Best Way to Grab a Slice of Immortality

StoryCorps recording booth

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Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 800-850-4406 (for appointments), storycorps.org/locations/chicago

It looks like we'll all be immortal for our Facebook friends, but if you're hankering for an audience that's a little broader, there's StoryCorps: all you have to do is lasso a partner and make an appointment for an audio recording session in the booth now permanently parked in the Chicago Cultural Center. Sessions usually take the form of an interview, with one participant drawing an autobiographical tale out of the other. StoryCorps makes that easy by listing questions on its website that'll quickly get you to the heart of, say, what it was like growing up in an abusive family. Tearjerkers dominate the examples, but most anything goes. The trick is that at least one of you has to be able to carry an extended conversation: while the website excerpts (and some of those you might have heard on NPR) have been edited down to about two minutes, you're actually recording 40 minutes of talk. Pull it off and you'll get a slot big enough for a CD in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, where your story will become part of a great American oral history. It's free, but donations are encouraged.