I started listening to podcasts a couple years ago when a friend introduced me to a Buffy the Vampire Slayer podcast (back then it was called, “Dusted” and now it’s transitioned to “Still Pretty“). The podcast talked about each episode of Buffy one by one, offering an in-depth analysis of its storytelling craft, character development, relationship dynamics, treatment of theme and philosophy.
I felt like I was taking the class in school I’ve always dreamed of – I was learning so much as a writer AND nerding out on my fave TV show!? This podcast also found me in a very lonely and hermit-y time (and tbh, not hermit-y by choice). It was a time of deep reflection, recovery & re-wiring from hitting walls in pretty much all areas: activism, artistic practice, my business and work habits, relationships, family (blood/chosen). Something about sitting in the small park behind Galleria mall with the sun warming my skin and listening to this podcast made me feel…full again.
This is exactly the tarot medicine of The Hermit. This is the medicine of a Saturn year. Yes, it gives us blocks and walls and shows us the consequences of chronic over-extension. It makes clear the limits and holes of anything we’ve invested in that just doesn’t have the chops to make it into the long-term. Both Saturn and The Hermit show us our existential loneliness.
But if we can take a break for a minute from the annoyance and inconvenience of these hard, harsh truths…we can find gratitude and patience for what this medicine is really offering us.
It is the magic of reconnection.
Saturn/The Hermit blocks us from filling our voids and gaps with whatever junk is nearby, so that we can reconnect back to something within us that is consistent. Everlasting. If, maybe, a little ignored. Maybe a little afraid. Something in our core, something to do with joy, play, and wonder. It never really left but it was quiet for a while. Now it just wants to spend some time in the sun. It wants to re-emerge, it wants to shine.
The Hermit/Saturn reminded me that I’m not just a “struggling artist” gritting my teeth trying to get my multidimensional dreams produced with a budget that can support maybe one rehearsal.
No, I’m a storyteller.
I love stories, just for the sake of them.
Ever since I was a kid I was producing elaborate plays in my backyard with all my imaginary friends.
And I fucking love TV.
When I was young I saw galaxies come alive in my basement while watching Sailor Moon and Captain Planet.
When I’m immersed in a TV show I love, the characters turn into friends who comfort me at the end of a long day. (I remember even binge-watching Six Feet Under once and I couldn’t stop dreaming about those mother fuckers.) I get emotionally involved in their journeys and I’m sad when I finish watching a series, the same way I used to go through withdrawal after the high school musical I acted in was over, and the grieving process of letting go of a character you lived in and knew deeply, is real.
TV isn’t just a numbing agent for me, or an escape from reality (although it can be at times, for sure).
When I first started taking creative writing classes, my teachers would say, You can’t be a writer if you don’t read.
Meaning, a big part of developing your craft and voice involves learning from other writers. Meaning, the bulk of communication work actually is listening. And there’s only so far that “raw talent” can take you if you pursue your writing as if you live in a vacuum.
But I used to feel bad about myself…guilty…like I’d never be a “real” writer, because my neurodivergent brain actually has a lot of trouble processing information through poetry and fiction. I don’t know what to tell you. I sit down and try to read something and after a few pages or paragraphs my brain implodes. Or it grows three heads. It’s actually physically painful and I have to go away or take a nap. I mean, it comes and goes in waves…I have at times devoured a novel in a day, sometimes the implosion wave lasts for years…what it boils down to is a matter of ability/disability – I actually don’t have the ability to read as much as I “should” or as much as I really, really want to.
Now, I really respect my neurodivergent brain, and I’m delighted to be on a beautiful journey to discover and understand it more and more – astrology taught me a lot about this…more on that another time 😉
When I was in school I would wonder a lot…I’m actually a pretty good writer (if I do say so my DAMN self). I have my way with poetry. But how can this be, when I don’t read that much of poetry or fiction?
Now it’s really quite clear to me. I’ve always been a musician. I grew up playing the piano. I was a band geek throughout all of grade school. I love singing, I love dancing, I love theatre. My Mom took me to see our small town’s community production of Fiddler on the Roof when I was six years old and that is my very first memory of falling in love. Today, I’m in love with curating showcases and performances, I love being an architect of sound and movement and designing mosaics of energy, feeling and meaning. When I was a teenager I pretty much did the same when I made mix CD playlists for my eventual wedding, my eventual funeral, and my eventual series of figure skating gold medal routines (erm, none of which have happened yet…).
Point being, I experience everything around me, all the time, as music. And poetry is nothing, if not music.
And, I watch a honk load of TV.
Like I said, the bulk of communication work is listening. And I personally believe, it doesn’t really matter the genre, method, manner, or pathway, I’m a person who is constantly digesting the world in stories, pretty much 24/7, so no wonder I’m a writer. I believe that diverse genres can and do influence one another, so you can be a poet and also be inspired and learn from TV, music, film, graphic novels, podcasts, conversations with your friends, or just sitting in a cafe observing life.
All this has led me
to the point of being moved
TO CREATE MY OWN DAMN PODCAST.
It’s called Otherworldly Giants. On this podcast I get to go on deep nerdy dives into whatever TV show I’m currently obsessed with, to discuss storytelling craft, creative process, themes, relationship dynamics, character arcs, ideas, philosophies and memories they bring up for me. (And yes, Buffy will make a big appearance in my commentary.)
The podcast will also include deep and brilliant conversations with storytellers and QTBIPOC* (Queer/Trans/Black/Indigenous/People of colour) every day heroes in my life – where we talk about our own artistic craft, our creative/healing journeys, our relationship to spirit, grief, ancestors, joy, love, justice, purpose and really whatever the fuck we wanna talk about. There’s also going to be an astrological twist to the podcast, oh yes there is, because you know me I just can’t help linking shit back to the stars.
The first official launch of my podcast will be released oh so soon – right now I am working out some of the tech/production behind the scenes stuff. (And lez be real, I ain’t releasing my first podcast in the thick of Mercury Retrograde LOLzzz)
But for now, I wanted to release a few demo episodes to test things out.
So here I give you – JANE THE VIRGIN, PRE-GAME SHOW!! It’s the pre-game show not only for my podcast, but also given that the new season of Jane starts next week on March 27th! And I know anyone who watches that show has been waiting with baited breath since the mind-fuck of the season 4 finale!
I have to say too, I don’t really believe that any/most of the shows I talk about are the ideal or answer to the revolution. Buffy is not where I go to get my feminism (lol) and there is a lot of problematic shit throughout the series, within the content and behind the scenes (same with Jane the Virgin).
And I still want to talk about it. I want to acknowledge the beautiful and important things they have to offer, and what I think they could do better. I want to get into where I find resonance and meaning and talk about the episodes that kept me alive through some of my hardest times (The Body…The Gift…). I want to talk about what’s missing from these shows and how QTBIPOC art has always filled in the gaps, but is now gaining more traction and empowerment, as I’ve witnessed in my artistic communities. I want to geek out on my favourite characters and storylines and also host Buffy trivia pub quiz karaoke nights…
…which…ACTUALLY is a thing that’s happening my friends…so those of you Buffy fans in Tkaronto/Toronto, you’re in luck and you’re welcome.
All this to say, this podcast does feel like a full circle. A combination of the light-hearted and the deep…my love of astrology, creativity, thought-provoking conversations… and TV.
Stay tuned for a couple more episodes on Jane the Virgin as a lead up to the season 5 premiere next week!
Jane the Virgin Pre-Game Show: Episode 1
In this episode I talk about jealousy, possessiveness and mature love in relationships, bisexuality in storytelling, the north node in astrology…AND putting to rest once in for all, the debate between #TeamMichael and #TeamRafael 😉 Listen on and lots of love ❤