For this week's project, I tried to focus on finding a topic with conflict. I heard some businesses on W. University Ave. were facing closure, so I decided to see if any were still open. The Barber Shop sits in the same strip as Caribbean Spice, Kabab House, Do-Lish and a few other businesses, all of which were already closed and mostly cleared out. That's where I found Jermaine Goodman, the master barber. He was another great character, with lots to say about his job and having to leave it thanks to some plans for new student housing.
I took some photos and waited for a break in the flow of clients before we finally sat down for the interview. I even remembered to get room noise! But this is where it got difficult. I had played around with the Zoom and wireless microphone ahead of time, but as we were talking I could tell there was something wrong with the volume. I just couldn't figure out how to fix it. More clients were starting to come in, and I felt pressured to wrap things up so he could go on with his business. So I decided it was better to stop and listen back to what I'd just recorded. Unfortunately, I was right. The levels were way over, but there were now five people waiting to get their haircut and I couldn't stay to redo the interview. I explained the technical issues and we arranged to conduct the interview again the next day.
After going home and playing with the equipment again, I realized the sensitivity was too high. This was something I could fix. Thankfully the second interview went really well, and I was able to turn it into a great story. Jermaine was a pleasure to talk to, and I was glad to hear that he's thinking positively as he looks for his next place of work.
Here's his story: Jermaine Goodman: Behind the Chair.