Hooked on Oregon Public Broadcasting

7 03 2012

I told you about my first scheduled performance at Fisher Poets Gathering 2012, but I didn’t tell you what happened next.

During the break, a tall, kind-eyed man introduced himself. Ifanyi Bell, digital producer with Oregon Public Broadcasting. He wanted to do a story about a greenhorn performer, someone brand-new to the Fisher Poets scene. Would I be interested?

I recalled the fall course I’d taken with editor Brooke Warner. She’d rejected proposals based on the author’s nonexistent platform, and urged us to start building our online presence before shopping our books. Would I be interested? Ah, yes.

We met up Saturday afternoon in the Fort George Showroom, the same venue that I’d perform in later that night. Good for his filming goals, and a welcome opportunity for me to get comfortable with the acoustics while rehearsing that evening’s piece. (If you were in the audience that night, you’ll notice that what I rehearsed isn’t what you heard. Abrupt change of plans a few hours before show time… But that’s another story.)

With floor to ceiling windows and brick walls, the former car showroom was cold, but the company was warm. We bonded over our unique names, both familiar with using their mispronunciation to weed out telemarketers. (If-ahn-ee and Tell-ah, BTW.) Delightfully personable, he asked insightful questions about the culture of commercial fishing, storytelling, and where they intersect. Our interview re-routed into an almost two hour conversation.

Ifanyi’s story went live on OPB this afternoon. Watching the finished video, I felt like I’d stepped into one of my favorite storytelling podcasts. His gifts as an interviewer had been apparent, but seeing the way that he pulled it all together was astonishing. Take a look, and keep an eye out for this man’s work. You can follow @ifanyi on Twitter.

Thanks, Tom Hilton, for this photo.

Serious skills you have, sir… Much gratitude for promoting my work with such generous artfulness.

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12 responses

7 03 2012
pierrmorgan

WHoo-hoo Tele!!! This is so exciting. Wow – you’re my hero!

11 03 2012
Tele

Thanks, Pierr! I think you’re pretty heroic yourself, getting all of those beautiful paintings done and out into the world for sale, in the midst of a big move! Hope all’s going well.

7 03 2012
kathrynmartins1

Wonderful piece, Tele :-) Ifanyi did something special with your story, and you were a truly genuine subject. Happy for you. Enjoy the rest of your week.

11 03 2012
Tele

Hope you enjoyed a wonderful week, too, Kathryn. Thanks for your kind words.

8 03 2012
nagoonberry

So nice to *really* hear your voice. And a great one it is. Good work.

11 03 2012
Tele

Thanks, Heather. These are funny relationships, aren’t they, where we offer such intimate reflections on our lives, our world, without ever knowing the timbre of each others’ voices or strength of our hugs.

8 03 2012
Emily a la blog

I haven’t listened to the clip yet (at work), but I already want to give you a standing ovation, just reading Ifanyi’s synopsis. Well done! Bravo! What an exciting opportunity!

18 03 2012
Tele

Goodness, a standing ovation? Thank you, Emily! Best wishes to you and yours – I’ll be following your updates from the north.

8 03 2012
Kari

That was my first thought, too. “How perfect for your platform!” ;) Nice job to you and If-ahn-ee.

8 03 2012
eastbaywriter

Congrats! The piece is wonderful. I’m so happy for you, and I echo nagoonberry – what a great voice, both literally and figuratively!

10 03 2012
Adrienne

I love the shot of you cross legged sipping from your (likely) tea. It reminds me so much of you on the sidewalks of the U District lo those many years ago. You belonged there then but you definately belong where you are now. Loving the confidence that comes across.

11 03 2012
Tele

Ah, jeez, Adrienne… This means a lot, and your timing is perfect – I just spent yesterday reuniting with much of the old Ave. It’s strange to surrender such a wholly defining aspect of one’s identity, and a little anxious-making to see if a completely different venture will fit, too. Maybe that’s something you’re familiar with, in your own journey. :)

(I have to admit – no tea. Cold water from a cooler in the back of the room!)




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