image of interview subject

What is this?

I listen to podcasts. Not occasionally but quite regularly. I listen while I’m driving, doing dishes, working out, listening to my wife, and… Maybe not that last one.

My point is I relish podcasts, especially the 2-3 hour long-form interviews with interesting people. I started to realize I knew more about Richard Branson and Jamie Foxx’s story than I did some of my family and friends. That’s when I realized we all have a story to tell but no one is interviewing us to help us share our wisdom.

Shortly after my grandmother died in 2011, one of my cousins sent around an mp3 of a few voicemails from grandma:

This is your grandma just checkin’ in. They said you had called. Just checking in. I’m with you all the way and I love you. Grandma is always here for you. Okay, talk to you later.

...

This is your grandma call me back when you can. I’m home. I’m always home. Talk to you later. I love you. Bye bye.

...

Hi this is grandma. I wish you would call me. I’d like to talk to you. I love you very much. Bye bye.

...

Hi this is grandma. Would you give me a call as soon as you can. It’s important. Okay. Talk to you later. Love you much.

...

Hi this is your poor old sick grandma. Haven’t heard from you in a long time. I would really like to. Love you much. Bye bye.

Out of context, it sounds like my cousin wasn’t great at returning phone calls. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. Nonetheless, while the content tells only an implicit story of love and connection, there is tremendous value for me in hearing her voice again after many years. Her voice brings back the stories in my memory. I only wish I had taken the time to sit down and capture record a few hours of her wisdom.

I didn’t want to miss that opportunity, again. In 2015, I started recording interviews with the people in my life–my friends and family. I made the process informal and as easy as possible. We sit in a comfortable and quiet place in their home, fire up a recorder, and have a conversation, starting with easy questions like “where did you grow up” or “what are some of your favorite memories.” 2-3 hours later, we realize how much time has passed and we stop the recorder. We walk away from that session with, not just a recorded story we can look back at and share, but also a deeper connection. Knowing the stories that matter to our friends and family connect us with what makes them who they are.

I worked for years in commercial real estate banking and always felt there had to be a better way to deliver value to people and give back. I think helping people capture the stories that matter to them and building deeper connections is the way to do that.

I would love to help you connect with and capture the stories from those that matter to you. If you’re interested, please contact me and let’s preserve the stories that matter together!

Smiling interviewer

I would like to set up an interview

Great! The best way to get started is to call or text me at 760-201-6758 or email me at nick@nickschoch.com.

What does it cost?

I offer up to three hours of recording time with editing for $400 once you are satisfied with your audio recording. I charge for travel outside of San Diego County.

That seems like a lot!

  • We often rationalize spending $200-500+ on professional photography sessions. This is for a handful of good photos. While photos hint at a story, it doesn’t come close to hearing the story in the voice of your friend or loved one.
  • Audio is a powerful medium. Hearing the pause in one’s voice as they reflect on an emotional memory conveys so much more feeling than written word or still images.
  • Spending more time with your interviewee lets you relax and get into the weeds. You won’t have to gloss over the details that make the stories meaningful.
  • Setting aside the time for an interview allows you to ask the unanswered questions that aren’t typical of our day-to-day small talk.
  • Your friends and loved ones often don’t share their stories or perspectives without being prompted.
  • You can easily share what you learn in the interview with your descendants and preserve the wisdom.
  • Even if you never listen to the recording, the interview will leave a lasting experience that you will reflect on for years.

Interview setup

What about video recording?

I do not offer video recording services. I find that video distracts from the interview. The interviewee feels pressured to “look good” and present well to the camera. In addition, many people act differently when in front of a camera, looking into the void of the lens. For the listener, it is harder to sit down to watch a video, especially a long form video, than it is to listen to an audio file. Consider that you can listen to an audiobook while you drive but you can’t watch a movie.

Some things to think about:

  • Who are we interviewing?
  • Where would you like to do the interview?
  • When would you like to do the interview?
  • Do you want to do the interview or would you like me to interview them?
  • Would you want to do a “pre-interview” where I interview you to understand your intentions in interviewing your friend or loved one? Sharing this interview with them is a great way to prepare them for the interview and start the conversation.

Don’t let another year slip by!

Start the conversation by calling or texting me at 760-201-6758. In addition, you can email me at nick@nickschoch.com.

Recorder