NPR logo Telling You More From Where I Stand (Literally.)

Behind the Curtain at TMM

Telling You More From Where I Stand (Literally.)

Hi, "Tell Me More" world. Argin Hutchins, here ...

Lee Hill, our resident digital media guy asked me to do a blog posting about today's show. And I have to say that his request caught me off guard for one huge reason: today, I directed the program (our usual Director is Rob Sachs, who's enjoying some time off).

Most people don't know what's involved in doing that job, so let me explain ...

Think of directing a live radio program as if you were a train operator. Your primary responsibilities are to make the train run on time, and to steer clear of incidents. You are not necessarily worried about what's happening in one particular train car, or how many people are in another. And in that same vein (similar to a train conductor), when I direct, I don't always hear all of the show. My role isn't so much to listen to content, but my primary concern is that that we are playing the proper audio at the correct time for our listeners. (All I really hear during the show are the highlights.)

For instance, we had a conversation today about the Stonewall "rebellion" — or "riots," depending on who you talk to — where New York police raided a gay bar in 1969. Apparently that happened a lot in the late 1960s, but this time the patrons fought back.

Even though I was busy in-studio directing the program, I was still drawn to our guests' vivid memories and feelings about how they witnessed what happened. Towards the end of the conversation, one of the guests, Danny Garvin, became quite emotional when explaining how heartbreaking it is to have a loving same-sex relationship for 17 years, and be treated with less respect than married heterosexuals, who sometimes take their marriages for granted.

So, even when sitting in the Director's chair (which certainly has its stressful moments), there are some stories that compel your ear to listen.

Until next time ...