I stood at the door of Marion Downs’ classy Denver, Colorado apartment, sagging under the weight of 2 cameras, 2 tripods, assorted cords and microphones, and a very heavy light kit, excited to finally be doing our first SheHero interview. Upon arrival, Carly and Nicole, our interviewer and assistant producer from Girl Scouts of Colorado, were bubbling with excitement.
We were worried about exhausting her.
After all, she’s 95. Despite her internationally celebrated career as a pioneering audiologist, 1.5 hours of exercise per day, competing in the Senior Olympics, and recent skydiving, how could she not be, well, a little frail?
We were wrong.
She met me at the door with “That is way too much for you to carry!” and insisted on taking the tripods. The dining room table would have been the perfect place to film, but it was covered with research papers for her latest book. So we turned to the pleasant and rather crowded living room, and began moving heavy furniture, trying to make room for the cameras, interviewer, crew and most importantly the elaborate lighting set-up that makes all the difference in good looking film. I started sweating.
It’s strange to bring a group into a stranger’s house and start moving furniture all over the place where you want it. Marion was gracious and friendly throughout the moving, filming and clean up. She gave us cocoa in china cups, stepped adroitly over cords and around equipment, looking calm and cool despite the ~95 degrees under the lights. She even managed the three retakes (a helicopter flying by, the air conditioning coming on, and a filming glitch) well.
At the end, Carly and Nicole said “She is AWESOME!” We were inspired, excited, and looking forward to sharing the video when the editing is done!
I went home and crashed at 9:00, sweaty and exhausted. Marion was probably up for hours working on her book.
More About Marion Downs:
The "Mother of Audiology", Marion Downs is the pioneering audiologist who discovered that infant hearing testing and addressing any problems early is critical to their language development for their entire lives. Largely due to her relentless pursuit in organizing and leading the medical and scientific community over 40 years, hearing testing in newborns is now ubiquitous in the United States, and has grown throughout the world.