Twins talk in the StoryCorps booth

Recordnet, California’s Central Valley paper, profiles Stockton twins (currently in Seattle) as they swapped stories about their father in the StoryCorps booth.

In a 40-minute session in StoryCorps’ MobileBooth, a recording studio constructed inside a silver Airstream trailer, the Canote twins, 54, swapped tales of their father, Bob Canote, who died last year at 81 in Saratoga. The oldest of five children, Bob became a banker after he completed his World War II service in Italy.

A profile of local people and a discussion of the StoryCorps project (which, thus far, hasn’t been getting much coverage on this site, though I’ve been following it quite closely. And wondering when and if they’re going to come to the L.A. area. The West Coast tour stops in San Francisco, and that bums me out.

Here’s their how-to for doing it yourself:

If you want to participate in StoryCorps but can’t find the time, you can conduct your interview at home.
1. Pick a storyteller.
Figure out whom you want to interview. A grandparent? An old friend? A former teacher?
2. Create a question list.
No matter how well you know your storyteller, a little preparation will improve the quality of your interview enormously.
3. Purchase or borrow recording equipment.
To record a StoryCorps-style interview, you need three pieces of equipment: a recording device, a microphone and headphones.
4. Choose an interview location.
Pick the quietest place possible. A carpeted living room or bedroom is best.
5. Set up and test equipment.
6. Begin the conversation.
Start your interview by stating your name, your age, the date and the location of the interview.
7. Get great stories.
Listen closely. Look at your storyteller’s eyes, not the mic. Stay interested and engaged.
8. Wrap it up.
Before you turn off your recorder, ask the storyteller if there is anything else that he or she wants to talk about.

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Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on October 20, 2005 in • InterviewingOral history in the newsOral History Projects
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