As you know, The Apple Seed is an hour just about every day devoted to storytelling: tall tales, small tales, fairy and folktales, folklore and family-lore, urban legends and exciting yarns, bedtime stories, daytime stories, and everything in between. We love a good story and we treat each of our original episodes like a good old fashioned fox hunt: we wake up early, put on funny checkered caps, and follow stories over the river and through the woods to capture and collect them in our extensive story catalog.
Creating each episode is a team effort, and each of us adds a little of this and a little of that. We typically have a weekly meeting where we give assignments, start new projects & scripts, schedule interviews and time in the studios, and check on our progress (and everybody’s health!). If you look at our desks, you’ll see notepads stacked on top of each other bursting with brilliant and less-brilliant, our favorite CDs we want to keep close for listening and inspiration, a couple of stray recording kits, and all the water bottles we keep forgetting about. Despite the excess of notepads, CDs, and water bottles, it seems that the one resource we are always scarce on is time.
We work with storytellers from all walks of life and all kinds of backgrounds. Many of the storytellers we work with are professionals who work in the oral tradition for a living and they travel around the country and the world performing to audiences young and old at festivals, schools, museums, theatres and concert halls. Many of these storytellers have recordings and albums that they generously share with us so that we can share them with you. We have many stories from people who also just share our love of a good story: fishermen, genealogists, paranormal investigators, historians, artists, musicians, naturalists and scientists. And lastly, we collect stories from anybody who is patient enough to let us point a microphone in their direction (our moms and dads, for instance). We believe that every person is a library, that they’re a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and insight.
Members of The Apple Seed team have discovered stories from all different kinds of places, events, and festivals—including the festival right in our backyard, the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival in Orem, Utah. Our producer, Andy Bay, and our host, Sam Payne, have visited storytelling festivals in the Bay Area, New Mexico, in Toronto, Canada, and the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Recently, our whole team traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, new home of the National Storytelling Network and the National Storytelling Conference. We’ve also searched for stories that are little closer to home: hunting Bigfoot and UFOs in the small desert towns in Utah; inviting people into Studio 6 and Studio 3 to talk story and listen to performances; and many of our meetings unintentionally become a sharing time where we enthusiastically discuss the stories and people we’ve encountered that week.
Each of member of the Apple Seed is responsible for discovering, recording, engineering, and listening to hundreds of hours of stories -- and some of us aren’t even bad at telling stories ourselves! Anyone who listens to our show will know that our talented and charming host, Sam Payne, is a true performer in every sense. (What you may not know, is that Sam also has a penchant for wearing tweed jackets and colorful glasses!)
If you were to ask around the BYURadio office about the Apple Seed team, you’d perhaps hear the words “raucous”, “fun”, and most likely, “loud.” Our animated team reflects the vivid and vibrant tradition of oral storytelling. When we are not glued to our computer screens— listening and cataloging stories, editing recordings, and sending out a metric ton of emails—you’ll find us laughing together or passionately discussing many of our shared interests, which include but are not limited to: the respective careers of John Cena and Shaquille O’Neal, Star Wars, Harry Potter, a good pair of socks, pizza, pranks, and politics. We also are interested in doughnuts of all shapes and sizes.
At any given moment, you can catch Makena and Deidrene nodding and smiling while Sam Bennion, Andre, and Andy talk about international soccer; or Andy giving an anecdote from one of his many travels (name a place, and Andy has been there and knows where the best restaurant is); or an enthralling office discussion about latest movies. If we’re all together in a room for too long, we will inevitably start swapping our favorite seasonal recipes, lamenting over our respective homework loads (you will find that our assistant producers and audio engineer haven’t slept much since they started college a few years ago), or with our face pressed against the windows watching people pass by the BYU Broadcasting Building. Our contributions to BYUradio office culture include our quirky decorations, our collection of sound effects and sound bites (live and recorded), and, recently, sorting BYUradio staff pictures according to their respective Hogwarts Houses. (Despite Andre, Makena, and Deidrene being in Gryffindor and Sam Bennion being our sole Slytherin, there is no house rivalry within our tight-knit team.)
The Apple Seed Team is energetic, enthusiastic, and loves being able to share a world of stories with our listeners. The world of Storytelling is like a big family tree whose branches spread across all boundaries, and when somebody begins their story it often feels like home.