Blair Braverman was a dog musher on an Alaskan glacier. One day the weather turned rough, and she and a pack of tourists were stuck. The worst part? They had to pretend like nothing was wrong. This and other stories of people facing very difficult situations who put their game face on and muscle through. And, we hear from people whose faces betray them and prominently display all their anxiety.
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200 Dog Night
For two summers when she was 18 and 19, Blair Braverman worked as a dogsled guide on an Alaskan glacier. 8 times a day, helicopters full of tourists would arrive on the glacier for their experience of Real Alaska. Then one day, the weather turned bad and things got a little too real. Blair's most recent book is Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube. (16 minutes)
Comedian Tig Notaro tells the story about the time she played a string of dates night after night after night in Las Vegas – and bombed every single time. Getting up on stage and pretending like everything was going great was not easy. The story is part of the material she's working up for her first HBO comedy special "Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted" which airs Saturday, August 22nd exclusively on HBO. (7 minutes)
Who Put the Face in Game Face?
Ira speaks with Mike Pesca, host of the sports podcast Hang Up and Listen and Slate's daily podcast The Gist about the whole concept of the game face in sports. What is it exactly? And who might be the best examples of athletes with incredible game faces? Then Ira speaks with writer David Dupuis about the athlete who may have the game face-iest game face in sports history – hockey goalie Terry Sawchuk. Dupuis wrote a biography of Sawchuk titled, "Sawchuk: The Troubles and Triumphs of the World's Greatest Goalie." (8 minutes)
Frankly Miss Scarlet
It turns out that one of the members of the This American Life staff, Elna Baker, has a kind of anti-game face. She's what's called a chronic blusher. And recently, she's been wondering whether she should get a type of surgery this could solve this problem that's plaguing her. Producer Sean Cole decided to look into the surgery for her, to see whether the it would give Elna the game face she's always wanted. (18 minutes)