Meeting voice-to-voice about writing. Fifteen podcast episodes for you.

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Friends,

Here’s an item on my list of THINGS-THAT-BRING-ME-JOY: Talking craft with playwrights, writers, theatre-makers and artists of all mediums.

Does that bring you joy too?

For the last 2.5 years, these artist-conversations have been recorded in person and then released via the Artist Soapbox podcast for everyone who likes to listen.

It’s always been an honor and a delight to spend time with my interview guests, and shake their hands, and see their faces light up when they discuss their work.

As COVID-19 in the US has ramped up significantly over the last seven weeks and all Piedmont Laureate events were cancelled, I shifted to recording my podcast interviews online.

Though we are no longer in the same physical space, I continue to feel honored and delighted to share time with my guests and to hear their voices light up when they talk about their work. Since mid-March, I have worked to bring the voices of writers in our community to your ears as quickly as possible via the podcast.

I hope these conversations might be:

  • comforting or stimulating
  • thought-provoking or soothing
  • inspiring or sheltering
  • or whatever you need at this moment in time.

Below you’ll see fifteen podcast episodes from March 30-April 28, in case you’ve missed them.

Like the previous list from March 13-27, you’ll see a roster of incredible writers from the Triangle community including: Monét Noelle Marshall, Ian Finley, Chris Vitiello, June Guralnick, Amy Sawyers-Williams, Jack Reitz, Debra Kaufman, Allan Maule, Mark Cornell, and Cheryl Chamblee.

In addition to locally based writers, I’ve included episodes featuring playwrights and writers of audio fiction from much farther away as part of my podcast series for Howlround Theatre Commons, titled Adventures in Audio Fiction.

All of these conversations have sustained me in moments when I felt very isolated and worried. I found comfort in the connection I felt after 40 minutes of conversation with another human being about creativity, life, writing, process, and meaning.

After this intense flurry of activity (31 episodes in 7 weeks!), the Artist Soapbox podcast will be on hiatus for a bit so that I can return to my own writing, gain a more comfortable handle on my life/home/parenting responsibilities, and blog more regularly here.

If you are looking for inspiration, writing tips, vulnerability and a backstage pass to the writing process, then I hope you will enjoy listening to the episodes below.

If now is not the best time for you to listen, then they will be here when you are ready. Sending you love.

Writing-related episodes from March 30-April 28:

[Note: The episodes listed above are related specifically to writing. There are additional episodes with other creatives at www.artistsoapbox.org. Click on these links for the complete list from April 13-28,  March 30-April 10, and March 13-27. Please reach out if you need a transcript.]

Virtual Talk Back with RDU on Stage

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Hello friends,

Lauren Van Hemert of RDU on Stage was so generous to invite me to have a Facebook Live interview with her about being Piedmont Laureate, writing during a pandemic, writing audio fiction vs. writing for the stage, being a parent-artist, creativity, and more. You can see the video (1 hour) of us conversing HERE. The podcast version will be coming out in the coming weeks on the RDU on Stage podcast if you prefer audio only.

I hope that you are safe and well.

Sending you love,

Tamara

This weekend: Triangle Bake-Off & FB live interview with RDU on Stage

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#1: WANNA WRITE A PLAY THIS WEEKEND?

THE TRIANGLE BAKE-OFF HAS BEGUN. 

This is a quick and (hopefully stress-relieving) short playwriting competition. There’s a youth category if your kids are looking for something to do – OR – perhaps this will be a way for you to blow off some steam using writing as a tool. 

On Friday, April 3 at 7:00 am, the Women’s Theatre Festival released the list of “secret ingredients” that each script must include. Submissions must be received by 7:00 pm on Sunday, April 5 to beconsidered. 

Here are the ingredients:

For more information, read this blog post: Calling All NC Playwrights! Announcing the Triangle Bake-Off!

#2: WANNA SEE/HEAR ME ON FACEBOOK LIVE? EEEP!

I’LL BE THERE, SUNDAY EVENING.

On Sunday evening after you’ve turned in your play, I’d love for you to hop online and listen to a conversation with me and Lauren Van Hemert of RDU On Stage

Lauren has put together an amazing series of guests over the last few weeks, and I’m feeling honored to be included in the line up. We’ll talk about the Piedmont Laureate-ing, writing audio fiction, and parenting during this bonkers time while trying to make art and get things done. (Spoiler alert: life is confetti and what is time). 

We’re scheduled for a Facebook Live event this Sunday, April 5 at 8pm EST. 

Hope to talk to you then!

Calling All Playwrights! Announcing the Triangle Bake-Off!

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ANNOUNCEMENT:

In collaboration with Tamara Kissane, the 2020 Piedmont Laureate, and local theatre artist Hayden Tyler Moses, Women’s Theatre Festival (WTF) proudly announces the Triangle Bake-Off Competition.

This spirited playwrighting competition is open to North Carolina residents of all ages and experience levels. 

The Bake-Off will begin at 7:00 am on Friday, April 3 when WTF releases the list of “secret ingredients” that each script must include. Submissions must be received by 7:00 pm on Sunday, April 5 to be considered. See below for additional timeline and info.

The ingredients, all of the submissions guidelines, and the submissions can be found on the WTF website: https://www.womenstheatrefestival.com/triangle-bake-off-2020

Competitors will elect to compete in one of five divisions: 

● Youth (anyone under high school age) 

● High School (any current high school student) 

● College (anyone currently enrolled at an institution of higher learning) 

● First-Timer (anyone who is NOT a student and has NEVER written a play) 

● Practitioner (anyone who is a practicing writer or artist) 

Submissions will be read and scored by a team of adjudicators who will select 3-5 finalists per division. Those finalists will receive a reading of their drafts through the WTF Virtual Plays Club. Audiences will then get the chance to vote for their favorites. The play in each division that receives the most votes will receive a professional staged reading during WTF’s Occupy The Stage staged reading festival in November of this year.

Throughout the next six months, Piedmont Laureate Tamara Kissane will offer the playwrights coaching and feedback as they prepare their final drafts for performance. 

For more information, email info@womenstheatrefestival.com and stay tuned across their website and social media platforms. 

RULES & GUIDELINES: 

1. All playwrights must be North Carolina residents 

2. Playwrights may identify as any gender. 

3. Playwrights may submit a maximum of 15 pages* 

4. Playwrights must follow formatting guidelines** 

5. Playwrights must use all of the 4 ingredients in their “recipes” 

6. Plays should be written for 4 actors to perform. If your script includes more than 4 characters, please include doubling instructions. 

7. Submissions must be received via the submission form on the WTF website by 7:00 pm on 04/05/2020. 

*The spirit of the Bake-Off is not finished or perfect scripts, but an interesting and exciting  START. You may submit a draft that is fewer than 15 formatted pages. 

**Formatting guidelines may be relaxed for very young (ie 5-10 years old) playwrights. 

RESOURCES & FURTHER INFO: 

● Visit the WTF website for full info on formatting guidelines and to learn more about the history of Bake-Offs. 

● Each submission will be read and scored by 3 adjudicators chosen because of their expertise in that particular division. Submissions will be read “blind,” meaning that the adjudicators will not see the name or other identifying information of the playwright so that they may be as impartial as possible. 

● Adjudicators are NOT eligible to submit for any division in the competition. 

● A Facebook Event will be created for each Virtual Performance via WTF’s Facebook Page. All of the virtual performances will be live-streamed via Twitch.TV/wtheatrefestivalnc and will be available for viewing on our website for voters who miss the live event. 

● Listeners will be asked to make a small donation (suggested $5).

● The play from each division that receives the most votes will have a professionally produced staged reading during Occupy The Stage 2020. These playwrights will also receive a small honorarium.

Unlike most WTF sponsored events, male-identifying playwrights will receive equal consideration and will have their plays featured during a new section of Occupy called “The Ally Hour.” 

If you want to listen, here are six conversations for you.

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Friends,

I am working to bring the voices of writers in our community to your ears as quickly as possible via the Artist Soapbox podcast.

May these voices and conversations be:

  • comforting or stimulating
  • thought-provoking or soothing
  • inspiring or sheltering
  • or whatever you need at this moment in time.

My needs seem to change from hour to hour, but I do find comfort in the connection I feel after a 40 minute conversation with another human being about creativity, life, writing, process, and meaning. These conversations are sustaining me in a moment when I feel very isolated and worried.

You’ll see the most recent podcast episodes listed below, in case you’ve missed them. If now is not the best time for you to listen, then they will be here when you are ready. If you have questions that you’d like me address in upcoming interviews, please let me know. Sending you love.

[Note: the episodes listed above are related to writing from March 13-27. There are additional episodes with other creatives at www.artistsoapbox.org. Please reach out if you need a transcript.]

What’s next? Big feelings + big love.

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The text below is a transcript from today’s Artist Soapbox podcast episode (if you didn’t know, I am the host of the Artist Soapbox podcast). If you would like to hear my voice saying those words, then you can do so via the Artist Soapbox podcast here or via any podcast platform such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, etc.

It’s very likely that the Piedmont Laureate events that are scheduled for the next month(s) will be postponed. In the meantime I am thinking of ways to say connected. Perhaps you have ideas?

You are not alone

Transcript:

Well, Happy 2020! It’s been a few months since I released an episode on Artist Soapbox.

These are strange and uncomfortable times. I want you to know that I’m thinking of you wherever you are, I’m thinking of you and sending you love.

At this moment in time and for some undefined period into the future, many of us feel that our way of life, state of mind, health, loved ones and livelihood are under threat — by COVID-19 sure but also by the response or lack of response or lack of support in our particular communities. If you are having big feelings, as I am as a result of this, I just want to say that it’s totally understandable — big feelings are coming up because these things: our way of life, state of mind, health, loved ones, and livelihood are big deals. People are suffering. If you are feeling isolated and at sea, as I am, then I also want to say that you are not alone and I am sending you love.

To be sure, I am not an expert in anything, nor am I particularly skilled in any way that could be helpful in a time of crisis, and I don’t say that in a self-deprecating way, it’s just true. However, I’m thinking a lot — I’m thinking hard about community and what it means to build and maintain community when we cannot congregate….when we cannot be face-to-face.

I’m thinking about how we can care for each other and care for ourselves and pull together in a way that makes us feel less lonely and perhaps even momentarily soothed. If you’ve been listening to this podcast, then you’ll also know that for a long time I’ve been thinking about how we can make art and tell stories when we cannot physically show up together. That was the genesis of this podcast and the work I’m doing in audio fiction and…. All of this has been on my mind increasingly in the last few weeks.

So I want you to know that I’m going to start pushing out content as often as I can via Artist Soapbox — I’ll do as much as possible given my family and work responsibilities – thru the podcast and the website — if you have the brain, heart, life space to listen or read, then I hope that content makes you feel less alone or distracts you or reminds you that we are a community of creative kick-ass people. Because we are. And you are a part of that.

A month ago, I was planning this episode to be an update on all the cool things I’ve been doing since my last episode in 2019 and everything you have to look forward to from me in 2020. I had a long list. It was pretty exciting! The truth now is that the multitude of live events I had planned for the next 6 weeks will almost certainly be postponed and perhaps cancelled indefinitely. I’m in a place where I need to recalibrate my expectations, my priorities, and reconsider what I have to look forward to in that regard.

And I think I’m reconsidering that what I have to look forward to is this. If you are out there and you can hear my voice….I like to hear from you now. What would soothe you, distract you, entertain you? What would you like to hear about? What are your questions? I am a playwright, audio fiction writer, actor, director, producer, parent, creative coach and podcaster — those are things I can talk about. I can also connect with other people and they can talk about what I can’t.. Friends, if you share your thoughts with me, then I will share my voice and the voices of my guests with you. Email me at artistsoapbox@gmail.com.

If any of you are audio fiction fans, you might have seen a tweet from Mr. Paul Bae who’s an amazing creator associated with big audio fiction series like the Black Tapes, The Big Loop, and more recently The Marvels podcast. He’s amazing. Anyway, Paul Bae recently tweeted that “Podcasters are the cockroaches of the entertainment world during pandemics” and as much as I groaned when I read that, I also embrace the idea that this medium could be a way that our community can bridge what feels like a chasm in our usual connection and remind us that we have voices. We are here. We can make things. We are together. I’d love to hear from you.

Friends,there are many people who are providing resources and wisdom and helpful tips for weathering this crisis and the impact. Please seek out real experts and reliable sources of information. Let’s agree to care for each other, care for those who are most vulnerable, and care for ourselves.

Stay safe out there. Be in touch. Wishing you peace, sincerely.