When I meet someone new and tell them what I do for work, there’s usually a moment in the conversation where they say something along the lines of, “That sounds cool, but what’s the point?”
I explain that there are a number of points–that StoryCorps provides the time and space for loved ones to sit down together and talk about their lives, that this often can be a transformative experience, that we’re creating an archive of American life in the 21st century, that we are collecting innovative content for public radio, that we are celebrating the lives and stories of everyday people.
Then, five times out of ten, the person will ask, “So, do people ever get into really big fights in the booth?”
This question makes me laugh, but, when you think about it, it make a lot of sense. Rarely do we read in a newspaper or watch TV about two people sitting quietly across from each other showing how much they care. Instead: Lindsay and Samantha Brawl Again! Octuplets’ Mother’s Mother Speaks!
What I am trying to say is this: Last Thursday, StoryCorps hosted a Love-themed Listening Party at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. It was really lovely. And it wasn’t hard to choose which clips to play–because, when two people sit down in a StoryBooth and really listen to each other, there is no fighting, there is love. And you can hear that on the tape.
So many people came to the event that we ran out of chairs! Above, our fantastic volunteers Peter and Frank help us out with some emergency chairs. Don’t worry, CJM, we were very careful not to block the fire exits!