O, To Be Invisible

Photo of Michael Luce by Annie Reichert, courtesy of the Salt Archive.


Megan Martin had her mic out and pointed at Micheal Luce. They were down in his cellar — Meghan was recording, Micheal was building his dead mother’s casket.

This was maybe the fourth or fifth time Megan recorded Micheal pounding nails, sawing, sanding, measuring… Because she had been there so many times she thought Micheal had probably stopped noticing her — that she had become invisible, just another object in a cluttered cellar.

Micheal stopped work for a break. He pulled out a cigarette, turned to Meghan, and said “I wonder how much you’re changing this process of mine since you’re here recording and I’m totally aware of it all the time.”

In the field, a documentarian is supposed to be a fly on the wall. You blend in so the people you are reporting on forget you are there. By blending in, the thinking goes, you are more likely to capture reality on tape.

Well, with all that gear, with all those questions, with all that tape you gather following people around, how the heck are you supposed to become part of the woodwork? And if you don’t become “invisible” then aren’t you impacting the story and the way the people behave in front of your mic?

If only we could be invisible. That’s what Meghan wished for, a cloaking device — especially after Michael completely blew her cover.

“Bringing the Work Into You” by Meghan Martin is today’s feature on the Saltcast. Take a listen to how the piece turned out. Then, post your thoughts to the blog!

Best, Rob


  1. One Response to “O, To Be Invisible”

  2. By Emily on May 22, 2012

    This is an excellent piece.

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