To read the article in full, hit here
Shortly after I had my dad on my podcast, I started receiving messages from listeners who decided to interview their own dads. Here’s one of them:
"I just listened to your podcast with your dad and became motivated enough to interview both [parents] individually. Wow. Afterward, I felt such a weight lifted from my chest! They told me old stories I've heard a hundred times before as well as tokens about them I'd never known. We connected and opened up to each other in ways we never had before. It was amazing. These recordings have become my most valuable possessions. If anything happens to my parents during these uncertain times, I know I would regret not having those interviews."
In this post, I'm going to offer interview techniques for those of you who want to play journalist and conduct an interview with Pops — especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when most people have extra time on their hands and are connecting with family via Zoom. Make no mistake, this interview will require bravery. It forces you to face the white skull of death and to recognize that your dad isn't going to be around forever—and to grapple with the notion that long after he's gone, the recording will remain. Unlike edited video interviews, which present humans in filtered soundbites, long-form audio reveals their contradictions, verbal tics, and run-on sentences—all the stuff that makes us who we are.
Often during an interview, a theme will emerge, and you should allow yourself to just let that happen. As my dad told stories from various periods of his life, it became clear that many of his decisions were tied to his belief that if he approached situations with generosity, the benefits will come back to him in tertiary ways. When you do it right, an interview can be a gift to your subject; it allows them to see the story of their life more clearly. So just remember that every dad has a great story. You just need to ask yours the right questions to unearth it.