January 12, 2020
How Our Artistic Practice Has Changed During the Pandemic
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The foundation of so much of the work of Your Real Stories is interviews. For the past decade, all of our interviews were conducted in person, often in people’s homes.
In March of 2020, while working on a weekly television show called Your Real Stories, we began quarantining and switched to virtual interviews over Zoom. In addition to lighting, sound and camera equipment that we usually take with us on interviews, we had to light ourselves in our individual home studios, help the people we interview make sure the light and sound was good on their end, and learn how to record multiple camera feeds on Zoom.
So much of the work we do requires us to be able to connect with people in intimate settings where they are most comfortable. Switching to a virtual format seemingly removes some of that personal connection. We’re no longer greeted at the door or able to look around someone’s living room or see treasured family photos at a glance.
But at the same time, the COVID19 pandemic that has forced many of us to work and communicate remotely has helped to deepen that intimacy we share in interviews. It’s as if the vulnerability that we all feel right now is a presence in the room.
The work we do has always focused on the goal of making it possible for everyone to bring their whole authentic selves with them into the world.
The events of this past year have definitely changed the way we work as a team. At weekly meetings, our personal check-ins are just as important as the rest of the meeting. How our team is experiencing the pandemic and the political unrest of the past year is important to understanding what questions we need to ask and what stories we need to tell.
– Jaye Sheldon, Artistic Director of Your Real Stories