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Walking Across America ~ Advice for a Young Man

From: Atlantic Public Media
Series: The Transom Radio Specials
Length: 53:57

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Andrew Forsthoefel set out at age 23 to walk across America, East to West, 4000 miles, with a sign on him that said, "Walking to Listen". This hour, co-produced with Jay Allison, tracks his epic journey. It's a coming of age story, and a portrait of this country - big-hearted, wild, innocent, and wise.

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From Andrew Forsthoefel:

I decided to walk across the country for several reasons. Producing an hour-long radio essay about it was not one of them. When I left home, I had no idea what would become of the tape I hoped to record.

At the beginning of the walk, I thought it would be a good idea to have a focus question for the interviews. The question was about transformation. What does it mean to you and when have you experienced it? I was at a transformative time in my own life, so that question seemed right.

I quickly abandoned the idea, though. It seemed too contrived or constraining. Instead, I just started talking to people about their lives and, sometimes, what their lives had taught them. I’d ask people about the idea of home, aloneness, family, love, death; all sorts of stuff.

I thought people would be resistant to being interviewed. Not so. The vast majority wanted to be heard, and they didn’t mind the recorder. Nearly every time, they had something they wanted to share.  I was wearing a sign that said “Walking to Listen,” and there was no shortage of people to listen to.

Support for this work comes from National Endowment for the Arts and the Transom Donor Fund:


                                                 

Piece Description

From Andrew Forsthoefel:

I decided to walk across the country for several reasons. Producing an hour-long radio essay about it was not one of them. When I left home, I had no idea what would become of the tape I hoped to record.

At the beginning of the walk, I thought it would be a good idea to have a focus question for the interviews. The question was about transformation. What does it mean to you and when have you experienced it? I was at a transformative time in my own life, so that question seemed right.

I quickly abandoned the idea, though. It seemed too contrived or constraining. Instead, I just started talking to people about their lives and, sometimes, what their lives had taught them. I’d ask people about the idea of home, aloneness, family, love, death; all sorts of stuff.

I thought people would be resistant to being interviewed. Not so. The vast majority wanted to be heard, and they didn’t mind the recorder. Nearly every time, they had something they wanted to share.  I was wearing a sign that said “Walking to Listen,” and there was no shortage of people to listen to.

Support for this work comes from National Endowment for the Arts and the Transom Donor Fund:


                                                 

3 Comments Atom Feed

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Terrific

This is one of the best "made for radio" pieces I've ever heard. It deserves a very wide audience.

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Awesome Story

I have to say i have came across alot of interesting stories here on PRX but this is my favorite by far. It was truly inspiring & there's something to be said about humanity & you have documented that very well in this piece! I look forward to hearing more about this piece if there is any or hopefully if you have some more stories you're working on. Probably save this to my favorites & listen to it again later.
PEACE!

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Came Back Three Times

It's true, we don't listen to many hour-long stories any more. I hear a lot of 10 minute features and a 25 minute podcasts...but an hour? That's tough.

I came back to this story 3 times over the weekend. I didn't forget about it. I listened all the way to the end and loved it.

Thank you for making something so spacious and long and full of wisdom.

Timing and Cues

Timings are as they occur with a 5-minute news hole after the billboard.

Billboard: 00:00 - 00:59
In cue: [MUSIC] "I camped out underneath a bridge in Nevada...."
Out cue: "...PRX.org, right after this."

INSERT NEWS HOLE: 1:00 - 5:59

Segment 1: 6:00 - 19:59
In cue: [MUSIC :12] "From the public Radio website Transom dot org…"
Out cue: "…visit Transom. org - more coming up"

Break 1: 19:59 - 20:58

Segment 2: 20:58 - 38:23
In cue: "Alright ya wanna do Johnny peut-pas danser? "
Out cue: "……visit Transom dot org - more to come " [music]

Break 2: 38:23 - 39:22

Segment 3: 39:22 - 59:00
In cue: [singing] "I've been travelin' travelin'.."
Out cue: "...and everything else, go to our website themoth.org." [MUSIC ENDS]

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Walking Matthias Bossi, Carla Kihlstedt, Jon Evans Original Walking Across America Score. www.lawless-music.com 2013 :00
Human Rind Tin Hat The Rain is a Handsome Animal. New Amsterdam 2012 :00
Asterisk Tin Hat Foreign Legion. BAG Production Records 2010 :00

Images

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Related Website

http://transom.org/?p=33988