Elliot Larkin, 26, relaxes in front of his home, The Lighthouse, while petting his cat Rufio.
This was our second audio story for the class, so we were to find a new character, create a two-minute, character-focused audio story and write a 100-word text story. This time around, our assignment would also include natural sound and six photographs.
I interviewed Gainesville resident Elliot Larkin to produce Elliot Larkin: Finding Solace by Searching Within. I knew I wanted to do a story on someone who was passionate about mindfulness, meditation and the path to self-knowledge, so I started thinking who I could talk to. I thought back to a TEDxUF talk by Payal Khurana, and I remembered she was an entrepreneur for a program called Find Mindfulness. I looked at the profiles for who was in charge of the program, and Larkin’s profile stood out to me. I was intrigued by the adventures he went on in order to find himself, particularly the facts that he went to Buddhist centers in France and Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying.
I reached out to him through Facebook and he agreed to work with me. He also extended an invitation to his Friday night group meditation session and dinner. I went and had an amazing time, and I plan on going every Friday from now on. In my first blog post for this class, I wrote about how this class would not “just answer my questions on how to tell a good story. It will show me how to live one.” Well, I must say that this is proving to be true. This class sure does put me in paths of spontaneous opportunities.
Compared with last week’s audio story assignment, I had a much easier time working with the zoom recorder, wireless mic and Audacity. I worked with them pretty seamlessly. I did learn one thing, however: bringing backup batteries is truly just as important as every reporter says it is. The wireless mic set went to low battery just as I sat down to record with my subject, but luckily, I brought extra batteries with me.
Overall, I am proud of what I produced. So many stories are focused on what happens in someone’s external world, and I did my best to convey the happenings of someone’s internal world in a compelling way.