Hello Friends!


Photo credit: Deirdre Fishel, producer of documentary, "Care"

Photo credit: Deirdre Fishel, producer of documentary, “Care”


In the past month, I’ve begun interviewing “guests” for my new podcast, Who Cares?. More on that in a moment…

As a social scientist, I’ve probably interviewed 1,000 people in my lifetime, but NOT for an on-air production! It’s REALLY DIFFERENT! For one thing, when I ask someone a question, my inclination is to nod my head and say a slew of “uh-huh’s” or “that sounds hard” (or great or ANYTHING!). That’s kind of typical in a conversation, no? To let people know that we’re listening well and that we care and understand what the person is saying.

BUT NO – for this podcast, I’m zipping my lip and NOT responding while someone is talking. This runs counter to “who I am”, but hey, I’m doing it!  In fact, you may have noticed that there’s a genre of podcasts that are all about a back-and-forth conversation. But for Who Cares?, the guest is front-and-center. I ask lots of questions, but for the actual podcast episode, you won’t hear my questions. Instead, my contribution is in and around what the guests are saying. For my sociologist friends reading this, you’ll recognize the form – use a quote, then provide an analytic comment, something that carries the thread to the next quote. For the podcast, we’re writing a script (woohoo) that includes plum passages from the guests that will capture plum quotes from one person, juxtaposing music, some more commentary and then, other people’s plum quotes..



In preparation for the interviews, I set up pre-interviews with my guests. My amazing Co-Producer, Helen Barrington, gave me a very no-nonsense checklist which I find extremely helpful. It includes advice to the guests about not bonking the desk with buttons or an emphatic gesture because the mics are very sensitive, taking off noisy jewelry, staying hydrated (because if your mouth is drying, there will be popping sounds!) – and a reminder that I will not be interrupting them, and that after they complete a thought, we’ll take a pause (for the “tape”), and then I’ll carry on with my next question.


PRX Podcast Garage, where I'm recording "Who Cares?"

PRX Podcast Garage, where I’m recording “Who Cares?”

Sitting in a recording “booth” (room) at PRX Podcast Garage is a gas! I’ve done two interviews in person so far – meaning the guest comes to the studio at the Garage; we sit at the desk with a couple of mics hanging over us,and we talk. The advantage to doing an in-person interview is that we can make eye contact, even if I’m exhibiting excellent control (!) in NOT talking when they’re talking. My facial expressions can let them know I’m there, as I respond to their stories (like SURPRISE, empathy, HORROR, happiness…!).

So far, I’ve interviewed two women who are caregivers with very different stories. Of course, I have fallen in love with both of them…

They’re funny and smart and insightful. They’re both caring for spouses, with one of them, Laurie, providing 24/7 care in the home for her husband, who has Parkinson’s Disease. And the other caregiver Laura, who cared for her wife at home for years, who now has advancing Alzheimer’s Disease and needs intensive care. So she now lives in a local assisted living facility. I’m thrilled to say that our team now includes an Assistant Producer, Alex Braunstein, who joined me last Sunday for a visit to the assisted living facility, along with Laura’s dog Panda, who is a very popular pup in the facility!

This Sunday, I’m interviewing a geriatrician who is the medical director for Uphams Elder Service Plan based in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Can’t wait!


So far, my remote guests are based in New York City. So they go to Argot Studios, run by Paul Ruest. “My people” (meaning Helen Barrington) calls their people (meaning Paul), and off we go. The NYC-based guests are recorded in NY and I’m recorded in Allston, MA – and then the two “tapes” (yes, the podcast world still quaintly refers to recordings as “tapes”!) are synced by Helen, like putting two puzzle pieces together.


Image result for microphone in studioSPONSORS FOR THE NEXT SEASON! ANY IDEAS???

On another front, we’re beginning to think about SPONSORS!

OY VEY...Just when we have raised enough money to create the pilot series, we need to think about what’s next. Please help me avert a major migraine headache… If you have ANY ideas/suggestions OR know anyone who works for organizations and/or companies that would be a good fit to SPONSOR or UNDERWRITE a podcast, please let me know!  HINTS:  Any entity that serves older people or caregivers or people with disabilities. Maybe they make products or provide insurance or they fund cool projects.


All this talk about preparation and raising money for the next step, but what about the ACTUAL PODCAST? We will be LAUNCHING the podcast in OCTOBER! Stay tuned, especially for local folks, because it will be a LAUNCH PARTAY!

Thanks again for all of your support! And TAKE CARE!


Activists from Caring Across Generations, which advocates for quality jobs for care workers

Activists from Caring Across Generations, which advocates for quality jobs for care workers