Week two/three - Teaching Upstart how to interview

Throughout the course of this week we taught the scholars certain interviewing techniques and how to operate and record with the Olympuses.

To start off the workshops we introduced the game of thirty seconds as an icebreaker. This brought very interesting results, as, despite the fact that the members really enjoyed the competitiveness and excitement of the game in general, not many knew the names they had to try and guess. To elaborate, "thirty seconds" involves a certain boardgame where one member has to describe as many items on a card within thirty seconds. These items range from places to celebrities to sports. What interested me was how diverse the level of knoweldge in this respect was. Those that I thought were obvious people were not for the younger generation, and vice verse. This showed me that not only are we different in our backgrounds, but even in generation.

We then spoke about the basics of interviewing, from how to ask questions (such as open ended ones) to looking for an angle. The members were surprisingly good at this as we asked them to interview their peer on their "favourite role model". The results were interesting. For example one male inteviewed a female on her favourite role model which turned out to be a male rapper who is currently undergoing a trial where he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend. The interviewer then asked why have you chosen him when he is reportedly violent to women, the interviewee simply said the girlfriend deserved the beating as she was trespassing and this is natural. This somewhat disturbed me and showed how our different backgrounds have bought upon different norms and ideologies. I really hope this does not interfere with our show concept, as for me, domestic abuse is a social issue that needs to be addressed however for the interviewee she felt as if this was simply the way things are and should be.

Another impressive factor was how the members all looked for an angle, they asked thought provoking questions and what was also promising was when one of the interviewees spoke on the death of her father. The interviewer realised straight away the delicate nature of the situation, and respectfully did not probe into the topic.

On Thursdays workshop we introduced the equipment much to the delight of our members. We showed them how to set up and general recording skills (such as microphone technique.) I was utterly surprised at how comfortable and relaxed all of the members were behind a microphone, even when they were pretending to be anchors. This reminds me of how uncomfortable I first felt behind a microphone. I feel this has to do with age, as I was more socially conscious of who was going to listen to me as well as being insecure of what my voice sounded like.
We asked the team to interview eachother on their best moment in their lives and once again stereotypes and representation was evident. The Afrikaans white male spoke about his first rugby try, while two black females brought up their relief in passing grade 8 exams. My colleague and I are really enjoying the diversity in our memebers, as this will bring in diverse content. This week, however, we are hoping to find a mutual ground in interests, i.e for the overall aim of our show.

The assignment for the week is to hold a three minute interview on one of their peers back at school on any social issue of their choice. Some very ambitious interviews were thought of, such as teengae pregnancy, self mutilation and substance abuse. The members were extrememly mature when they started elaborating anonymity as well as the way in which they will ask the questions, I am looking forward to the results.

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