May 29, 2015
I’d like to invite you to listen to Dave Isay, the 2015 TED Prize winner. Isay has made his life’s work preserving the stories of everyday Americans. In 2003 he founded StoryCorps in a booth at New York’s Grand Central Terminal. As part of his project, he invited anyone and everyone to honor someone else by interviewing them about their life. The forty-minute sessions were recorded, and they are now archived at the American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress.
StoryCorps expanded across the country. Earlier this year it developed an app to bring the project out of the booth into your hands, wherever you are, whenever you are so moved. To make the most of your interview, Isay offers the following five tips:
Ask the big life questions.
Pour your attention into the interview.
Be an active participant in the conversation.
Remember it’s not the story that matters.
Say thank you.
These tips will work for you, whether you’re a personal historian working with others or a grandchild seeking your roots. As Isay says, “Everyone around you has a story the world needs to hear.”
© 2015 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved