49 Voices: Indie Alaska Viewers in Anchorage

This week, 49 voices heads to the Bear Tooth Theater in Anchorage, where Alaska Public Media’s Indie Alaska program held a screening last week and made a short movie with Alaskans willing to answer a few questions in front of the camera.

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One of my favorite things about Alaska is you could say it’s beautiful, it’s this it’s that, but it’s the people.

  • In 1979, when this was Flapjack Jim’s, I started at the record store next door. Obviously records and tapes went belly up. Took my severance pay and bought a gold mine. And used that for the down payment for my home, and that was 35 years ago.
  • When I meet people who don’t live here, and the first thing everyone always asks you is ‘Oh, I know this person who lives in Anchorage or who lives in Alaska. Do you know them?’ While that may be a bogus question to ask someone in New York City or L.A., the chances that you know somebody else up here are actually pretty high.
  • You’ve heard the expression, ‘A Sourdough is a person is soured on the country, but doesn’t have the dough to leave.’ Well I have a twist on that. I’m an April 1st I came on April 1st and was foolish enough to stay for 50 years. Tomorrow is my 50th anniversary of being in Alaska.
  • After a couple different summers working up here, it was actually like a physical breakup – that’s how I would describe it – whenever I had to cross the border and go back down to the Lower 48. Honestly, it was like this: You’re crossing the border and I felt this like heart pain, and I was like, ‘Oh my god! It’s not you. It’s me. Just give me more time. And then I realized that I want to live in Alaska. So I moved up a couple years ago and have not looked back. It’s been a really good decision.

Kaysie Ellingson got her start as a video producer while attending the University of Southern California for her Master’s Degree in journalism. What started out as a pursuit to become an international reporter for papers became a desire to produce documentaries.While at USC she took on many video projects ranging from various freelancing gigs to starting a web series, ClefCity, where viewers could catch interviews with popular (not mainstream) musicians. But it was her work at IMPACT, the university’s video newsmagazine, that had the heaviest hand in propelling her into video production. She graduated in May 2014 and having never been to Alaska, moved up in the winter of 2015 to work at Alaska Public Media as a video producer.One random bit of information is that prior to graduate school Ellingson worked as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in Kazakhstan. Some of her fondest memories involve drinking fermented horse milk, testing out how many people can actually fit into a car and of course entertaining her students with her horrible Kazakh speaking skills. She hopes to return someday soon. In the meantime she is enjoying the similar climate of Alaska.Kellingson (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8419 | About Kaysie

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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