I was honored and so flattered when film maker Joris Debeij called. Debeij asked if I would be interested in being profiled as apart of his on going project I am Los Angels. With a love for LA and what makes a city a city, he told me that he was shooting mini documentaries. People are fascinating, all so different yet in so many ways we are the same. Everybody’s got a story and Debeij has a gift for finding and documenting it. I am Los Angeles is a remarkable series featuring the diversity of the people that are Los Angeles.
I highly recommend that you check out his site, the profiles are about 2 -3 minutes.
Navarro’s Promise is longer and I think it might just be my favorite, though The Escape Artist is a close second.
As far as Debeij’s question to me, was I interested…um let me think – heck yeah!
What’s your story? Tell me.
by Joris Debeij
It has been estimated that a resident of LA County will spend an estimated 4 days each year stuck in traffic. There’s an extensive network of freeways that’s been built to handle over twelve million cars on a daily basis. But traffic here is still so notoriously congested that even if you’re from out of town, you’re not likely to be surprised by the excruciatingly slow crawl that is the 405 freeway during rush hour.
Sitting in gridlocked traffic is boring, frustrating, even lonely. Listening to traffic on the radio isn’t likely to make you feel much better, but if there’s just one traffic reporter who would snap you out of your bitter mood, it would be Kajon Cermak on KCRW. There is something different about the way Kajon does her traffic reporting — her voice seems to express just the right amount of empathy for your plight, even if she never says the words.
When Kajon Cermak came to Southern California on one of the very same freeways traversed by daily commuters, she had little more than what was packed in her car. Driving through the palm tree lined landscape, she was far from the midwestern city where she had spent most of her life. On her journey bridging the old and new chapters in her life were friendly voices, tunes and information — all courtesy of local radio stations along the route to Los Angeles.
It was later that Kajon, a one-time aspiring actress, would find herself working for a Southern California radio station. She had gotten her start working at a smaller station in Thousand Oaks, when a surprise call from the local NPR affiliated station, KCRW, gave her a new break. Today Kajon runs the board and does the traffic for All Things Considered on KCRW.
It doesn’t matter whether if you are new in town or a long-time Angeleno, the rush hour commute is really never enjoyable. But have you ever been surprised to find yourself sitting an extra minute in the driveway or the garage while your local radio correspondent finishes up a report or story? Now, if only they could find a way to report on tomorrow’s traffic, the night before…
This is an edited version from the original post.