I was a contributing audio producer to the documentary exhibit “Daily Meaning: Life Inside America’s Service Industries” – the brainchild of radio journalist and producer Ben Calhoun. Audio producers from Chicago Public Radio and acclaimed photographers collaborated to capture stories of Chicago-area residents who work in service industries. The exhibit included photographs of more than a dozen workers on and off the job, and audio portraits that captured each person’s story in their own words. The Illinois Humanities Council helped fund the project. I interviewed and produced the audio portraits of 2 service workers – a psychic and a massage therapist: Paul Calhoun, took the photographs.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 111 million Americans work in service industries – which means working in a service industry is more definitive of the American experience than going to college. “It is about a search, too, for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash. I was constantly astonished by the extraordinary dreams of ordinary people.” – Studs Terkel