So, I've been busy. Sorry about that.
Actually, I've been both busy and exhausted. The freelance life is a thing full of uncertainties, but one thing that was always sure in my version of it was that the alarm clock never went off before 10 o'clock. Tboy is by no stretch of the imagination a morning person, so you can imagine his joy at the prospect of a 6:30 wake-up call every day.
But it's been two weeks now -- two weeks plus three unbelievable breaking-news days -- and I thought I'd check back in.
I don't know, to be honest, if I'm gonna have the time and energy to keep Theaterboy going. Without the coffeeshop-camping I'd gotten used to, there's not really much space in my day for thinking about theater. Even the reviews are proving to be tough; I've gotten used to having time to order my thoughts, and now there's just not any. But things will get easier, I expect, as I settle into a routine at NPR.
Which was good, because first thing this morning, at an editor's request, I spent a half-hour or so reading the two short plays allegedly written by the Virginia Tech gunman and pulling together an eight-paragraph story on what was in them -- only to learn that higher-ups had decided that we didn't want to go there after all. (The WashPo did go there, if you must know, and in some detail. We wound up simply adding a link at the bottom of this story to the AOL blog that first attributed the playlets to Seung-hui Cho.)
Later in the day, I got a last-minute request to add a few extra audio snippets to the Yahoo-gets-sued story, which I managed to do in time for Robert Siegel to make a reference to them on the air, hooray. (That's called a back-announce, by the way. Look how much Tboy is learning!)
But it was a close thing, because right about the time that request came in, so did the AP news alert telling us that Kitty Carlisle Hart had died. The Arts desk scrambled, and the ever-helpful Jaya Prasad at Olney got me a photo of Miss Carlisle in performance out there, so that page has a lovely shot of her from her D.C.-area gig last year -- in addition to that extraordinary Eisenstaedt portrait of her with Moss Hart in Times Square.
And that was my day. How was yourn?
Also in the last two weeks, since some of y'all have asked what exactly my new job entails, I've made this lovely page for one of Mr. Mondello's stories (took me half a damn day to track down that Cinerama graphic), this lovely page for an Alfred Molina interview (note the two, count 'em two, video clips), and this lovely page about a multimedia production of Tristan and Isolde. (Look, Ma: audio, video and photo extras!) And many more pages, of course, but those are a few of the fun ones.
Basically what I do is: I track down photos, edit 'em, pick the video and audio extras, if any, find both internal links to previous NPR stories and external links to related Web content, make sure the story is properly tagged and categorized. Oh, and, let's not forget, I edit the text, starting usually from the radio script and finding ways either to write around or incorporate the quotes and sounds the reporter uses. Sometimes that's easy -- but if the reporter, in her voice-over, refers to a sound or a quip or something else from an "actuality," as they're called, it can be quite difficult. You have to find a way to make something the reader can't hear a part of the text story. It's a minor art, and I'm still working on it.
p.s. - You may be wondering why NPR is rendering the Virginia Tech gunman's name as Seung-hui Cho when other outlets are calling him Cho Seung-Hui. If I'm correctly remembering the e-mail explaining the choice, it's because we learned that he himself used the Americanized structure, with the family name "Cho" coming last rather than first, on various official documents.