Extra/Ordinary Stories Oral History

Extra/Ordinary Stories offers high-quality recorded interviews to preserve and share the ordinary and extraordinary stories of a life. 

Contact me to get started—or read on for more details!

About Me

Services Overview

Oral History Interviews

Audio Time Capsules


Me! In a makeshift sound studio in the backseat of the car

I’ve worked professionally in audio production and oral history for several years. I trained in oral history while earning my MFA at the University of Pittsburgh, where I produced an innovative oral history project for the engineering school. I interviewed a broad range of high-profile alumni, from a young woman working at NASA to one of the first Black women in America to earn a PhD in mathematics

Now, as an editor for Vox Media’s Longform Podcast, I produce some of the best storytellers in the business. My credits include episodes with Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma), Mary Childs (Planet Money) and Heidi Blake (The New Yorker). I’ve guest lectured on the art of the interview and my work has aired on NPR

When I do an interview, I show up prepared, but I’m always ready to follow where the story takes us. I believe every interview is an intimate collaboration with an ordinary storyteller, full of opportunities for improvisation and meaning-making. I’m passionate about crafting compelling narratives with vivid details, in your own indelible voice. 

Listen to this story of love, loss and polymer science from one of my favorite oral history interviews. You can find more examples of my work here

Oral history interviews are a vivid way to capture the stories of a life, alive with the voice and emotions of the person recounting them. I’ll craft a custom two-hour interview for each storyteller that spans from early childhood to present day. 

Who it’s for

This is an interview for adults in all stages of life. While it’s traditional to interview older family members to pass on their stories to the next generation, I think broadly about who oral history is for. This kind of interview traces the story of how you came to be who you are, whether that’s a high school senior or a great-great grandparent. Ages 18+.

How it works

  1. Contact me to get started
  2. Pre-interview prep | A 45-60 minute call where we discuss your goals and make a plan to create a high-quality recording environment. After this call, I design your custom interview guide so I can arrive at your interview completely prepared and fully engaged with your story.
  3. Interview | A longform interview lasting from 1.5 to 2.5 hours. I can conduct remote interviews or in-person interviews with professional audio equipment in the Pittsburgh region.
  4. Production  
    • Package 1 || Light editing of your full interview. 
    • Package 2 || Light editing of your full interview. Creation of a highly-crafted, shareable 4-7 minute story from your interview.
    • Package 3 || Light editing of your full interview. Creation of a highly-crafted, shareable 4-7 minute story from your interview. Professional edit of your full interview.
  5. Delivery | You’ll receive your recording within 21 days of your interview.

What you get

Package 1Package 2Package 3
Full interview recording
Interview transcript
Full interview recording
Interview transcript
Produced story from your interview
Full interview recording
Interview transcript
Produced story from your interview
Professional edit of your full interview
Rate: $500Rate: $750Projected full rate: $1800-$2000
Trial rate: $1250
Package details below.

Full interview recording 

Your full interview recording (1.5-2.5 hours) will be lightly edited to delete interruptions and off-the-record material. I’ll also do some light audio engineering and sound mixing (leveling, compression and equalization). You’ll receive your file in .wav (archival quality) and .mp3 (smaller file size) file formats.

Interview transcript 

An uncorrected transcript generated by automatic transcription software. 

Produced story

A highly-crafted, shareable 4-7 minute story from your interview. The piece will draw material from throughout the interview but focus on a single story that I choose with your help. This style of story features only your voice. It sounds seamless but it is highly crafted, often containing dozens of cuts of audio. This story will be a compelling, engaging excerpt of your interview that you can share with a wider audience. Packages 2 and 3 only. 

Professional edit of your full interview

A detailed, professional edit of your full interview recording. I will edit to the standard I use for professional radio and podcast work, which includes removing filler words (um, uh), cleaning up repetition, improving narrative clarity, and generally surfacing the best of the interview. The final product will be 10-30 percent shorter and be well-paced and engaging. Package 3 only.

Ask about rates for:

  • Corrected transcript
  • Multi-part interviews
  • Additional crafted audio stories
  • Groups such as multiple family members or institutions

Why hire Extra/Ordinary Stories? Can I just DIY this?

You can definitely DIY this. There are all kinds of resources for learning how to do oral history. You don’t need fancy recording equipment or the perfect list of questions. You just need to be curious and open. Hit “record” on your phone, ask questions and follow the responses where they take you. 

But! I’m offering this service because so many people don’t DIY it. The learning curve to get a good result can seem too steep and it’s a vulnerable thing to ask for an interview. You never get around to it, or you worry about doing a good job, or you feel paralyzed by the bigness of it. 

When you hire me, I bring along my expertise and experience in oral history and audio production—and I also help you create the occasion for the interview, so it gets done. And when you opt to have me create a crafted audio story, you’ll get a seamless, engaging piece that you’ll be able to share with a broader audience.

A note on cost

In setting my rates, I’m targeting an average hourly rate for an independent audio producer. Outside of the facetime I spend conducting interviews, I work behind the scenes to design custom interviews, edit interviews, craft seamless audio stories and mix and engineer sound. These are specialized skills requiring detailed work. I’ve tailored my packages to include what I believe are the highest value services.

My aim is to provide a personal but streamlined service at a cost similar to that of professional photography because I love this work, I believe in it and I want to do it.