Ira's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    America Team

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Chicago, IL

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 3

  • ON DVD:

IRA GLASS

Host/Producer
This American Life

“You can criticize yourself to a point to do something better, or you criticize yourself to a point where you inhibit yourself.”

INTERESTS:

Radio

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Acceptance Conflict Culture Dedication Desire Determination Doubt Exploration Failure Family Hard Work Honesty Instincts Money & Financial Security Negativity Passion Perseverance Talent

FOUNDATION:

Communicating / Sharing Stories

TAGS:

being on the radio, inadequate, medical school, medicine, settle, settling, summer internship, worry

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Grew up in an area where smart kids were expected to become doctors, but he always had an interest in media.
  • Took two summer jobs, one at a hospital, one at NPR: “At the end of that summer, it was seemed very clear which one was more appealing.”
  • Says the best thing to do is force yourself into doing the work, and the skills will eventually come; believes hard work can make a person talented.
  • He was bad at his job for a long time; says, “even the stuff you’re really good at, you’re not good at right away.”
  • Started producing shows at age 19; says early tapes show he had “no talent at all” for reporting, but he was good at editing.
  • His parents hated the choices he was making; they’d worked hard to get into the middle class, constantly worried he wouldn’t “succeed.”
  • Says the least pleasant part of his job is actually being on the radio: “all you can do is screw it up...there are so many ways to ruin it.”
  • Believes he will wake up with doubt and worry every day, but he’s made peace with that, uses feelings of inadequacy to motivate him.

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