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NPR's StoryCorps is seeking sagas in Tallahassee

The StoryCorps mobile recording booth is housed in an Airstream.
All of the StoryCorps recordings will be made available to WFSU as possible content for future local news segments

NPR's StoryCorps is making a stop in Florida's Capital City. In advance of the visit, we spoke with one of the people behind-the-scenes who's been setting the stage for the StoryCorps sessions. Danielle Andersen, StoryCorps' Associate Director, is a true road warrior.

"The Mobile Tour is on the road year-round. That's what we do. We're the arm of Story Corps that gets to travel to different communities, which is wonderful," Andersen said. "But it also means that we are pretty much constantly recording. We start in January, end in December, and start again in January."

This month—November—the StoryCorps team is in Tallahassee.

"And we set up in the community anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks and invite the people of that community to come and record with us."

Andersen said they plan to record a LOT of local stories.

"We'll record anywhere from 125 to 150 recordings while we're here. And everything we have permission to share, we'll share back with you guys so that you can create some local programming if you so choose."

The "you guys," a reference to the staff of WFSU Public Media. But many of the recorded tales might also find their way to a national—nay, an international audience.

"There may very well be a whole Tallahassee series coming out of this. There may not be a broadcast out of Tallahassee for another 10 years. But all of those stories will go to our archives and all of them will go to you."

And Andersen insisted what is captured for posterity is quite different from traditional "personality profiles" or similar human interest feature content.

"What makes StoryCorps StoryCorps are the people that come in to record. Those stories are from them. They decide what they're going to talk about. They bring that energy and emotion. That's not created by us."

Another unique aspect of this material is that the subjects seem to be sharing their stories with people they already know. Mainly because they bring those folks with them for the recording session.

"They may be nervous initially. They're sitting down in front of a microphone, probably for the first time. But they're looking across the table at someone they know, someone they care about, someone they love. And that initial nervousness melts away. And then they're just lost in that conversation. A lot of people at the end of a Story Corps recording—and again, what you hear on the radio is a two-minute clip of a 40-minute conversation—a lot of times at the end of that 40-minute conversation, people will turn to their facilitator and say, 'Oh my gosh! I forgot you were there!'"

What's your story? To find out more about this month's Story Corps recording sessions in Tallahassee, visit: https://storycorps.org/stops/mobile-stop-tallahassee-fl/

Follow @flanigan_tom

Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

Find complete bio, contact info, and more stories. here.