My brother just forwarded me an article from NPR.org. Apparently Sasha Aslanian did an audio documentary extremely similar to mine and it was on Weekend Edition this weekend. THIS WEEKEND?!?! The weekend I was recording mine??? Bah. Here's the description of part one of her documentary, "Divorced Kid": America’s divorce rate hit a peak in 1979. Back then, no one really knew how divorce would affect children. Three decades later, the adult children of divorce look back. Not gonna lie, I am pretty disappointed. I felt so revolutionary. I am still excited and still think my work is something special, but it is no longer has the potential to be the only one that exists on the topic. In any case, after stewing about it for a while, I decided to email Sasha the following (with a little bit of my proposal):
I am currently a Master's candidate at Emerson College in Boston. With no previous knowledge of your radio documentary, I started work on something very similar. I was excited to see someone else in my field focusing on it. It means a lot to me. My master's project/thesis is also a radio doc about the effects of divorce on children, but it is based on the varying perspectives of four siblings (a.k.a. my own family--a short description below). It has definitely been an emotionally taxing journey, but I am excited to see it taking shape.
Would you be at all interested in giving the final product a professional listen as I continue through post-production? Maybe even a bit of encouragement on how I could ever hope to work in our field? I know that's a large job to agree to based on a random email, but I thought I'd take a chance.
In any event, I really appreciate your work. My oldest brother forwarded your article on NPR along (he's a good one... he even put up with me interviewing him for 4 hours). I'm so glad it was featured.
Haha. We'll see what happens. I figure you never can tell who might help you out. In production news, I have a zillion ideas running through my brain and I'm not exactly sure what direction to take. I have about 8 hours of material with my siblings, not to mention the cassette tapes and home videos that I am going through. It could go anywhere and I think all my options are reasonably compelling. I talked with Tim Riley (a professor in the Emerson Journalism Department... my day job!) and he said, "As a writer, sometimes you have to kill your children." Meaning, there will be a million things that I would love to include, but it just won't serve the final piece. So, the decision remains: what do I focus on? Also, returned all the equipment today. Feels good.