Thursday, October 25, 2018

Story Corps at the Orlando Public Library

The Orlando Public Library is hosting Story Corps for three days at the Downtown Branch. I was asked to come in to document the process with my sketches. I couldn't actually sit in on the actual interviews but instead I met people as they arrived. I spent most of my time sketching in what would be considered the green room. Story Corps has two people speak to the interviewer which results in something closer to a conversation between friends rather than an oral history or straight on interview.

Because the interview room was off limits I didn't really get to learn much about the people who came in. Will Jones was the first to arrive and he has used the public library for years. He was very pleased to have been invited to participate. He was waiting for his friend Jeanine who was running a bit late because of congestion on the highway. When she arrived, the the Story Corp staff, Jhaley and Morgan explained the process. First, they wanted to know how much each of them knew about Story Corps. The project started in Grand Central Station in NYC, where people could record their stories. The project has been going strong ever since.

Scottie Campbell was working on his laptop promoting the project and managing social media. Cynthia and ___ at the end of the table were there to video record people telling about the project after the interview was done. Cynthia has worked at the library for seven years. They would escort people down to the recording studio in the Melrose Center. My goal was to sketch each couple being interviewed. I found out that I had to work insanely fast. The introduction process probably took less than 15 minutes which means the lines had to be thrown down without a second thought. I found that this panicked immediacy actually helped me in getting more spontaneous sketches and there wasn't enough time to worry if the subject would like the results.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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