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About Catching Phoebe

This seven-minute audio piece isn’t for the faint of heart. “Catching Phoebe” sheds light on the tale of a gifted but discouraged nine-year-old who teaches a dying man about vulnerability and friendship. The story opens as the two friends talk in a hospital room. Julissa was inspired to write this piece—which incorporates audio editing, screenwriting, and short story—by the daily headlines of political and social disarray. In the thick of her emotions, Julissa explores the idea that although bad things happen, we are resilient and the way we react reveals more about our human nature than anything else.


I wrote this story channeling the hopeless emotions I feel while watching CNN. I wanted to convey the idea that we are not limited in the choices we can make. We recorded the introduction and the characters’ dialogue, and here’s a bit of a shocker: both Phoebe and Rupert were played by me. Through the use of an online sound-editing tool, we lowered the pitch of my voice reading Rupert’s lines in order to attain a more masculine sound. Then, using an audio editing program, the files were cut, spliced, and placed in sequential order.

The time you felt the most powerful

A time I felt most powerful was in the midst of my college application process. I lead a children’s Sunday School class at my church and faced difficult questions and discussions from the kids about Islamophobia during our very first meeting. Afterward, I talked with Miriam about how I handled the situation, and she enlightened me with a proposal to center my personal statement for college applications on my students and the incident. I felt empowered knowing that colleges would be able to see this facet of my character. And… I GOT IN.

by Julissa Nunez

Catching Phoebe

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