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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.