Monday, September 17, 2018

Making Words for Your Ears (But Not Your Eyes)

Well, hey there.

You may have noticed that I still haven’t been writing, which is to say that you probably haven’t noticed it because I haven’t been doing it. There hasn’t been anything to notice. I’ve been thinking a lot about why I haven’t been writing, and there’s probably something there, but in order to get to the heart of it, I’d probably have to write it out, which, as I have already stated, I am unwilling to do.

To use a triple negative, not writing doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy, however. In the last few months, I’ve jumped face-first into podcasting, to the point that this summer I actually launched a podcasting business with Katherine Spiers, a friend and former co-worker who runs a successful food podcast, Smart Mouth. We’ve called the business TableCakes Productions, which might make us sound like a boutique pastry service but is actually named after the phenomenon of ordering pancakes for the entire table at a restaurant: one stack, shared by everyone. This connection is reflected in our logo.

logo design by emily chaplain

That’s a good metaphor for how we’re structuring our company. It’s a shared experience, and it’s something that can offer everyone a piece. I won’t bore you with the shopkeeping details, but I’ll at least say that we are trying to seek out voices that don’t have a platform already, especially people that deserve to be heard but who might not have a means for starting their own podcast. We know how to do that. We will get you started.

And yes, by the way, we do have a Patreon account, should you want to support us.

That pitch out of the way, I wanted to share with you some of the shows we have going on. Foremost, this past week we launched a new film podcast, You Have to Watch This Movie.

logo design by jeff hinchee, who is also great

This one is a follow-up to my previous movie podcast, We Are Not Young Anymore, this time with Tony Rodriguez as my co-host. Do you have a movie that you like a lot? Maybe one you’ve watched again and again over the course of your life? Maybe if you met someone who hadn’t seen this particular film, you might respond with, “Oh, you have to watch this movie.” Those are the kind of movies we’ll be talking about on this show, and each week we will have a guest in to talk about a movie that moves them. (Some of them might be famous! Some of them kinda won’t be!) Regardless of who the guest is, however, he or she will be there to talk about art that means something to them, and having those conversations is one of my favorite things to do.

Our first episode is about Big Business, the 1988 Lily Tomlin-Bette Midler comedy that I actually did not see until Tony showed it to me while we were dating, when he told me that I had to watch this movie. He was right.

Like all my shows, it’s based on SoundCloud, but you can subscribe on iTunes, on Google Play and on Stitcher, depending on where you like your podcasts. Please subscribe. Please give us a rate and review, if you’re into it. You’ve listened to a podcast before. You know the drill.

As You Have to Watch This Movie begins, I’m actually ending the first season of another show I’m producing and editing (but not talking on), Sam Pancake Presents the Monday Afternoon Movie. It’s hosted by my friend, Sam Pancake, who is an actor who has been on most of the shows. (No, really.) This podcast has him and guests (some famous!) discussing made-for-TV horror movies from the ’70s, and if you think that focus is too specific to sustain a long-term show, you are wrong and also YOU HAVE SOME ATTITUDE.

I made this intro graphic and I fully admit that I am proud of how it turned out.

This show essentially amounts to two friends having an informed conversation about a movie that is bonkers beyond belief. Take Curse of the Black Widow, for example, which Sam talked about with Drew Droege (a famous!) and which features Patty Duke turning into a giant spider. That is weirdly not the most far-fetched aspect of it, too.

Or maybe try The House That Wouldn’t Die, which stars Barbara Stanwyck as a pantsuit-wearing grandma who still has time to be sexy, even when she’s fighting off her possessed niece. This episode’s guest is Selene Luna, a performer whose character was killed off horribly in that remake of My Bloody Valentine but who also was once of the voices in Coco, which I think demonstrates range.

Again, you can follow Monday Afternoon Movie on iTunes and anywhere else you’d normally find a podcast.

Earlier this year, I also started a show with Glen Lakin, a screenwriter who also happens to be my roommate, about the gay one-off episodes of famous sitcoms. We called it Gayest Episode Ever, and it actually did pretty well for the one ten-episode season we did. We’re doing a second in the not-too-distant future. But if your idea of a good time is listening to gay dues go on and on about why Diane Chambers is a gift from god or why the John Waters episode of The Simpsons is a triumph, please give it a listen.

(And also please subscribe and so forth.)

And finally there’s Singing Mountain, the video game music podcast I started last year initially in an effort to put some more eyes on We Are Not Young Anymore. Singing Mountain has since outlived that initial podcast and turned into a fun side-project on its own. Last week, I posted the fortieth episode, and it’s one big mix of peaceful, calming music — the kind of stuff I felt like I needed to listen to, because I’ve been working a lot more than I’d maybe like.

But I don’t mind, because it’s all to further projects that I think are really cool. (And yes, please subscribe.)

So yeah, I’m not writing a whole lot, save for this promotional post, just because I wanted people to know that I’ve been working a lot and doing stuff I think people would like. We have a lot more planned, and while those shows will be debuting in the near future, I don’t want to show our hand just yet. I can at least say that they’re all hosted by women, and that’s another thing that makes me excited about TableCakes’s lineup.

I will write again — someday, probably — but if you were for some reason feeling like you missed my words, know that I’m still making them, just in a different medium.

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