Lemme know what you think.
How do you define success for yourself? How has that changed?
(Read my anxiety about putting up this episode here!)
“I’m afraid I can’t explain myself, sir. Because I am not myself, you see?”
― Lewis Carroll,
NOT YET, anyway. I’m working on it. I’m preparing a solo podcast episode that will launch on Monday and it’s scaring the shit out of me.
Episode 029 of Artist Soapbox will begin with “I’m scared!” It’s not me speaking, but the sentiment is absolutely mine.
The title of the episode is WHAT I LEARNED FROM FORTY YEARS OF NOT BEING FAMOUS: PART ONE and it’s based on a lil’ talk I gave in April for Honest Pint‘s HOME BREW. Home Brew was a wonderful opportunity to try out material and capture the words of audience members in their own voices. Big thank yous to George, David, Beth, Carissa, Will, Megan, Brian, and Susannah for adding their voices and their thoughts about defining success. (You’ll hear all 8 of them speaking in the podcast episode.)
In PART ONE, using a bit of my own story, I throw a flag on our culture’s messed-up definition of success, our preoccupation with ‘getting famous’, and how local artists are marginalized as a result. It’s me and my voice, insecurities, flawed thinking, aspirations, missteps and…words. I don’t know if that’s ok or if it’s weirdly narcissistic or me being artsy-fartsy or the start to a conversation that I really want to have. Maybe all of those things. All I know is that this solo episode was really really scary to write, to present, to record, and it’s scary to release. And gosh, I’m doing it anyway.
Will you take a listen on Monday and let me know what you think? I have more episodes planned that will dig into this topic. I’d love to know if those might resonate with you.
Stay tuned for Episode 029 going live on www.artistsoapbox.org Monday morning and in Apple podcasts/iTunes.
How do you define success?
[Scroll down to read an actual excerpt from the talk I’m planning to give]
I’m speaking live on April 13 at 9:00 pm, after HONEST PINT’S performance of THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY!
THE PRESS & INFO:
Tamara Kissane is presenting for HOME BREW, “a series featuring NC artists, writers, musicians, and actors sharing stories and works in an intimate, social atmosphere. The goal is to showcase the incredible local talent in our area and provide an opportunity to hear what’s brewing in the NC arts scene.” HOME BREW is free and open to the public. See the show at 7:30pm and stay for the HOME BREWed conversation. Info and tickets for THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM 40 YEARS OF NOT BEING FAMOUS: PART ONE is the first installment of a multi-part series planned for the Artist Soapbox podcast. In this 30 minute podcast-like conversation, Tamara considers how we might love the artists we are and support the artists we love even when….especially when….we feel like we’re falling short. PART ONE is a shot in the arm for people who are trying to craft a life of creativity and art-making and feeling like WTF.
In PART ONE, using a bit of her own story, Tamara throws a flag on our culture’s messed-up definition of success, our preoccupation with ‘getting famous’, and how local artists are marginalized as a result. What might our lives look like if our community reimagined success and then affirmed and cherished our local art-makers? What might our lives look like if each individual artist loved their own creative gifts? What can arts supporters do to help?
AN EXCERPT FROM THE TALK TO WET YOUR WHISTLE
Here’s a problem: in our society, we have some real mixed-up attitudes about fame and success — giant hurdles that artists must overcome in getting to genuine and long-lasting satisfaction.
So, let’s take a moment for some thinking. Think in your mind about the answers to these questions: What are two or three words that come to mind when you think of someone successful in their career (any career)? How would you finish this sentence, A successful artist…? What would an artist need to accomplish at a local level to be successful (in your opinion)? Hmmmm.
Here’s WHAT I LEARNED FROM 40 YEARS OF NOT BEING FAMOUS — #1 Each artist needs to define success on their own terms and figure out if fame is what they’re really aiming for. #2 We can help reframe success for local artists by helping those artists feel valued, appreciated and resourced.
Here’s a secret: I have been a very unhappy artist for most of my adult life, which is a pretty long time. And much of my unhappiness has been in response to feeling like I have failed by not being more famous and not achieving more as an artist. This is ridiculous and embarrassing to admit, but there you go.”
[Note: THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY opens April 6. If you can’t get to the performance on April 13, then please go see it another night. It’s going to knock your socks off.]
Take a break? Take a poll. Four questions, anonymous, helpful to 2018 planning. A quick and easy good deed for your day!
Creating a podcast is a little like talking into the void. The relationship can feel one-sided. I’m aiming for a genuine conversation; a feedback loop. I want the Artist Soapbox podcast to provide value to listeners. I want to give them what they want. I want to give you what you want to hear.
However….I can’t read minds. So, here’s an opportunity to give input that will help me plan for Artist Soapbox 2018 and get you what you want. I’m making plans for who to have on the show, how to shape the interview, and how to frame the way I talk about the behind the scenes of building and running a podcast.
This poll closes this Thursday at 5:03pm.
Want to give feedback in a different way? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. I have 9 interviews scheduled between now and the end of this year. Gearing up! Getting excited!
P.P.S. Become a patron of Artist Soapbox on our Patreon page. As of today, we’re half-way to our first goal. Woot!
When I uploaded the first episode of Artist Soapbox on September 1, I didn’t know what to expect. Now, five weeks later, the podcast has built increasing momentum and has the potential to soar. With minimal advertising (some Facebook posting), Artist Soapbox already has 200 unique listeners which has translated to hundreds of downloaded episodes. I believe that number will climb with every new episode.
Up to this point, I have personally funded Artist Soapbox, which places a limit on whether this project can expand and even continue beyond the next few months. As a result, today I’m launching a campaign to support the Artist Soapbox via a Patreon page. (www.patreon.com/artistsoapbox) Supporters have the opportunity to become Soapboxers — official patrons of the podcast — and receive extra podcasty-related stuff. Visit the Patreon page to see a video of me talking about it, information about the rewards, and other compelling reasons to support this work.
I’m asking you to be a helper. If you are a reader of this blog, a listener of the podcast, or a friend of mine, would you please do these things to help?
Thank you so much for your support.
Questions, concerns, encouragement? Email me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Announcements like bursts of confetti for you.
#1: [Not exactly an announcement — I just need tooth-courage STAT.] I gotta get my wisdom teeth removed in October, and I’m scared of the sedation. Cuz I like to control when I go unconscious, and I don’t like to wake up bloody. I’m not alone in that, right?
#2: There’s a Facebook page for Artist Soapbox podcast. It’s new. I’m telling you, I am soooo technically challenged. This podcast and it’s ancillary marketing needs have required me to jump in with both feet while holding my nose. Thrilling and terrifying. I’m cool with ‘just trying things to see what happens’ but these last few weeks have pushed me to my limit. I’m sure trying a lot of things — hope they work. Who’s a big imposter with Imposter Syndrome? Uhh….not me….? Would you like my page ….and stuff?
#3: Episode 003 of Artist Soapbox is up! John Jimerson is a wonderful conversation partner. (He even read me a story from the Velveteen Rabbit!) We went deep on a range of topics and had some goofy laughs too. Give it a listen and let me know what you think. Keep a lookout on the Facebook page and on the Artist Soapbox website to learn about new podcast episodes as soon as they are posted — I have lots of awesome interviews already scheduled thru the fall!
#4: On October 8, I’ll be launching a Patreon campaign for the Artist Soapbox podcast. I believe Artist Soapbox can add real value to our conversations with/around/in support of artists in the Triangle and help promote a thriving community. Right now I’m boot-strapping the heck out of this podcast, but I need support to take it to the next level. I’ve put together a bare bones preview site on Patreon, and I’d deeply appreciate feedback from you. I would be grateful if you’d take a look and share your thoughts about things like:
Do I really need to make a video to motivate people? Is the ‘about’ text confusing and not specific enough? Am I presenting this in a way that highlights its value? Are the rewards sufficient or would you like something else?
What would you like?
Better graphics? A different message?
Will anyone give a crap about this and if not, how can I make them? What else?
I’ve clearly buried the lead at the bottom of this post because I’m nervous about the Patreon campaign. I have big plans for this podcast and lots to share with our community. If you’ve read this far into the post, then I’m guessing that you and I are already partners in our desire to support local artists and (new!) podcasters. So thanks for ‘Getting on the Soapbox’ even before this campaign is launched! Love.
Previous posts about the Artist Soapbox podcast:
Welcome to my learning curve!
Ten days ago, I launched my first ever interview podcast via the Artist Soapbox. Today, I published my first solo podcast! WOOT. In the solo episode, I discuss three ways to support a creative process (based on my conversation with Mara Thomas in Episode 001) and I answer FAQs about Artist Soapbox. The episode clocks in at a lean 16 minutes and is clean for kids’ ears.
I’m reasonably happy with it, particularly since it’s my first effort. And I’m pleased by how far I’ve gone outside my comfort zone in putting this podcast together. However, to balance that happy pat-on-the-back, I’m including a ridiculous list of maybe-you-can-learn-from-my-mistakes. Because this sixteen minute podcast took me SIX hours to record and edit. Yep. And that doesn’t include time spent figuring out how to publish it online and write any accompanying text (like this blog post).
Now, I don’t have that much time to invest in something I’m only “reasonably happy with,” so I’ve been reflecting on what ate up so many hours. Answer = lack of adequate preparation and being a novice. Perhaps you can learn from these….
TIME SUCKS AND INEFFICIENCIES:
*I’m learning to edit using Garage Band on my Mac computer and it’s pretty straightforward….as long as you know what you’re doing. I would not recommend the learn-as-you-go approach that I took with Garage Band. If I could go back in time, I’d learn GB ahead of time and save myself a lot of frustrating moments, like when I deleted tracks accidentally, and recorded over sections that I liked, and messed things up in ways that I’m still unclear about. GB and I need to get up close and personal before the next podcasting.
*I also bought a really cool new microphone to use at home called the Blue Yeti. It’s an awesome plug-and-play mic and I feel all official using it. It also requires experimenting and refining which I didn’t do enough of ahead of time. When you listen to my solo in Episode 002, you’ll hear some of that experimenting happening during the episode which is not the best time to be fiddling around. I recorded in the kitchen during the day while my toddler napped and then went to my bedroom in the evening when the kids went to bed and then moved back down to the kitchen when my spouse went to sleep. Duh, the audio quality is different in my echo-y kitchen with glass table top compared to my bedroom where I was talking into a corner stuffed with pillows. You can hear the difference. Again, duh. Note: bedroom with pillow-corner was superior in audio-quality, but not as comfortable for me. Next time I’ll record in the same room during the entire process and keep a consistent distance from the microphone. Seriously, Tamara, pay attention to how far your face is from the microphone!
*You know what helps when you sit down to record a podcast? AN OUTLINE. And sometimes it helps even more to type out exactly word for word what to say. I know I have experience talking in front of groups, leading workshops, improvising, coaching folks and just enjoying a friendly one-on-one chat. I also have a lot to say about creativity and art-making and theatre and community and all the topics that Artist Soapbox will inevitably cover. However, I’m not sure why I was sooooooo positive that if I just thought about what I wanted to say beforehand, then I would open my mouth and the words would pour out fluidly and coherently. That did not happen. I wasted a lot of time doing re-takes until I finally sat down like an adult and made a darn outline with some key words and phrases. Right. I also practiced what I was going to say a few times because that HELPS. I swear, it was like Amateur Hour around here. In my defense, it was 1:00 am when I finished, and I’m usually only awake at that time if I’m giving birth….so it’s rare and I’m not at my best in the wee hours.
Some of the podcast-y issues that cropped up were due to the fact that I’m a newbie, and some were issues that I should have anticipated and prepared for. Also, I’m not skilled enough with the editing software yet (see above) to fix my mistakes, so I must get everything right from the start.
Moving forward, I have a combination of recordings scheduled at Shadowbox Studio (with people who know what the hell they are doing) and at home (with a person who will eventually know what the hell she is doing). A home studio is really useful for odd-hours, solo recordings and managing schedule-craziness or conflicts.
The next several episodes will be interview style, and I’ll welcome the conversation with another person in the room. I originally thought my solo Episode 002 would be twenty minutes or longer, but I topped out at sixteen minutes and that felt like plenty for a first-go.
I hope you’ll keep listening. I hope you’ll learn from my mistakes and laugh along with me as I keep moving forward. I’m really excited about this new platform and having lots of fun with it. There’s much to learn about the art and science of podcasting, so I’m gonna keep plugging away.
ARTIST SOAPBOX has been launched! Wheeee!
BIG NEW THING: I recorded a podcast, and I’m so excited that I couldn’t wait to share it. Seriously, I am SO excited. It took me an embarrassing number of hours to edit and put the first darn thing online, but I did it. It ain’t perfect, but that’s on me and my learning curve. More to come, more to come, more to come.
Me=tired. Good enough=Just fine
There’s still much to do with getting artwork, listing on iTunes, fixing the website, etc. but the link is online and it seems to work and it’s live. Anyhow, I’m getting there. I’m feeling grateful that there are so many incredible artists to converse with, and I can’t wait to do more. Special thanks to Greg Myer, Mara Thomas, and Jim Haverkamp for helping me launch.
So I didn’t:
I haven’t written Mother of the Year yet. And I still have some other projects that I didn’t wrap up. I’ll just say, almost everything is still pending.
So I did:
I did write another play in the meantime.