What's your background? How do you spend most of your days

My background is in audio production. After a stint volunteering at WPFW in Washington, DC, I attended Salt in Portland, Maine. For the past six years, I've had the privilege and honor of editing and producing AV stories about the arts at the NEA. I've also become the permissions person in our Public Affairs office so much of my time is spent securing music rights for assorted projects, namely the weekly NEA podcast, Art Works

How did you hear about the ShortDocs Challenge

I've been to the TCIAF (Conference) a few times. I distinctly recall wanting to participate after listening to the "99 Ways to Tell a Radio Story" challenge in 2006

Please explain how each rule manifests in your SD

Neighbors: The Capitol Checkers Club is right around the corner from my apartment on 9th Street, NW. I've passed by the men playing inside or smoking outside at least once a week for years now. In the piece you hear two principal voices---the Razor, the narrator/protagonist and his opponent, John Henry. They are my neighbors

Color in title refers to: Typically, Checkers discs are red and black

Silence: As much as players like to talk or trash talk throughout the game, there is also a lot of silence where the men are quietly studying the board. I inserted the 3 seconds of silence in the only place it seemed sonically appropriate. The Razor pitched me a softball when he said "....and wipe you out!" A perfect moment to drop the floor of sound out

Did the rules help or hinder your experience producing your SD? Which rule was hardest to follow

Helped. Rules were meant to be broken (sometimes), but they can also prohibit a wandering mind from getting too far off track. The narrative silence was the hardest rule. Hands down

What's your next story about? (whether it's in the works or not, yet...

For work, I'm producing a piece about a 93-year-old machinist-cum-artist who makes giant whirligigs outside of Wilson, North Carolina. Thanks to a few grants, including two from the NEA, the restoration of his kinetic sculptures are helping revitalize the struggling town.