Editor’s note: “Meet this Member!,” is an interview series that spotlights AIRsters doing outstanding work in the audio and media industry. This week we feature radio producer, sound designer, and health reporter, Alexander Charles Adams.
1) Where are you based and what do you do?
I’m based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (yeehaw? YEEHAW!). I am a queer/non-binary radio producer, sound designer, and health reporter.
2) A piece of yours (in any medium!) that you would like to share? (And why?)
This piece for Tales of Your City’s companion podcast was a behemoth to produce. I had four weeks to make it, a whole lot of personal shit going on, and a big fear of making something non-fiction and long-form. I had just done my first short reporting features after years of making audio fiction and sound designing. But the piece — The Big Hard — let me grow into documentary production with a lot of support from my fiction background. (Ann, who I mention later, was a stunning editor on this piece)
3) What draws you to storytelling?
Stories make connections between data. This is true for most everything I know. Understanding stories, and aspiring to make them stronger, gives you an advantage on unknown or unfamiliar ground. You assemble a toolbox for deciphering the world around you. // this is a very hard question to answer, i think challenging yourself to make good stories makes you a stronger person, that’s what i’m saying here. lol.
4) What’s playing on your radio/audio streaming service right now?
The Read, The Read, The Read.
5) What’s the most underrated tool (technical or not!) you use in your creative practice?
Thinking critically about sequence and duration—in radio art and in journalism. How long are certain people speaking? Who do we hear from first? Last? What is in your story just at the edges—in the smallest moments—but decidedly not absent? Let’s get into that, Linda.
6) What is something you want to see more of in the industry?
Grants to train promising technical and artistic voices in audio seeking careers in journalism and/or audio fiction. A system to connect previously freelance—mostly underrepresented voices—to audio shops/corps with job opportunities for growth. The idea of the grant-to-job platform is a great example of building up an underrepresented voice to join the Ranks as opposed to simply instituting “diversity hire” strategies. This would require partnership between large-scale audio worker organizations (like AIR) and larger audio shops/corporations. Train your people. Pay your people. They will make great work. We are seeing some of this but not enough.
7) Who’s your radio/audio idol and why?
Gotta share the love here: Ann Hepperman AND Taunya English. Ann went from the magical radio drama connoisseur in my ears (see Serendipity) to a great editing force on some of my most difficult work. She’s advocated for me, asked for my viewpoint, and I know she’s done this for more producers than just myself. Then there is Taunya English—the reason I started health reporting. I met Taunya through the Third Coast Radio Residency in 2018 when I was first toying with jumping into documentary. Her professional and personal advice was actionable, not just random maxims or empty words. She invested in me by taking my pitches, teaching me how to write for broadcast radio, and listened when I needed to break the rules and be myself. My experiences with her made me confident to pursue more journalistic pitches in public health, and it’s been a great development path for me. I’m proud and thankful. And there’s still so much to do.
8) What’s the best method for people to connect with you (including social media)?
I’m super easy to reach. You can find me at all the places honey. | Twitter & Instagram: @AudioBlahBlah | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org