Part 2: ‘Becoming’ a BGSU football player

Part 1 of 2

Read Part 1 here,

On the night of the interview, I got a text from Stephen (my interviewee), saying he was downstairs in the lobby. I brought him up to my room and began to get everything ready. Since I did not own a video camera, I used the camera on my Mac. Once everything was ready and in place, I asked him the first question on my list. He let the question sink in for a moment and opened his mouth to speak.

That’s when his phone went off.

It was his mother, so he took the call, and I stopped the recording. In my head I was thinking that there was no better way to start an interview. Once he hung up, the interview officially began.

He answered all 10 of my questions in great detail, filling me in on his story of going from playing soccer for 13 years to starting football his junior year of high school. What amazed me was the fact that he only played football for two years in high school, and he was now the starting kicker for BGSU. He talked to me for a good 30 minutes about his transition from soccer to football and told me about some of his greatest moments playing for BGSU.

After the interview was done, I went back and watched it. I knew that this would make for an interesting performance.

My next step was to pick a five-minute part of the interview – a part that I believed was the most informative and important. Once I found that segment, I had to transcribe it. From my past experiences, transcribing was some hard work and could take a good hour. This was true, but it was not as frustrating as I thought it would be. The worst was yet to come.

Not only did we have to transcribe five minutes, but also in that five minutes we had to mark down when the speaker would speed up, slow down, rise or drop his or her pitch, emphasize words, pause and move. You would be surprised as how much someone can actually move during an interview.

At first glance, Stephen seemed to be pretty still when he talked. But replaying the video again and again, he moved quite a bit – just the smallest little movements had to be written down. It was tedious work, but I pulled through with the help of my class (at the start of the semester I created a Facebook group for my class so we could keep in touch, ask questions and organize practice sessions).

As I said before, for this assignment we had to portray our interviewee in class. We initially had to become him or her. We also had two performance days; our first being the workshop performance (where we would get feedback from our peers on how we did), and the second being the final performance. My workshop performance was scheduled to be right after Thanksgiving break, so there would be no relaxing for me at home.

I began memorizing my transcript during break and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I had to make sure that I got it down word for word, including all of the “ums” and the strangely placed pauses. Perhaps my biggest challenge was trying to sound like Stephen, which required a lot of work. I had to lower my voice for one, but I also had to know when to alter the pitch and speed. I sat and listened to the interview many times to try and figure out when I had to make a voice change. Finally I got to work, and little by little, as I read the interview line by line, I had the transcript memorized.

Before I knew it, it was my first performance day.


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