Josh: Growing Up With Tourette’s


Have tape deck, will diary. Josh Cutler, the subject of Joe Richman’s “Josh: Growing Up With Tourette’s.”

“Happy Sweet 16!” to Teenage Diaries, the remarkable radio documentary series where young people were given tape decks to document their lives.  The series, produced by Joe Richman in the 1990’s, is a stunning collection of stories that have become part of the radio documentary canon.  I’ve listened to the stories time and again and never tire of them.

To mark the anniversary, Joe checked in with five people — now adults — who were featured in the original series. These new stories, Teenage Diaries Revisited, air this week on NPR’s All Things Considered.

To join in the party, I dug up an interview with Joe from 2009. On a previous incarnation of this podcast (Saltcast), Joe and I dissected one of the teen diaries, “Josh, Growing Up With Tourette’s.” Joe, as always, let loose with a ton of radio goodness during our chat — all kinds of tips and tricks and behind-the-scenes observations about the production of these diaries.

When you’re done listening, be sure to check out the new series and all of Joe’s work.

Happy Birthday Teenage Diaries!!




4 comments to Josh: Growing Up With Tourette’s

  • Joe

    Yeah, interesting. I can’t help wondering whether we have an unpleasent audio fascination with (some kinds of) tourettes, as I found myself wanting to hear more tics – and then being distracted by hearing about them but not hearing them. There is a fine line between hearing too much and ignoring the person beind the tics. Some sufferers, such as tourettes hero tries to turn the whole thing on it’s head, but I also like that Josh refuses to record his. Sometimes the obvious people to record are too obvious, so it takes a lot of skill to produce a piece that isn’t fixated on the obvious.

  • Joe

    Sorry, I messed up the link – tourettes hero

  • [...] If you’re curious about how Teenage Diaries was created and produced, I highly recommend the How Sounds episode, “Josh: Growing Up With Tourette’s” which was released on May 8, 2013. The episode gives a behind the scenes look at Josh’s diary [...]

  • [...] Radio Diaries is a project run by Joe Richman in New York City where he gives people recorders and helps them tell their own stories.  Here at S+S we’re really inspired by this model and wanted to give a taste of what a diaristic story can sound like. Josh’s story  is intimate, insightful and endearing t sparked a great discussion.  If you want to hear the ful piece and get some backstory on how it was made Rob Rosenthal of How Sound did a behind the scenes piece about it that you can hear here. [...]

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