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MR Raquel

Photo of MR Raquel
Bilingual storyteller passionate about producing audio for community building, transformative justice, accountability, and healing.
Member since 2021

Location

  • Oakland, CA

Languages

Spanish
  • Editing
  • Producing
  • Recording
  • Scripting
  • Voice
  • Writing
  • Teaching

About MR

Storytelling for community-building, transformative justice, accountability, and healing.

Growing up, I spent late nights surfing local community radio stations on my mom’s yellow, portable Walkman radio, and asking to hear stories from my family in El Salvador. My love of learning from stories began with observing how my late abuelita Ina interacted with members of her community- both friends and strangers alike. Ina guided me to listen first- then ask questions- in service of learning from the stories of my ancestors and from desconocidos in the supermarket or seated beside me on the bus.  

Before transitioning full time to audio, I was surrounded by stories while working in the culinary industry in the Bay Area. While chopping and tasting, my coworkers and I swapped stories through recipes- as we turned lamb shoulders into sausages and added a bit more garlic to everything.

Nowadays, I’m a bilingual audio-storyteller, justice-based producer, and storytelling consultant. Critical to me is the work of de-centering myself as a producer/interviewer as a white Salvadoran person in this field.

I come to the audio realm by way of being a musician, by working at a college radio station, from involvement in queer / Latinx oral history projects— which led me to StoryCorps, where I worked as a Bilingual Field Producer and recorded over 300+ conversations archived into the Library of Congress, as well a freelance producer.

While I am storyteller, at present I am foremost a story-conduit. This means that my ethos is honoring storytellers and the knowledges that stories behold, to help storytellers share personal and community narratives. By handing the microphone to folx in the community, this becomes a reality. My work is then collaborating both with storytellers and with local media outlets, community archives, and online community platforms to guide these stories into public spheres to make an impact, be celebrated and live on. 

I am a proud member of the IWW Freelance Journalist Union.

As a justice-based producer and skilled interview, my commitment to centering the experience of storytellers informs a practice of before and aftercare that I’ve developed and is constantly evolving throughout the interview and production process. By blending oral history methodology, casual conversation, podcast production, and live-radio interviewing, I hope to facilitate an interview practice that belongs entirely to the storytellers, with my guidance. I’m highly experienced in studio recording, field recording, remote recording.

Currently, I’m the lead producer and co-host of the podcast “Essential Voices with Wilmer Valderrama” — an iHeart / My Cultura podcast all about essential workers. I’m also currently a volunteer news anchor for “This Way Out: The International LGBTQ Radio Magazine.” My work has appeared on/at: StoryCorps, iHeartRadio, NPR, and The Library of Congress.

Off the clock, I enjoy the company of loved ones, cooking up food to share, fermenting veggies, engaging in community aid, playing music, and taking trips to the water in my truck. 

If interested in collaborating, please inquire about my current availability and rates. I’m usually open to a variety of opportunities, including but not limited to: producing, editing, interviewing, translation, consulting, helping grassroots organizations start community storytelling projects, facilitating storytelling workshops, swapping recipes and sharing links to metal bands.

MR's Portfolio

Experience

Skills

  • Mixing
  • Translation
  • Tape Syncs
  • Story Editing
  • Show Development
  • Scrubbing and Audio Editing
  • Research
  • Producing
  • Logistics and Coordination
  • Interviewing
  • Hosting
  • Field Recording
  • Field Producing
  • Booking

Equipment

  • Sound Devices Mix Pre-6, Shure SM7B

Previous Work

  • Bilingual Freelance Audio Producer at StoryCorps
  • Bilingual Field Producer at StoryCorps (12/31/2020)
  • Bilingual Storytelling Consultant at Temple University (4/15/2021)
  • Podcast Research Consultant at Rococo Punch (5/1/21)
  • Podcast Producer, Supervising Editor, and Co-Host at Essential Voices with Wilmer Valderrama (currently working this position)