As long as the final product is interesting and listenable, I’ll try to be happy with it.