My father was an amazing story teller. When I was growing up he was always telling me stories. Some were true. Like the story of the bullet that dropped out of his pocket into the furnace, and when it exploded the teacher made everyone stay after school until they told her whose bullet it was. The teacher finally gave up when no one said, and on the way home, the girls told Dad they knew it fell out of his coat pocket, but they’d never tell on him. Dad always told me that he was only given one bullet, and with that he was to bring home one partridge or one rabbit. I expect he was in trouble when he got home with no game, and no bullet. He also told me hard luck stories about a little mouse who lived in the barn in the paint by numbers painting that hung the bedroom wall in the cottage. I would snuggle in between my parents and listen to his tales with rapt attention.
After I began to guest host on Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, my producer asked me if I’d ever thought about making a radio documentary. I hadn’t. But I was keen to learn. I was lucky to be trained on the equipment (the Marantz was the thing before the iPhone) by some of the old guard at CBC and mentored in scripting and gathering of the sound. Editing was unbelievably challenging in the beginning, but I persevered because I loved the way I could control pace and feeling through all these elements. I have less and less time for the craft of radio documentary, and I miss it.
Here are some samples of the audio work I’ve done that I’m proud of. There are all kinds of stories here. Everything from personal essays about making peace with my middle -aged belly in a Hip Hop class to my appearance with Anna-Marie Tremonti as I reported on my journey to gather CBD oil for my aging dog to the incredibly personal story of discovering and connecting to my Metis ancestry.
Enjoy the stories below. I loved making every one of them.
My Metis journey.
This aired on The Doc Project on CBC Radio One.
The Sunday Edition
My first major documentary came through The Sunday Edition as I was a selected for a mentorship with The Doc Project. It allowed me to create my first long form documentary under the mentorship of Karen Levine, the documentary producer of The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright. ' The Gift' aired on Mother’s Day May 15, 2015. It tells the story of a man who always new he was adopted, but found out who is mother was too late. This documentary is a journey we take with him to meet the women who sang in Sister Mary’s choir and even made records in Smithers, never knowing she had a baby while she was a Nun.
How do I, a middle aged white woman survive encroaching menopause?
I try to meet the demons of aging and mid-life spread with a hip- hop class.
or inside the CBC show itself, you can hear it here.
I have always loved this show. The first documentary I was ever hired to make, came from Tapestry. It was 2016, and I was going on a Vision Quest in the Mojave Desert. Three days in Joshua Tree National park under a tarp. Only water for sustenance. No books, phones or entertainment. A journal, and the mission to discover the meaning of my life. That documentary never was created because all the tape was so quiet. There was no sound on the desert. It was one long audio journal. Not compelling radio. Instead Mary Hynes and I interviewed and shared my insights and experiences. After that, I did several docs for Tapestry. I’ve always been trying to crack the nut of a good life.
I became a Buddhist in 2011. It’s been an important part of my journey and a rich source of reflection. This piece is called: Sit down, Rise Up-Engaged Buddhism.
I discover that the selfie isn’t all my camera in my phone can do.
It can be a conduit to the rich world of here and now. This is my radio documentary about the Buddhist art form of Contemplative Photography. This piece is called: Fresh Eyes.
How to keep calm while selling your house
Now or Never
I received an email inviting me to pitch something for the Christmas show. And this is what I came up with. It was quite an experience as I roped my kids into doing random acts of kindness throughout the city of Victoria. All caught on tape.
North By Northwest
My family and I try to renegotiate Christmas with all the idiosyncrasies that a modern family can hold. This aired in 2013.
My talk with Anna Maria Tremonti was a true highlight of this work. This is the one CBC piece I did that got the most mail. It was rebroadcast a few times as well. I think it struck a chord, because people wanted to help their pets and wondered how I did it. It’s a talk/tape. I gathered the tape and created a script that Anna Maria and I worked from.
We have our Dog Back