Friday, August 03, 2007

about A. L.

You are reading

I've worked, for many years, as a psychiatric nurse's assistant as an assistant/attendant for the disabled. I'm very comfortable, dealing with people with alternative mental states, disabilities, brain disorders, etc.

I approached you, several months ago, about this project. This was a conversation in your office, and I don't expect you to remember it. So, this is a reminder.

Ali and I had discussed the possibility of a nindependent producer's grant, in order for him, primarily, to produce a program on TBI, with my assistance. He had energy for content, but had no idea how to deal with the technicalities of such a production. He also made it very clear he had no interest in involving himself with UNM HR. He's concerned about the impact a grant would have on his eligibility for human services, disability insurance,etc. I told him I would be willing to executive produce the project, deal with the financial aspects,editing, recording/engineering, etc., if he would actually conduct interviews and establish the contacts. HE has with the TBI community in Albuquerque. We agreed that I would pay him half the IP grant, in exchange for his work. He has never been interested in the money; his primary motivation was the production and its potential educational value.

That part, you knew.

Here's what you didn't know.

I suggested that Ali and I meet, for about two months, every Monday evening at 6pm, at the station, for preproduction meetings. My purpose was to familiarize him with the application process, production requirements, interview skills (we invited Paul Inglesto that particular meeting), and all aspects of how such a program might work.

I had another purpose, as well. I was honest with Ali about this. I wanted an opportunity to assess Ali's capabilities, interests, levels of ability. I wanted to know if he would or could follow through on any aspect of the production, if there might be roadblocks we could overcome to make it happen, and if or whether he really had interest in following through on the project, or was just "pipe dreaming." I did not want to get involved in a cooperative project if it meant my partner could or would not meet his obligations and responsibilities.

Much has changed in Ali's personal life, since we began meeting. He's now involved in Vocational Rehabilitation, where his skills were assessed as he temporarily worked for Goodwill Industries. He will now be given training and employment options, based on their assessment of his skills and limitations. His life is in more serious flux than even he can appreciate, as a result.

In our most recent meeting, he suggested that he cannot be as involved in such a project as he'd previously believed. I found this a relief. Based on my experiences with him over the prior months, I'd concluded that some of his expectations of the project-- and of himself -- might not be realistic. I was planning to have a very uncomfortable (for me, anyway) conversation with him, during that meeting, about what I'd observed from him in the past, two months. Fortunately, he beat me to it, and bowed out of co-producing the project.

We have renegotiated the roles we'll be playing in the production, as a result. He still wants to conduct interviews, when he can. He still wants to provide me with contacts. And he's interested in editing some sound, in order to lay music beds in parts of the piece. But he is no longer interested in producing or directing it. This is totally fine, by me. I can edit interviews into cohesive segments, easily. I can schedule studio time, call interview subjects, investigate the piece, etc. I was pretty much planning on doing all of that,anyway.

Ali's life experience, as a TBI survivor, is important to the production, in my opinion. I'm hoping to contact another KUNM volunteer who survives TBI, as well.

I don't expect anything from Ali. I will use what I can of what he brings to the project, if anything. He can interview; whether he will or not remains to beseen.

As with most of the projects I've produced (with the possible exceptions of radio plays), not much about them looks, in the final production, like the application I put forward to you. Things change, as I contact people who may or may not follow through. I can afford to be flexible. In fact, I find it interesting, to watch a piece I produce begin to evolve over time. It makes for much better radio, than expecting everyone and everything to follow my directions in lock-step. And it's very satisfying, creatively.

Even one of my radio plays evolved in such a way: I had to edit down the original script from nearly 2 hours to 58 min. At first, the play write, who's pretty famous, was miffed and threatened by my editorial decisions. But he came to believe -- and still does -- that my edits actually improved the script. That piece, "Epilogue," is now in the Museum of Radio and Television. I'm pretty damn proud of that.

So, Ali is no danger or threat to the completion of this project. He's an asset to it. Don't worry about how or whether he'll screw it up. He's only interested in producing an educational, evocative, informative piece of radio. He's absolutely not interested in getting in the way of the production, just to salve his own ego.

I picked a good guy to work with. I just need to let him be Ali, and not someone he can't or won't be.

I can do this, with or without his help, support or input. And it'll be good radio.

record from SF radio station, or drive there?

You are reading

I forgot about Santa Fe: My truck gets 10 mpg. I rarely drive it out of town. I have a scooter that gets 90mpg, but is not suitable, as it would take all day to drive the round trip. And New Mexico drivers are ultra-lethal, esp. on I 25.

I'm not sure HOW I'll be interviewing people yet, WHERE I'll be interviewing, etc. I'm suggesting this as a possible option for my production. Nothing is written in stone, yet. I'm just factoring in variables to satisfy the application process, right now.

paying talent from an IP grant

You are reading

I just paid Beaver cash, out of my funding. Actually, I had to take out a payday loan to pay her, at 25%interest/mo., because HR took so long to process my paperwork

Ali doesn't need to be on the payroll. I've paid engineers, actors, voice talent, etc. out of my IP funds, before. It's up to THEM to declare it on taxes,etc., so it's not a UNM HR issue.

office politics

You are reading

I need to say the following to you, because my anxietyl evel about KUNM is way, too high, and my experiences with you are a serious part of that.

I never know where I stand with you. I'm not talking about this application business, although you'll see that the tension and apprehension I feel when I interact with you is reflected by my fears of double standards. I don't feel I can trust you, and I don't feel you trust me

.I strongly suspect that you don't respect or like me. I don't need to be liked, but respect is very important to me. People have wiped their posteriors with my dignity, whenever they could. It's just about the only resource I have left, and it's sorely damaged. For survival purposes, I've been REQUIRED to pretend my dignity wasn't a priority, and have allowed people to use me to gratify their own, neurotic purposes.

It continues, to this day. I'll have to risk assault by homeless, single, male drunks -- who hang out near the dental clinic, because there's a package liquor store across the street -- at 5am, for first-come-first-served dental care. I have no option. The clinic isn't open at that hour; the community center it's in is closed; there's no security. But my body is riddled with infections from my teeth. And I wake every morning with the smell of death in my mouth. The clinic is my ONLY option in New Mexico. I'm weak, dizzy and light headed from the infections. And teeth are VERY close to the brain

.I've approached you as a necessary evil. This is my fault, not yours. I hope you won't take offense.

When I first arrived at KUNM, I was very happy to have a chance to work with you as my temporary news director. I have a lot of respect for you as an editor. I knew you, primarily, as station voice talent, and was impressed when you subbed on NAC, etc.

Things have disintigrated, over the years. I've felt, whether it's true or not, that you were short-tempered with me and that you believed me to be either: irresponsible, mentally defective, contemptibly "street," or otherwise not acceptible for KUNM.

It's gotten to the point where I feel my chest tighten, when I see an email from you, or hear your voice in the halls. I'm always worried that I'll have offended you.

And, no matter how much I've "proven" myself, I never feel that you respect me or my work.

Now, I have a temper. You've seen that.

I need you to know I'm not coming from a place of trying to hurt YOU when I'm trying to defend myself, my position, my work.

I'm really all I have. I have no family. I have no close friends -- in Albuquerque, anyway -- for moral support or to have my back. I've lived under circumstances that would drive a LOT of people to drugs, mental illness, suicide or seriously antisocial behavior. I survived it all by being quick on my feet, constantly vigilant and VERY assertive about my needs. That's the UPSIDE of PTSD.

The down side of PTSD includes: I have a terrible memory when I'm under stress. I can't stop adrenal "rushes" when I feel threatened. I have lousy impulse control when I'm angry or afraid.

Given all that, I'd say I've done a pretty good job,when it comes to KUNM. I've never screamed at people, hit anybody, destroyed property, showed up chemically impaired, stolen, threatened, intimidated or otherwise exhibited the antisocial and unacceptable behaviors I'we personally witnessed or heard about from so-called "normal" people at that station.

Now, I'll NEVER be what's so smugly called, "normal." But I've been a devoted and hard-working member of the KUNM community under some pretty unacceptable circumstances. I guess I'm saying I'd like that acknowledged by you, as management.

I just don't want to feel afraid when I interact with you,. Whether either you or I like it or not, you are, by default, a role model and authority figure for many of us at KUNM. I don't want to fear you.

I try really hard not to bother you, annoy you, cause you extra effort, distract you, etc. Have you noticed how rarely you even see me, anymore?

If there's something I can do to improve communications and interactions between the two of us please let me know. I'll consider any feedback you have as PERSONAL correspondence, and will NOT hold against you anything you honestly care to express. I do NOT want to cause trouble for you at KUNM. I want to make things better. I want to work well with you. That's my motivation.

app rejection

You are reading

I did try to call within the last hour, but got voicemail, so I figured you were gone for the day.

I don't like "ratting out" people at the station, as the office politics are very toxic there. But it is a fact that R told me today was the deadline. I was covering for her, but I really need not to have my app. rejected over an otherwise minor miscommunication. But I ALSO don't want R to suffer any fallout over such a minor thing!

reply to my app.

You are reading

Well, if you have to reject my application on atechnicality, I can't do anything about it. You knowthis is important to me, so I don't need to campaignfor it.Marcos isn't in his office, so I can't contact himand, apparantly, wouldn't have been able to do so forabout a week prior, anyway.Please forgive the tardiness. I've always beenmore-than-punctual, in the past. Does it help that theattachment is dated for July?

IndyProd application

You are reading

Application for KUNM Independent Producer Position

NAME: Rogi Riverstone

TITLE OF PROJECT: “Brainstorm: Traumatic Brain Injury”



1. Concept/Synopsis:

Exploration of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) through interviews with survivors, caretakers, family members, friends and loved ones. What diagnostic facilities, rehabilitation, support systems exist in New Mexico for those who face recovery from TBI? What are the social challenges: stigmatization, economic impact, contact with law enforcement, etc. How can TBI survivors be better assisted in our community? I may need some studio time, production assistance and assistance with PR.


This is an educational program, involving University and other hospitals’ personnel, clients and others who deal with TBI. It addresses the scientific, sociological and personal impact of TBI in the New Mexico community.


What specific benefit or service does this program provide?

Educates the larger population about the special needs and challenges of TBI survivors and those who care for and love them. Reduces the stigmatization and prejudice TBI survivors and families face. Begins a dialogue on care taking in our community.

2. What audience segments do you intend to serve with this program, and how do you intend to reach that audience?

This is designed for the general community, as most of us have little experience, information and recognition of the challenges of TBI. It will offer some insights into the decision-making processes of medical professionals, social services providers, law enforcement personnel and local governments with regards to TBI. It will address the effects on the community.

Is this a service/benefit readily available on KUNM or elsewhere? If so, how would this program complement existing service?

I've never heard anything on KUNMfm or any other station, for that matter, which covers this subject in any detail. Local, commercial media outlets haven’t covered the story, at all. As thousands of military personnel begin returning from overseas wars, TBI will be an issue of intimate and immediate importance to the communities to which they will be returning. Are we prepared? In addition, this story is of national significance. As populations swell the infrastructures of cities across the country, communities will be making serious decisions about the handling of TBI survivors. Albuquerque is a microcosm of the national discussion.

Please check below the interests that the proposed
program addresses. (Taken from the Regents' Policy on KUNM)


Does the proposed program:

___YES!__ A. Present information and informed commentary including the arts, the sciences and culture generally?

___YES!__ B. Present information and discussion of significant issues facing society, thereby contributing to the development of an informed citizenry?

___YES!__ C. Convey diverse cultural richness of our society, and by presenting it, making it known to the present generation and also preserving it for future generations?

__YES!___ D. Develop diverse local programming?

___YES!__ E. Encourage listeners to enrich their lives through music and the arts and encourage new insights concerning life's experiences and the relationships between individuals, society and our cultural milieu?


Does this program:

___YES!__ A. Encourage creative initiatives from all sectors of the university?

__YES!___ B. Present scholarly and cultural activities such as broadcasting of lectures, recitals and other appropriate forms of faculty, staff and student expression?

__YES!___ C. Provide opportunity for experience in public radio station programming and operations?

PRELIMINARY PRODUCTION ELEMENTS (detail proposed interview sources, natural sound, music and other production sources you plan to use):
Person on the street interviews, ambient sound, interviews with professionals and officials who are associated with the project, TBI survivors and their loved ones, etc.

PROPOSED TIMETABLE (suggest the amount of time you expect to need for gathering source material; b) pre-production; c) final production): I’m giving myself 2 months for this project. It will take at least that long to get sources to speak with me, to locate interview subjects, to do necessary back story research, etc.


PROPOSED AIR DATE: same or later



The following expenses are not extracted from the
payment amount approved by the committee.


DAT TAPES (max- 10-120 min DATS) ___________ 0
CASSETTES (max 15-90 min CASS) _______________ 0
REEL TO REEL (max 4 full reels) _________________ 0
OTHER (not guaranteed) CDs $5.00

Describe how tape will be used:
Air checks, copies for guests, copies for later broadcast

(NOTE: Your estimate may exceed the limit on the following but the total on 2-7 must be < $277)

2) ESTIMATED LONG DISTANCE PHONE USE: (max-$100 per program)

Explain Long Distance needs: I’ll need to interview specialists in the field of TBI. Some of these won’t be local.

per program) $60

Explain your travel needs: I’ll be all over the city, interviewing people. In addition, I hope to go to Santa Fe, Belen, Bernalillo, Los Lunas and other, local communities, which have significant TBI populations, services, hospitals, etc. Hopefully, I’ll also make contact with some Native American community clinics.

ESTIMATED POSTAGE (max- $10 per program) $10
Explain postage needs: mailed out fliers, business cards, letters and other information to community organizations involved with TBI.

ESTIMATED PRINTING (max- $7 per program):______ $ 0 estimated
Explain printing: done at station

6) ESTIMATED UPLINK (max- $100 per program) $100, if necessary. I might need to interview people at the Santa Fe community radio station from KUNM studios.

7) OTHER EXPENSES (please explain in detail-reimbursement for these items is not guaranteed) $100 for Ali Liddel, TBI survivor and KUNMfm volunteer as voice actor. I can’t read copy with my bad teeth.

TOTAL OF ITEMS 2-7 (cannot exceed $277) $276


(List other programs that you have produced or assisted with. Be specific about the programs and your level of involvement in the production. Your best production work should be included on the required demo tape that you turn in with this application.)

Producer(s) and related experience/background: Rogi Riverstone: reporter, KUNMfm, Albuquerque, NM; reporter, KUSPfm Santa Cruz, CA; Women's Issues broadcaster, KAZUfm Pacific Grove, CA; talk show host & student, KCRWfm Santa Monica, CA; formerly-homeless Queer; independent producer; writer.


Interview: Mike Farrell KCRW. Produced, hosted 15 min. interview with Mr. Farrell on his trip to Nicaragua.

Interview: Coven KCRW. Produced, hosted 15 min. interview with witches for Halloween.

Apx. 15 pieces, 3-6 mins. in length, for KUNM Evening News

Apx. 5 pieces, 1.5 min. in length, for National Native News.

2 pieces, 1 min. in length, for Free Speech Radio News.

1 piece, 2 mins. length for Women's International News Gathering. 50 hours live interviews, music programming, etc. for My Sister's House, KAZUfm Pacific Grove, Ca.

50 hours news reporting, editing, production for KUSPfm, Santa Cruz, Ca.


(Number of years, general activities) Three years: news, fundraising, radio theatre, substitute hosting, editing, clerical, webmastering, production assistant, etc. Apx. 2,000 hours, to date.

Independent Producer Grant projects: Homelessness Marathon, Epilogue, Wounded Warriors: Native American Veterans with PTSD